Those ready to transition from being an employee to becoming a boss find the change extreme.
The transition to becoming your own boss: 8 tips to consider
As a boss, you call all the shots someone else did when you worked for them, and then some. There’s no magic pill.
The transformation takes time, effort and a new way of thinking. Begin the transformation with your thinking.
8. Transition your mindset
Running your own company means saying goodbye to 9 to 5 schedules and weekends off.
Learn to expect and thrive on 12-hour days. Say “no” to interruptions, friends who want to chat, etc. Working for yourself means re-focusing on what matters – getting your work done.
Treat your new business like a business, not a hobby.
Ensure your family and friends do, as well. Also, avoid the notion that you can “Get Rich Quick.” Your business is your career. Build it and they will come.
In similar vein, you need to learn the needed knowledge. As the owner, you must know the basics of payroll tax law, workers compensation insurance, and the details, too.
It becomes your duty to understand network security and why it’s important to install an inline bypass protection solution. The temptation to hit the ground running can lead you to failure.
7. Explore your opportunities and choose
Look for market gaps. Study franchise opportunities. Make a list of your interests and hobbies.
The right choice interests you but does not have to be something with which you already have experience.
Once you pick your project, write your business plan. This involves research of your business environment, competition research, market research and a multitude of other topics.
The US Small Business Administration offers guides and a template for authoring a business plan.
6. Organize your finances
The research that determines your project and your business plan provides the basis for your starting budget.
You may not have the necessary funds to begin.
Opening your business may require a small business loan, angel investor or venture capitalist. Setup business bank accounts and credit cards.
5. Build an entrepreneurial network
Make connections, especially with other entrepreneurs.
You need to network with potential customers, business owners and vendors.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend its events. As the advice goes, “You become like the five people with whom you spend the most time. Choose wisely.”
You don’t need to personally know someone to draw inspiration from them.
Create an inspirational family tree of industry leaders. Feel free to step outside your industry, too.
Entrepreneurs often integrate ideas from multiple fields.
Choose one person whose work you respect. Research them and learn every facet of their career and body of work.
Learn their top three influencers. Research those, too.
Repeat the process, learning from those you respect in various fields.
Apply what you learn. Studying and implementing the successful leadership habits of others helps you become that same level of leader.
4. Set business specific criteria
Set rates or prices and stick to them.
People will ask if you will work for free or give away your product. Say “no” and hold firm with your charges.
One exception exists though: some businesses choose one philanthropy to support and donate a single item or service package to it annually.
Doing this with your favorite philanthropy helps others and makes great PR.
Advertise, market and address your public relations.
Hire a PR firm. Have them create your marketing plan. They will create the strategy. They’ll also write ads, press releases and create the social media accounts and posts. The firm tracks the campaign metrics and provides reports on progress.
The ultimate progress report is your sales numbers.
Don’t forget to leverage public relations to tout your successes.
Let everyone know about those amazing second quarter sales figures or the huge contract you landed.
3. Set your schedule
Plan your work days out. Set deadlines. Stick to them. Schedule in time for yourself so you do not burn out.
Take the equivalent of a day off each week. It can be two half days or one whole.
Determine what works for you. Everyone is different. Every three months, take a weekend for yourself.
Reward yourself along the way. When your business can afford to do so, give yourself a raise.
Until that time, treat yourself to the good coffee once a week. Buy yourself a cute sweater when you land a new contract or quadruple an existing one.
2. Know when to spend, when to save
You have to spend money to make money. Buy those ads. Pay for the reliable web hosting. Subscribe to the custom URL generator. Purchase the full set of domains.
Move the majority of your business’ earnings into a business savings account. Keep in your cash account what you need to pay bills plus a 10 to 20 percent cushion.
1. Personal development
Get out there. Leave the house, if you work from home, at least three days per week. Go for a run or walk. Get coffee somewhere. Check out a bookstore.
Generate ideas. Everyday, write down ten ideas. Bad or good, you will exercise your brain. Entrepreneurs are walking idea incubators.
The transformation from 9 to 5 employee to entrepreneur takes time and concerted effort. The change in your life will be palpable. Get started today.