Nearly every single entrepreneur began as an employee at another company. Sometimes, a longtime hope and dream or a shift in perspective pushes the traditional 9-to-5 employees into launching a business. The transition between these two worlds, though, usually takes careful planning, knowledge and time.
If you believe that you’re ready to take the plunge and launch a business, here are a few suggestions to help you make this transition:
Think Carefully Before Walking Away from Your Job
The first thing you should consider before making the leap to entrepreneurship is whether you should quit your job or not. Some aspiring entrepreneurs resign immediately and achieve major success with their business, but it doesn’t always happen this way for many people. Getting a business off the ground can take a lot of time.
A Gallup survey revealed that 66 percent of workers are disengaged with their jobs. Quitting your job to focus on building your business, therefore, is understandable. If you need consistent income coming in, however, keeping your day job will provide you peace of mind knowing that you’ll have the funds you need to survive.
Get Used to Longer Work Hours
Employees typically follow a work schedule. They typically start their day in the morning and clock out in the evening. They enjoy holidays, sick days, vacations and weekends.
As an entrepreneur, you won’t get to enjoy these. If you’re busy building a business, you’ll have to work longer hours to add value to your company. You may even see yourself working for less than the hourly minimum wage. As your company grows, however, your business should become more valuable, which translates to a nice payday in the future.
Become a Jack-of-All-Trades Person
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll no longer be able to say “This isn’t my job.” When you launch and manage a business, everything is your job.
Things will pop up in the day-to-day operations that will be both challenging and new. These hands-on experiences can help you improve and grow as a professional.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to become a jack-of-all-trades person. You should also take the time to check out other successful entrepreneurs. Find out what they have to say regarding the skills you should pick up to survive and thrive in your industry.
Once you become more experienced in the different areas of your company, you can hire and train more people to take some of the burden off your shoulders. When something goes awry and no one knows where you should go, people will still turn to you, so be prepared.
Build Your Network
Starting a business doesn’t mean that you have to grow your company all by yourself. Your connections can help you expand your business in all kinds of ways.
Your professional network should include gurus who can provide valuable advice, from industry veterans to financial consultants. Also, don’t forget to include prospective customers in your circle. Forming these relationships will lead to a steady inflow of referrals and long-term customers.
You can build your network with others online through social media channels and community forums. Alternatively, you can do face-to-face networking at community organizations and industry events.
Remember that there’s no such thing as too many people in an entrepreneur’s network, especially for a new business owner. Just keep your eyes peeled for new networking opportunities.
Set Both Short- and Long-Term Goals
When transitioning to entrepreneurship, establish some short- and long-term goals. Make sure that you retain that goal-setting mindset once you get your small business or startup up and running.
Be ready to think carefully about where you see yourself one month, six months, one year, three years and five years from now. Keep notes in a marketing and business calendar on the goals you’d like to accomplish, when you hope to accomplish them and the steps you’ve taken to obtain follow-through. This will help you stay focused and keep you motivated on your goals for the year, month and week.
Schedule Each Working Day
Time is finite for entrepreneurs. Some business owners say there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, come up with a weekly schedule and build in miscellaneous time to catch up. Don’t simply focus on day-to-day activities. Spend part of each business day coming up with business strategies to reach profitability quickly.
The feeling of owning a successful company can be rewarding, but the journey to success won’t be easy. If you’re an employee looking to become an entrepreneur one day, take note of these suggestions to help achieve your goals.