Ready to cut your corporate ties and start your own business? The truth is, there’s probably no such thing as the perfect time to quit your job and become your own boss. It’s a leap of faith that takes plenty of courage. However, with the right plans and strategies in place, it may prove to be the best decision you’ll ever make. So, ask yourself these key questions before you hand in your notice.
1. What is my unique selling proposition?
Unless you’ve invented an entirely new product or service, you’ll likely be entering a market filled with competitors who offer something similar as your new business. That’s why it’s so important to understand the unique value you’ll offer to clients that your competitors can’t. Your answer to this question will form the basis of your business plan.
2. Who are my customers and where will I find them?
Customers don’t usually start out of the sky once you’ve registered a business name and published a website. You need to know who you’re selling to, how you will connect with them, and what you’ll say and do to turn leads into sales. This is your marketing plan, and it should set out a clear sales pipeline that will ensure you’ll hit the ground running.
3. How will I finance my business?
Keep in mind that it will likely take time for your new business to start generating revenue. So, you’ll need to come up with the cash to cover your startup costs (think computer equipment, website setup, office premises, and advertising). You’ll also need to keep money in reserve to fund your operations until your business begins generating the revenue to pay for itself.
4. What expertise am I missing?
Successful entrepreneurs are able to identify their weaknesses, then recruit people with those qualities to pick up the slack. You need to be really honest with yourself about which areas of your business you need help with, and then find people who will fill your expertise gaps. It could be a fatal mistake to think you can do it all.
5. Do you have a support network?
While starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding, it certainly isn’t easy. There will be long hours, periods of intense stress and moments when you’ll lose confidence in your mission. That can take a toll on your mental health, so it’s vital that you have people in your personal life that you can turn to for emotional support when you need it.