Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur is as exciting as it is difficult. The decision to do so shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here are some suggestions for creating a smooth transition from employee to entrepreneur, increasing your chances for the success of your new company.
Determine what you’d like to do.
Some people call this finding your passion, but it’s more than that. Think about your skills, abilities and experience. Consider what you can realistically see yourself doing for hours each day, for weeks and years.
Think about what others will pay for.
A viable business is the intersection between what you’d like to do and what others will pay for.
Interview ideal customers.
Find a few people that you think would be your ideal clients. Ask them about their biggest needs, fears and aspirations related to the business idea you plan to pursue. Are the benefits of your product or service in line with their real needs? Also, make a note of the words they use, as they’ll eventually help make your marketing more authentic.
Design your marketing and business plans.
Today’s marketing involves content creation, social media, email outreach and more. Make sure you know how you’ll approach each of these alternatives to introduce your idea to customers. At the same time, lay out a business plan that details how you intend your business to function. It doesn’t need to be super formal, but it does need to cover your operating structure, product, delivery systems and expansion plans.
Set up your business on a small scale.
If you can, test your company idea by launching on a small scale on the side, while still working your day job. This gives you a no-risk opportunity to test your ideas, get your first clients and see if the business will hold up over time before you leave the security of your current position.
Assess feedback and adjust.
Running a small-scale operation will help you determine which parts of your idea are great and which ones need adjusting. Take customer feedback seriously and make any necessary changes before you begin scaling up.
Get used to more work and longer hours.
Employees have a work schedule. They enjoy weekends, vacations, sick days, holidays and three-day weekends from time to time. You don’t. As an entrepreneur building a business, prepare yourself to work longer hours to add value to your company. You may find yourself working for less than the hourly minimum wage, but as your company grows, it should become more valuable – value that can translate into a very nice pay day in the future.
Schedule each day.
Time is always in short supply for entrepreneurs. It seems there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Create a weekly schedule and build in “miscellaneous” time to catch up. And don’t just focus on day-to-day activities. Spend part of each day developing a longer-term business strategy to reach profitability quickly.
Assemble a team.
If your idea seems viable, determine who you’ll want on your business leadership team when you eventually launch full time. Depending on your personal experience, you may need help in areas such as finance, marketing, customer service and production.
Set up the structure of your company.
At the same time, you’ll also want to decide what kind of company structure to register. Do you want to incorporate, form an LLC or create a partnership? Get this taken care of legally and carefully define the roles and investment of each of your leadership team members.
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Culled from: Entrepreneur.