If you were deciding to have a baby you might change your diet and get fit you would certainly get your house in order in preparation. It is no different when you are preparing to go into business. I am in Antigua having deliver a workshop to help entrepreneurs transition from employee to employer and from local to global businesses.
Here are a few of the business practicalities:
- Eliminate non- essential expenditure
Cut your personal monthly outgoings down to an absolute minimum and eliminate all but the essential spending, with lower outgoings, you need less income to cover your expenses. In the early years of your business it is easier to stay afloat by reducing costs rather than increasing income as income part will come later perhaps later than expected. How far you’re willing to reduce your expenditure depends on what kind of sacrifice you’re willing to make for your new career.
- Save to create a contingency buffer
Build an emergency cushion to prepare for the possibility of a few lean months, you need space to grow your customers and your income. I recommend saving somewhere between three to six months’ worth of outgoings.
- Secure Your Client(s) First
Time is your limiting factor for anyone looking to transition from employee to freelancer or business owner. You have to put in 40 hours in your day job, and then you do not have enough time or energy to put in the hours to kick-start your freelancing career or business. You will find the time, you are sufficiently committed to transition your career.
Aim to secure your first client before you quit your job, rather than starting from zero, having customers lined up will keep your financial worries at bay for longer, plus this is a great confidence booster.
- Prepare Your Workspace for work
When you first start freelancing or working in your business, work as if you are still in a full time work, create a space conducive to working, shared workspace, coffee shops or home office space.
- Prepare a Written Plan
Although a degree of flexibility is necessary you must create an outline business growth plan for your business.
Here is an outline blueprint to complete before you quit your job, and transition into business, think about and creating a written plan:
- Your services: what do you want to do? What niche will you target? Why you niche want what you uniquely offer?
- Your ideal client – describe who they are, their wants and needs and how you will you target them?
- Your customer winning and retaining strategy – how will you secure client’s business?
- The required skillset – do you possess them yet? If not, could you take a course or will you buy the skills in?
- Your workspace – think about creating a workspace conductive to productivity.
- Your required earning rate – how much do you need to sell to make the career switch feasible? How can you secure this rate and then increase it?
- Your obstacles – they may be personal or professional. How will you overcome them?
The more thought you give to these issues prior to initiating your transition, the more prepared you will be for whatever your business throws at you. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
- Never burn your bridges
Your current relationships are a great source of business so never burn your bridges and treat everyone with kindness it is a small world.
Most importantly seize every opportunity and plan your execution by executing your plan.