Are you looking to start your own business? Before you hand in your notice at your day job, you might consider holding down the fort while you get your company off the ground.
1) Start Correctly & Legally
First step: check in with your current employer. Find, read and understand all of your employment documents: NDA, employment terms, assignment agreement, basically anything with your signature. This is especially important if you’re branching out in a similar field to your current profession, you may have signed a non-compete.
2) Use your time VERY wisely
Time is your most valuable asset. When you’re putting in 40+ hours/week at your day job, that leaves a finite amount of hours to devote to your business. Write out a schedule of your week, and all your commitments, what can you cut? Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the creator of Making Sense of Cents, a blog that regularly earns her 6 figures in a given month.
3) Test your Product or Service
If you have a product, you need to validate it. Validation can be an in-depth process, and is very dependent on your market. It boils down to, will anyone buy your product and why? Ryan Robb is an ‘side-entrepreneur’ and writer that has built multiple successful companies, but his first failed due to product validation. He didn’t test the market, price point, or get any insider feedback, you can read all about it here.
4) Be Lean
Even once your business starts to turn a profit, don’t spend funds foolishly. Staying lean will build your reserve and allow you to achieve your ultimate goal faster. You may need to take on other people to handle workload (more on that below), but chose wisely. A lot of businesses hire expensive accountants, but when your initial numbers are small, you can use QuickBooks and do it yourself.
Once your business does start to grow, you will need help. There are only so many hours in a day and not even the best jack-of-all-trades can do everything. Whether it be graphic design, social media, or customer service, identify areas of weakness, or items you simple do not have enough time to do and outsource.
Sara Blakely has one of the best Entrepreneur success stories out there. She is a self-made billionaire, and owner/CEO of Spanx (women’s lingerie & clothing line). She started the company out of her 2-bedroom apartment, with $5,000 in the bank, while still selling copiers door-to-door. Her big break is the epitome of the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it‘ mentality.
Starting your own business can seem daunting, but there are many resources available to help you along the way. Having a full-time job might make the process longer, but it will also give you the financial support and stability you need to be successful in the long run.
Read more here.