You’ve got a business idea that you feel could really work…
You’re ready to stop your side hustle and make it your main source of income…
You hate your job and can’t stand the dread that fills your drive to work every morning…
All of these are valid reasons to leave your job, trust me I’ve been there and felt all of these emotions.
And if I’m completely honest, the millennial in me says “do it… just jump.” But the realist in me made me wait. Wait until I felt I could answer the following questions pretty confidently.
01. Do you need more time to grow your business?
This was the main reason I decided it was time for me to jump. I had exhausted my resources and myself working nights and weekends on client work on top of my 50-60 hour a week job. I needed more time, more hours in the day. To really take my business to the next level, I needed to be “all in.”
02. Are you ready to be committed 100%?
I wish there was a number over 100% just to reiterate how “all in” one must be to start their own business. Your business will consume your thoughts and need a majority of your daily energy. You will learn more about yourself in the first year of being in business than you have your entire life. Are you ready to give everything you’ve got to your business?
03. Do you have evidence that your business will succeed?
Have you done the market research or study groups to know that your idea is something people want or need? Pitch your idea to as many people as possible and hear as many opinions as you can. You’ll build thick skin and get some invaluable feedback on your idea before you go investing thousands of dollars into it.
04. Are you just tired of your job?
I ask this because we’ve all been there. It’s one thing to need a change of environment and a completely different thing to want to launch your own company. Really take the time to find out if it’s in your own business that you’ll find happiness or if it’s just simply at another job.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, owning your own business is hard.
05. What will your daily routine be?
A good sign that you have a viable idea is if you can think about how a typical day in your business would go. Keep in mind that for most small business owners, they have a hand in everything from maintenance to customer relations to accounting.
Having an idea of how you would fill your days can be a valuable line of thinking as you try to decide if you’re ready to jump.
06. Do you have a business plan?
This is the piece of advice you will hear the most as you start out in your own business. And I don’t bring it up to add work to your plate but to speak from experience. I don’t think I had fully flushed out my own ideas until I was forced to put them down onto paper in a business plan.
Your business plan can all of a sudden become your map for the future of your company, your analysis for the longevity of your idea and a full look at your competitive landscape. You’ll find out more about your company if you sit down and do it.
07. Have you saved enough money to live?
Money is the uncomfortable reality that your business lives in. Money for the business is one thing but money for your own lifestyle is another. You should have an honest conversation with yourself about what kind of lifestyle you live and how much money it takes to support it. Also keep in mind that when money starts coming into your business, that is not 100% yours either. What may look like $5000 income, could turn into only $1500 for you personally.
08. Have you sought professional advice?
I know how hard it can be to have someone else hold up a mirror to your business ideas but one of the best decisions I made before launching my business was to consult my local SCORE chapter. Two gentlemen, one had owned an ad agency and the other was in the finance world, sat me down and had me talk out my business plans. They were encouraging but also didn’t hold back if they thought I was overlooking something. One of the best pieces of advice I have received in my life came from one of them… “if you’re too comfortable, you’ll never take risks.”
09. Have you researched investment vs. profit?
Do you know how much money is necessary to start your business and if so do you know where that money is coming from? When starting a business capital is key. You don’t want to run out of money half way to your dream. Take the time to evaluate how much money you will need and give yourself some contingency in order to ensure you have the necessary funds.
10. Do you feel it’s time?
Sometimes it really is as simples as that… a feeling.
Owning your own business is one of the most rewarding things you can experience. It’s your legacy. But it’s also one of the scariest things you’ll ever do too.
Take the time to really listen to yourself and think about the future you see for yourself. And if the future you imagine is you, every day, in your business… well then maybe it’s time for you to just… jump.