10 Signs You Are Ready to Quit Your Job and Start a Business
Are you thinking it may be to time to quit your job and start a business? Here are 10 signs that you’re ready to go out on your own!
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On this BIGG Success Show, we discuss timing your leap from employee to owner. Here’s a summary of that discussion.
Quitting your job to start a business ranks right up there with life’s major decisions. It’s risky. You’re choosing personal freedom over the security a job provides. Or are you? Like many people before you, you may realize there’s security in personal freedom.
The advantage to planning your exit may be that YOU get to choose the timing. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses after a layoff. Ideally, you get to make the decision on your own terms, at your own time.
However, there’s never an ideal time to start your own business. Much like getting married or having kids, if you wait for exactly the right time, you’ll never do it!
You can always get another job, but you only get one life. So here are the ten signs that you’re ready to quit your job and start your own business.
1) You can’t see any benefit to waiting
There may be benefits to waiting – at least a little bit. For example, are you planning to retire within a couple of years? Then you may be better off waiting, so you’ll have a steady stream of income to launch your new venture. You won’t feel the same pressure that you will feel if you leave without that cushion.
Another reason to stay, at least for a short time, is if you’re almost vested in your employer’s retirement plan. Why not wait until you can get the full benefit of all of your company’s contributions? Use the time to get prepared for your new business.
Finally, when you go out on your own, health insurance will be solely your problem. How’s your health? Can you get insurance through your spouse? Unfortunately, this is a significant consideration in starting your own business.
2) You are prepared for the demands of owning your own business
There’s a myth that owning and managing your own business is easy. It’s definitely not. You need to be ready – mentally, emotionally, and physically for the rigors that come with entrepreneurship.
You have to be mentally tough because you will be tested every day. You will find that you’re often at the very edge of your comfort zone. That’s great – it means you’re learning and growing. But it isn’t easy, and some people find it overwhelming.
You need to be ready for the emotional roller-coaster that comes from business ownership. You’ll have highs. And you’ll have lows. You’ll be thankful for those moments in between. Owning your own business can make you downright manic depressive! You have to be emotionally prepared for these ups-and-downs.
Finally, do you have the physical capacity to own your own business? Starting a business often requires long days. Very, very long days. Intense work. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” That saying had to be written for entrepreneurs. Be sure you’re physically ready to lead by example.
3) You’re sick and tired of just thinking about it. It’s time to do it!
Practice makes perfect. But practice gets boring after a while. You’re ready to play the game! When you reach the point where you’re getting frustrated by just thinking about it, you’re ready to go!
Put another way – when your fear of not trying exceeds your fear of failure, you know you’re ready to put yourself out there. Not trying disturbs you more than the fear of failure. You feel it in your gut. You just won’t be happy until you at least give it a try, so you can see if you can do it.
4) You have the education and experience to go out on your own
You don’t need a college degree to start a business. However, you should have educated yourself about your industry.
What are the success factors in this industry?
Where are the opportunities?
What are the threats?
What are your competition’s strengths? Weaknesses?
These are just a few things you should know before you make the leap.
What relevant experience do you have?
Have you managed people?
Have you made sales?
Do you have the technical experience needed?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
You don’t have to know it all, but you’re more likely to succeed if you have applicable experience. There are enough variables to deal with; your experience shouldn’t be one of them. We’ll talk about this more in Sign #6.
However, don’t think that you have to have experience in an industry to succeed. There are plenty of examples of outsiders who bring a new perspective, and therefore see fresh opportunities, to an industry. We’ll share more ideas on how to “buy” experience when we discuss Sign #8.
This Podcast Episode is Sponsored by: FinancialFreedomTool.com
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5) You have a supportive spouse (if applicable)
Most importantly, your spouse has to be mentally and emotionally prepared for what your new business will require from you. It will affect your relationship, one way or another. Your spouse needs to understand this. If not, you’ll find yourself with a bigger problem than anything you’ll deal with in your new business.
Ideally, your spouse has a career that supports your family while you build your business. If you can live off the income generated by your spouse, much of the pressure of starting up will be removed. You may even strike a deal with your spouse – you venture out now, so he or she can venture out later when you’ve succeeded.
6) You have a support network
In addition to your spouse, do you have a support team?
The business world is too complex to fully go it alone. You thought about your strengths and weaknesses when we discussed education and experience in Sign #4. Now it’s time to think about others.
Do you have people in place who complement your strengths?
Do you have a strong network, particularly in your chosen industry? People you can call for help and ideas. People who have been where you want to go.
Do you know the influencers in the industry?
As we’ll discuss more in Sign #8, you can “buy” this support by investing in a good franchise system or buying an established business. However, ideally, you’ve developed your own base of support, no matter whether you start or buy.
7) You have sufficient capital reserves
Do you have the financial capacity to support your business? Even if it requires little upfront investment, you don’t want to depend on your business to provide a steady income immediately.
You need to have a reserve. The amount depends on a variety of factors. Six to twelve months of living expenses should be sufficient in most situations.
Of course, as mentioned in Sign #5, earlier, if your supportive spouse agrees to cover your living expenses while you get your business going, you can launch without an extensive reserve. However, you should still have some money set aside to cover you in case something happens with your spouse’s job.
8) You have a market-tested idea
It’s one thing to have an idea in your head. It’s quite another to put it in writing. It’s better yet to have tested your idea with actual customers before you quit your job.
You may be able to start part-time. Try out your idea while you still have the luxury of a steady income from your current job. If all goes really well, your decision gets made for you – because your idea receives a great reception in the market and you quickly build an income that fully replaces your current income.
Wouldn’t that make your decision easy?
There are other ways to “test” your idea:
– Buy a franchise. The franchisor has a market-tested concept. Just add capital and you’re in business!
– Buy an existing business. Find an owner of a successful business who wants to move on. Structure a deal and you’re in business – with established customers, employees, infrastructure, and cash flow!
– Model a similar business. Find an owner of a business like yours who is operating successfully in a market similar to yours. Research them. Find out what their success factors are and copy them.
9) You have a plan
If you’re not raising money from venture capitalists, you probably don’t need an elaborate business plan. However, you should know how you’re going to take your idea to market.
What’s your strategy for executing your plan?
Where will you find customers?
How much will you charge?
How will you fulfill orders?
How will you account for it all?
How much profit will you make?
You need to know the answers to questions like these, and more, before you quit your job. This is part of the initiation to entrepreneurship. It’s not flashy or sexy work; in fact it’s hard. However, it’s essential to improving your odds.
10) You have a contingency plan
There’s one thing we can know, beforehand, for certain. Things won’t go exactly as you plan. You need to think through the possibilities before you launch.
So, ask yourself, “What if …”
What if your income expectations aren’t met?
What if you can’t make it go?
What if it succeeds beyond your wildest expectations?
Believe it or not, that last one can be a huge challenge – although, a good one!
What if, what if, what if. Consider alternative scenarios and plan for them.
Planning is great. Having a back-up is better. Depending on your circumstances, you may even want a back-up to your back-up plan. Spend some time, before you launch, considering what might happen and you’ll be prepared when it does!
One thing that differentiates successful entrepreneurs from failures is that those who succeed are adept at minimizing their risk. Quitting your job to start a business can be a risky proposition. Follow these steps and you’ll not only minimize your risk, you’ll also be more prepared for BIGG success!
Free Download: 10 Workarounds to Start Your Business Sooner
After reading this, have you determined that it is NOT the right time to quit your job and start a business? We take the ten obstacles discussed here and offer a workaround for each and every one of them so you can get your business started sooner.
Here’s to your BIGG success!
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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