Thinking about becoming self-employed and going off on your own? Being your own boss may sound like a great plan, but keep in mind that it’s a lot of hard work.
It’s easy to feel overconfident and talk yourself into making a mistake (especially if you’re tired of your current job). So, before you cross that threshold, here are 11 signs that you’re ready to start your own business:
1. You’re passionate about your new business
While it’s not enough on its own, being somewhat passionate about what you’re about to do is essential. Make sure you’re doing this because you’re excited to start a new chapter in your life, doing something you love, rather than just being frustrated with your current role.
2. You have a good brand
Your personal brand is how your business will connect with the greater world outside. Make sure you know your brand and how it connects with customers before starting. Set your tone, are you friendly, professional, grassroots, irreverent etc? Know your market and set the tone accordingly.
3. You’re ready to go back to school
Starting a business means being willing to learn about yourself and the marketplace. Be ready to face these lessons, they can be harsh!
4. You really believe in your idea
You’re going to face a lot of pressure and bad outcomes in self-employment. You need to believe that what you offer is worth the effort and has a good chance of competing with the wider market. Customers know when a salesperson genuinely has their best interest in mind and will turn you away if they suspect you might just be trying to make a quick buck.
5. You have a plan
Cashing out your retirement fund and expecting a fortune to suddenly appear is not a great idea. Before you leave your 9 to 5, make sure you have an extensive roadmap for your new business (including what to do if it all goes wrong).
6. There’s demand for your idea
Make sure your idea has a decently sized market before you jump in. Be practical, consider how many people would be willing to invest in your service or product, and always consider if someone else is already doing it better than you. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to compete with established brands.
7. You know your team
Know who you want on your team and what kind of person you like to work with. Be selective, but keep business in mind. Don’t employ only your closest friends because you enjoy their company. Pick those who can help you succeed. If you want to go it solo, you’ll still need the aid of solicitors and suppliers. So, keep your eyes and ears open, always be on the lookout for talent!
8. You’re not in the middle of major life changes
Major life decisions often bring a certain clarity that makes us want new work. Make sure you move through any personal troubles you may be facing before you launch. Only after you’ve given yourself time to recover should you think about starting a business.
9. You have available funding
While some businesses can be started with very little capital, it still takes time to turn a profit. Make sure you have some money saved up to rely on while your company grows.
10. You know about the business itself
Not everyone who’s a great artist should open a gallery. Being business owners requires so much more than simply doing a single task. make sure you’re informed about those things required by a business manager such as hiring, leasing and marketing.
11. You understand the risks
You need to understand that you might never make a profit. Being ready to understand and manage risk, or cut your losses, is a sure sign you’re ready to launch.