If you’re working in a career that’s unfulfilling, doesn’t pay enough, has inconvenient hours, or has any number of other negative aspects, then it might be time to leave. For many people, leaving jobs has become a chance to start a business. Working for yourself has many benefits, such as being your own boss, running things your way, making your own hours, and not having a cap on your earnings if you run it well.
That said, even with all of the benefits, it is a massive decision to make. You have to be absolutely sure that you are making the right choice, otherwise you will end up finding yourself in financial difficulty or worse. Here is a quick guide to help you know if it’s time to leave your job and start your own business.
You Have Savings to Live
Of course, most people dream of starting a business that ends up being amazingly profitable right off the bat, and they can sail off into the sunset on their yacht within a year. While that would be great, the reality is that it takes time and effort to get off the ground. Those types of dreams are good to have, but you have to be realistic about the time it will take to get there.
Therefore, you will need to have savings in the bank to support yourself until you are making the right profit from your business. If you don’t have one already, make a budget and track your spending for a few months to get a sense of how much you need every month to survive. Then, think of ways that you can cut your spending through lifestyle changes, or because you no longer have to commute to your job. You will then have an idea of how much you will need to save.
You Have the Money to Start
On top of needing money to pay your bills and feed yourself, you will also need funding to start your business. Even if you are planning on a small at-home business, you may need to invest in equipment, a faster wi-fi network, software solutions, and electronics. If you have the savings to do this yourself, you can use that money. However, you may also need to find investors to help with startup costs.
Don’t forget about insurance. Every business needs insurance of some kind. You will need general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and workers compensation coverage if you have employees. If you are going to run a service-based company, then you will need an e&o policy for your business. Never try to get away with not having insurance, since just a single negative incident could sink your business fast.
You Are Fully Committed
Starting your own business is a huge commitment. If you already have a steady income from your nine to five job, then you will have to accept that you are in for some big changes and uncertainty. To be successful, you have to be completely bought in to building your business to what you want it to be. If you are not fully committed to your new venture, then it will at best be too slow to get off the ground, and your savings will dwindle quickly. At worst, you could find yourself bankrupt and one of the many businesses that fail early on. You need to be prepared to go through sleepless nights, ups and downs, and learning on the fly. Owning a business can be fun and exciting, but it also takes passion and dedication.
Your Family Supports You
If you are a single person who lives alone, then you are only responsible for yourself. There’s no need to worry about putting food on the table for a spouse and kids. You may also have responsibilities to others, such as an elderly family member who is in care. You may not want to think about failure, but if you fail, who would it affect? If you have a spouse or partner, make sure that you talk it out and that you are both bought into the idea. Otherwise it will only make it that much more difficult and stressful as you build your business. You should also take stock of your career prospects if things don’t work out. Can you return to your old career? The other question is if you have other means of support such as family or friends to make sure that your family doesn’t go without.
You’ve Done an Analysis of Your Happiness
Is your current job one that you absolutely hate? When you get home at night, do you feel like you’ve spent the previous 8 hours being tortured, only for you to have to go through it all again the next day untnil the end of time? Maybe it’s fine, but it’s not really what you want in life, and you’d like to move on to something better. You need to analyze how you feel about your current job, and how you think your life will be if you make the switch.
Having a great idea for a business isn’t on its own a reason to quit your job and do it. You need to really understand how big of an impact it will have on your life, and you may not enjoy owning your own business after all. Think about all that running a business entails, and about what you are currently going through at your job. If you can be relatively confident that the grass will be greener on the other side, then take the leap. While money is no doubt important, your happiness should also be a deciding factor.
You Can Work Long Hours
Unless you are very fortunate, starting your own business usually means working long hours. You need to decide whether you are willing and able to do that. For one, you may have to start things while you are still working at your job, which means nights and weekends might be taken up with working instead of socializing, watching movies, or doing yard work. Secondly, you have to make sure that it is actually possible for you to do it. If you currently spend a lot of your evenings driving kids to sports practices or dance rehearsals, then you will struggle to find the time to work on your business.
If you have all of these things in place, and you are sure that you can make it happen, then you can take the plunge. Starting your business is an exhilarating journey, and it’s one that can help you make your dreams come true.