You've been working a full-time job for years. You now have your own business, but you're still putting more work into your full-time job than you are for your business, but you want to see your business grow. You want to leave your job but you're either scared to take the jump into entrepreneurship or you don't know how to do it, so you stay at the job you want to leave. Here are a few tips to help you decide if leaving your job is really for you.
1. Research. Conduct research on the industry you want to go into. It's important to know if the industry is lucrative or not (you don't want to reinvent the wheel, unless you know the need is not currently being met). If the industry you want to go into is not a lucrative one, you may not want to start a business in that industry, unless your business is doing something different than the overall industry. Determine who your ideal customer will be. Conduct research on your ideal customer; how often will they utilize your product or service, what is their household income, what are their spending habits, how will you market to them to make them aware of your product and how often.
2. Create an Exit Plan. Having an exit plan in place helps you determine if and when you can leave your full-time job. It helps you set goals so you can set an exact date as to when you want to leave your job. How much money you will need in the bank. How much you will need to make each month. This information should be included in your exit plan.
3. Working Long Hours. As a business owner, be prepared to work long hours. Some say we're crazy. We leave 40 hour jobs to go out, start a business, make less and work a minimum of 50 hours per week. What most people don't realize is that it sometimes takes at least one year (saying this lightly), to earn a profit in a business. You will work long hours for a long period of time before you see a profit in your business. Some people lose their determination because they don't see the end of the tunnel and some people will keep going because they know the road to success is not straight and it's not short, so they keep driving along the road, until they make it to their destination. This, by far, is the hardest part for new business owners. They don't realize what they're getting themselves into when they first start. It's all fun when you write your own paycheck and you make your own work schedule, but it's no fun when you have to work for what seems like minimum wage because you have to make sure all your business expenses are paid and sometimes you're the last one to get paid, while you're doing all the work. I know because I've been there.
4. Leading By Example. We know everyone has good and bad days but as a business owner, you must always lead by example regardless of how your day is going. You can't go into your place of business in a bad mood. You can't call out sick. You can't give excuses as to why things aren't completed by certain deadlines. Regardless of what goes on behind the scenes of your business that your staff and customers don't know about, you must always smile, be professional and be the leader that your staff is looking up to.
5. Investing Your Own Money. If you don't have some of your own money to invest in the business you want to start, what makes you think someone else wants to invest in your business. You have to believe in yourself and take risks towards your dreams and ideas to get someone else to be willing to do the same. Business owners take risks, big and small. If you're not willing to take chances or lose a little, chances are, you're not ready to leave your full-time job. To my knowledge, there are no loans available that fund 100% of a project, so you have to be prepared to invest some of your own money. There's a myth that there are grants available for small business owners. There may be some, but none that will fund your business 100%.
This list can go on and on. There's so much more but these are a few things you should know that can help you decide if leaving your full-time job is right for you. Good luck!