When do I quit my current job and start working on my business full time?
This question is at the top of the list for many new entrepreneurs. However, the answer varies from person to person based on what industry the product or service is in. While there are many benefits in keeping your current 9-5 p.m. job, quitting can also prove to be beneficial in the long run. So before you start a business, ask yourself these questions about your business idea:
- What problem am I solving?
- How much capital do I absolutely need to start?
- Who else is doing this?
- What’s my special (niche) attribute?
- What connections do I have already?
Now once you have decided that you can indeed start a viable business, try out these tips to start and grow your business all while keeping your current job:
This is an obvious one, but many new entrepreneurs can get ahead of themselves. They think they can handle a full time job and start a business full time. In fact the first 18 months of starting a new business 80% of them fail. While this it is still doable, it’s best to be realistic and measure out attainable goals that you can work towards for long term success. Overworking your mind and body may prove to hinder the quality of both your job and business according to a study by Harvard Business Review. So set up weekly, monthly and yearly goals that you can work towards that will keep your business running smoothly. A useful app that is easy to use is ToDo, which allows you to map out your tasks and physically check them off as you go. Staying organized and on top of things will help you reach your business goals in no time.
This is a perfect time to focus your attention on your business idea. You can spend your spare time working out every detail and problem that could occur. You can also figure out what your competitive advantage is and how to market that properly. And since you have an income from your full time job, you won’t be worried about making a profit right away.
A great thing about keeping your job is the amount of people you can meet while at work. An insightful business thought leader, Judy Robinett said, “Most people know 632 other people, yet we go to networking events thinking that there’s only one person who can help us.” Whether you attend conferences with hundreds of others or simply have lunch with a few co-works, networking is a very important part of business and should be practiced daily. Networking allows you to communicate your idea with other employees or clients who may be potential investors or even partners later on. Just be sure you’re not violating any non-compete agreements at work!
More than anything else, tread carefully. You have committed to working at your employers company and shouldn’t let that work suffer because you have your own business to pursue. Of course you’re excited about your own business and you should be! But don’t burn bridges with your employer since you never know when you could use that connection again. In order to a successful entrepreneur, you need to stay professional in all aspects of your career, not just your own endeavors.
It is important to keep yourself balanced when juggling a full time job and your own business. Spending too much time on one can cause the other to fail. So try out these tips to manage your work load and get on the right track at becoming a successful entrepreneur. And once you have established a well thought-out business plan and you feel like you can quit your day job, go for it!