9 Steps to Take Before You Quit Your Job and Start a Business
Everybody has surely experienced bad days at work. There would have been times when your job became frustrating, boring and very stressful, so you may start thinking about quitting. But this is a very tough judgment call. So when should you quit your job?
Some Good Reasons to Leave Your Job
First, your job affects your health. Stress will have a huge impact on your health. Although it is inevitable, consider leaving your job when it begins to feel unsustainable.
Second, there is nowhere for you to advance. If you think you’re topped out at work, then you have a good reason to quit your job. Every career has an expected rate of progression; you may eventually take on more responsibilities, receive new challenges, and increase your income.
But when your job does not give you the opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills, you can hurt your growth opportunities in the end.
Third, you are currently living with chronic uncertainty. Although all companies operate with some level of uncertainty, some are caught up in ambiguity that they end up for sale or in shrinking markets. It may be noble for you to stay on board and help the transition, but you must also think about prioritizing a key need: saving yourself.
Lastly, you want to start a business and become your own boss. This idea is a liberating one. Prior to quitting your job to establish your own business, you need to consider many important things first.
9 Steps to Take Before Taking on a New Business Full-Time
1. Test Your Knowledge
How much do you know about the business or industry? Being an employee is completely different from being an entrepreneur. If you don’t know much, take time to learn before quitting your job.
2. Do Market Research
Before getting too deep into your plans, you must make sure that there is a niche for your business along with a market for your product or service. Do some legwork to gauge interest. A personal business coach emphasized that just because you have new products or services, it does not mean that many people will buy and use it. Aim to offer something that is different from the competition.
3. Understand the Time Commitment
Time is among your most precious resources. Learn to customize your time to gain great momentum for your new venture. Your business can run evenings and weekends until it starts to grow. Understand the need for a serious time commitment to ensure that your business is always up and running.
4. Check How Much You Have Saved
Can you afford to quit your job? Look at how much cash you have on hand. If it is insufficient for your startup, consider borrowing money from a relative, a friend, or a reputable lending institution. You can also seek financing because there are some industries that grant such. Moreover, you can use some of your assets as collateral to get a business loan.
Another funding option is to look for investors. Bear in mind though that these investors can get a stake in the company and you might need to give up some control in return.
5. Get Professional Help
Seek out government agencies and organizations that specialize in helping new businesses succeed. There are some local programs offering crash courses in customer validation as well as in business plan idea development.
Consider taking up courses that will help you in crucial areas like planning, financing, permitting, and regulation compliance.
Also, hire a personal business coach or someone who is knowledgeable enough to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Hold on to your steady corporate income as this can help you secure funds to hire a coach to assist you with business planning and time management, and preparing you for the challenges of entrepreneurial success.
6. Compare Investment With Profit
It is possible to turn a great profit early on, but it is still very important for you to find out how much of an investment is required to get your business off the ground.
You also need to estimate how long it will take before your business can generate a profit. Before quitting your job, determine how much revenue your business must generate for you to replace your current income.
7. Create a Business Plan
All successful ventures have a business plan, which is a written description of what you want your business to be in the future. In other words, a business plan is a document describing what you plan to do and how you’re planning to do it. You can actually find plenty of excellent business plan models and templates online.
8. Set a Date
Highlight a specific date you want to quit your job on your calendar. Motivate yourself to have your new business up and running by the date you have chosen.
9. Prepare Yourself for a Lifestyle Change
When you are working for yourself, things will become very different. You will have the freedom to work how you want, when you want and where you want. And this will include having control over your compensation package.
Use your unused vacation days before quitting your job because you might not get another opportunity to take time off for a while. Also, take into account the cost of a work space, most especially if you need to set up an office away from your home.
Tips for Resigning Professionally
Your existing relationship with your employer won’t matter – whether it is awful or awesome, do not ruin it. Always keep things professional by going about the resignation properly.
Inform your employers about your resignation 2 weeks before the exact resignation date because this is the professional thing to do. But giving notice does not always mean your employers accept it. It is actually within their rights to terminate you instantly, so be prepared for such outcome. Most importantly, go over your contract or employment terms – you do not want any surprises.
When writing your resignation letter, there are several best practices to consider. First, be upfront with what your message is. Second, you do not need to explain yourself, but if you want to, you can. Third, be polite because there is no point in destroying relationships only to make a point.
Consider thanking your employer for the opportunity and the experience. Lastly, outline how much help you are willing to give during the transition. You must lay clear boundaries but do not over-commit yourself.
After submitting your resignation letter, your employers might want to speak with you. Discuss with them your reasons if you want to.
Once you have confirmed your resignation with them, make a personal statement to the company. Let your co-employees know that you are leaving. Thank them and let them know that you have enjoyed working with them.
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Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.