Whether you’ve started an Ebay store, a photography business or gaining work as a consultant in your field of expertise, it is common for entrepreneurs to begin their business as a side-hustle.
However, frustratingly, the full time job eats up most of your day. You would much rather spend more time working on your baby enterprise.
Naturally, you will be tempted to stack the eggs in the one basket as soon as the side-gig shows signs of working.
The important thing here is patience and preparation. Especially with a family in tow.
When the enviable (if not immensely nerve-wracking) time comes for you to ditch the day job to concentrate wholly on the business, there are some steps you need to take first.
If you don’t plan the leap properly, you could find yourself sheepishly asking your old boss for your job back. And nobody wants that.
Here’s the steps you should take to make the transition as successful as possible:
1. Have a savings pot
Before you make the leap and hand in your notice you should have a pot of savings that could sustain your living costs for at least 3 months, preferably 6.
No matter the type of business you are running, you can never fully predict the future and the amount of income you will generate.
Especially during the early years of going it alone.
It is likely that your client base is quite narrow; an over reliance on one can lead to trouble if the opportunities suddenly dry up.
Furthermore, having some funds in reserve does more than help keep the books in the black.
It will give you that added security and confidence to build your business on your own terms.
You can be more discerning on the gigs that you accept and the prices that you quote (there’s no knee-jerk responses to the fact you are struggling to pay bills).
For a detailed look into a how to protect your credit after taking the leap to go it alone, head here.
2. Keep the business simple
If this is your first foray into the world of going it alone, you should be building a business that operates smoothly and efficiently.
Anything too complex will just give you extra hurdles that you do not need.
When you strip it all back you should be creating X, a simplified product or service that you are selling to customer Y, for Z amount of profit.
3. A cost-effective enterprise
To continue the theme of keeping things simple, before you quit the day job you should ensure that your business is not a bottomless pit that will suck you dry.
A venture that is dollar efficient with few monetary demands is the best way to go.
The following cheat sheet will give you an insight into what I believe to be the most cost effective way to start a business.
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As a newbie entrepreneur with a family to worry about, your resources of both time and money will be limited.
The business you start should not need ridiculous amounts of capital to sustain itself. If it does, you will be putting yourself at risk.
4. Prepare for the worst
In the early stages of running your business there will be an element of trial and error.
In some cases, you may experience full on baptism-of-fire scenarios.
The important issue here is preparation. If you are prepared for the worst outcome for a situation you should be able to ride it out.
5. Be unoriginal
Again, this links to the notion of keeping it simple.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, just make sure your version of the wheel is a stronger and more reliable than the competition.
There is still room for creativity, but focus this on the marketing of your unoriginal idea.
A creative spin on a pre-existing idea has a far greater chance of success. You already know that the market exists, you are just reaching them in a different and more interesting way.
6. Continue the hustle
The hustle is an important factor for any young business.
Be confident in what you have to offer. You need to develop an understanding of what deals, purchases and sales you can barter and bargain for, or partner on.
It is all part of what being an entrepreneur is about
7. Ensure your business has potential to scale
Before you quit the day job, you will want to have proven the concept of your business and its ability to scale.
How much extra income can you expect doing it full time?
Is there a market for your increased ability to supply? If not, you’ll be in trouble.
Before you hand in the notice, you should be putting the feelers out with existing clients and contacts to ensure that there will be additional business once you’ve taken the leap.
8. Get yourself out there
Beyond the existing client base you will need to expand your sights to bring in new business too.
This will mean marketing your company in new and creative ways.
Before you quit your job you need to get yourself out there. Join groups, speak to fellow practitioners, network regularly, and find different ways to make people aware of what you offer.
9. A careful partnership
If a partnership is part of your plan of expanding the side-hustle so you can ditch the day job, do not take the decision lightly.
Assess if a partnership makes sense before signing the dotted line.
Friends and family can be problematic. Will there be personality conflicts? How well do you feel you can work together?
Make sure you evaluate what a partner can bring to the table so that all pros and cons are considered before you make a final decision.
10. Be very afraid
Finally, be very afraid.
Not afraid to make the leap, but afraid to have never given it a go.
The idea of not trying should scare you more than anything.
Remember, the work life balance of running your own business awaits. A successful enterprise will give you more flexibility in life to fully enjoy the things that are important to you.
Being afraid of missing out on this will give you all the motivation you need to nail it after going alone.
Have you started a home based side-business with a view to quitting your job?
Maybe you have already made the leap.
Either way, drop us a comment below, I always love hearing from you guys.