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How to transition from a 9-6 job to full time entrepreneurship:
We all dream of quitting our day jobs and starting our own businesses. We want to be our own boss and work on something we are passionate about. But very few of us manage to escape the 9-6 grind and become full time entrepreneurs. Not all have the risk appetite to give up a regular paycheck and some of us even have kids and family whom we need to provide for. But no matter what your financial and social circumstances are, a systematic approach can help you to make a shift from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur.
So here are key steps to make a transition from a 9-6 job to full time entrepreneurship -
Start with your unique business idea:
The first step to become an entrepreneur is to come up with an unique product or business idea. You need a concept you can work on and modify into a full-fledged business. Your idea/concept needs to be viable, it needs to solve a problem and customers should be willing to pay for it. You can even look for inspiration for your business idea in your current job itself, talk to customers and clients you work with, know what can be improved, what kind of products they are looking for and the pain points they are facing. Many successful businesses spun off from existing corporations and yours might be one of them!
Focus on internal motivation:
Unlike your 9-6 jobs which provide a lot of external motivation like promotions, salary hike, awards and recommendations to perform better, entrepreneurship will provide you none. To become a full time entrepreneur you will have to develop strong internal motivation to stay laser focused on your business idea irrespective of the obstacles you face in the beginning.
You will have the freedom to decide your working hours, projects, choose your clients and have total control of your income, but on the other hand, you will have to make all decisions on your own, come up with innovative ideas to overcome your business issues and build capital for your business. Even if you do something wrong or underperform, there won’t be a boss to point out your mistakes or colleagues to assist you in your tasks. You need tremendous self-discipline and enthusiasm to execute your business idea, so internal motivation is a key step in your entrepreneurial journey.
Learn the essential skills to start your own business:
Before you kickstart your own business, it is essential to equip yourself with skills required to run your own company. You can take up a course relevant to the industry you want to set up a business in, get business education or even take up another job that will help you develop the necessary skills. You can attend seminars and boot camps to develop your entrepreneurial skills and network with fellow entrepreneurs. In your free time you can listen to inspiring Podcasts created by successful entrepreneurs and watch business documentaries to enhance your knowledge.
Many employees do not get adequate learning in their current jobs and lack knowledge required to start their own business. That’s why we recommend you look for another job maybe in a startup or a small firm relevant to your business idea,it will provide you more exposure and help you make meaningful connections. You can take up as many projects as possible, develop good connections with the top clients, get closer to the founders and look for opportunities to tap into once you start your own business.
Develop a safety net:
You are not going to make money from day 1 of starting your own business, you need to develop a safety net before you dive in. Unlike your 9-5 job you need to break the habit of living from one paycheck to another. You need to have at least a few months of savings to sustain your livelihood and fulfill your family responsibilities. You need to take into account the health benefits, insurance and other security of your current job and compensate for them. In addition to that you also need to figure out and build the capital required to start your business. You can choose to set aside some amount of your monthly income to build the capital or look for investors who are willing to invest in your business idea.
We know that it's tough to work on your business idea when you have a full time job, but instead of quitting your job altogether, you can choose to take up a part time job and use the remaining half of the day to focus on your business. Starting your business as a side hustle along with your day job in the initial stage and then working on it full time can also be a great way to minimize your risk. This will help you to keep working on your business idea and keep earning a fixed income by the time your business becomes profitable.
Work on your business idea:
Having a business idea is not enough to start a business, you need a detailed business plan inclusive of marketing, branding, operations, finance before you actually start selling your products/services. You need to conduct thorough market research to check the demand for the product/service you are trying to sell, conduct competitive analysis, decide pricing strategy, understand customer demographics and finalize your target market. You can even test out your business idea/product with a small focus group and ask for feedback and suggestions.
You also need to set up the operations side of your business, decide how you are going to source goods, who your suppliers/distributors will be and where you are going to sell your products/services.
Even if you are thinking of selling digital goods/services you will have to work on setting up your website, deciding your online channels, develop a social media strategy and look for an online marketplace relevant to your business.
You can even look for a coach who will help you to come up with a business strategy and guide you in developing a business plan. You have to work on your idea to an extent where customers will be willing to buy from you and investors will be ready to fund your business, unless you achieve this your business won’t take off.
Set up the structure of your company:
Once you have a business plan and finances ready you need to decide the legal structure of your company. You have to decide whether to form a LLC or partnership and register your company taking care of all the legal aspects. You need to buy insurance for your company and take all essential steps to protect your business legally. Depending upon what business you are into you need to secure the patents and copyrights to safeguard your company assets.
Build a team:
You might be working all on your own in the initial phase of your business, but in order to scale up, you need to build a team. Depending upon what your educational background and expertise are you may need assistance with accounting, taxation, marketing, customer service and so on. You need to figure out what things you are good at and what are the tasks you want to outsource and assemble a team that produces maximum impact using lesser resources. Hiring the right people is essential for the success of your business. You need people that are full of good ideas, have a diverse skill set, are willing to work on multiple tasks and share your enthusiasm.
Scale up your business & become a full-time entrepreneur:
Until this stage you might be working on your business idea as a side hustle or on a part-time basis, but once you have tested your idea and have started making some money, it's time to scale up and become a full-time entrepreneur.
You might be relying on recommendations from family and friends or mouth to mouth publicity to make your initial sales, but to scale up you need to develop a client acquisition strategy. You also need to develop your supply chain to fulfill the increased demand and automate various processes for seamless operation. You need to set up various backend processes like billpay, invoicing, payroll and sales automation to ensure smooth functioning. You need to focus on marketing and implement innovative marketing strategies using digital channels to advertise on budget and boost sales using content marketing and social media platforms. You might even have to seek for another round of funding to scale your business.
As you can see there are a number of steps you need to take before you actually quit your job and become a full time entrepreneur. Whenever you quit your day job it’s going to be a big leap but if you leverage your 9-6 job to build essential skills for running your business and develop a successful corporate exit strategy you will never have to go back to being an employee.
We hope our tips help you to realize your entrepreneurial dream, let us know in the comments.