Entrepreneurship is deeply embedded within modern culture. Social media posts encouraging you to follow your dreams or to launch your business are nearly everywhere. You’ve probably even seen T-Shirts encouraging you to hustle and to do what makes you happiest in life.
If you are working at a job in Corporate America or somewhere else around the world, you most likely have put some serious thought into the idea of starting a business.
The truth is that many people are not suited to become entrepreneurs, but the right amount of thought into the process can improve the likelihood of a positive outcome.
1. Make Sure That You Are Ready to Leave
The first step is to make sure that you are financially ready to leave your job. This means that you have enough money set aside to cover your bills and expenses until you have launched your business and have it fully profitable to the point where it is capable of covering your expenses. For many people, this can mean having up to 6-12 months of funds set aside for your personal expenses. Remember that you’re also going to need to cover your business expenses on your own as well, so take this into consideration as well.
2. Ensure That Your Business Is Profitable From The Beginning
Don’t launch a business that is not profitable. If you don’t have a profitable business, then you don’t have a business. Most often, simple and understandable businesses are the ones that are able to turn a profit very quickly because customers are able to understand what you are doing for them and you can communicate the value that you are able to provide.
3. Create A Steady Stream Of Customers
A important step when launching your business is ensuring that you have a steady stream of customers buying from you. In the beginning, you need to find cost effective ways of marketing yourself. Most likely, this can come from sending out mailers or going to networking events which give you an opportunity to meet with potential customers. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-5 paying customers lined up before you pursue your business full time.
4. Ensure That You Have Access To Financing
You may not get paid on time by your customers, and you’ll have bills that need to be paid.
The gap between getting paid and paying bills is one which needs to be covered by access to lines of credit or credit cards with reasonable interest rates.
5. Work On Your Business While You Have Income Coming In
You might want to consider keeping your day job while you are working on your business. This will ensure that you’re able to pay your personal bills and re-invest in your business at the same time. If you decide to quit your day job, look for additional sources of income that you can earn in the off hours such as working at a night job or waiting tables at a local restaurant.
6. Try To Avoid Debt
You don’t want to take on any debt that you cannot reasonably afford to pay back. Debt is something which can pile up very quickly, and is also something that can consume your business if you’re not careful with your spending. Try to not spend money that you don’t have. The very rare exception is if you’re purchasing an expensive capital asset that will be used to produce a return for your business.
Leaving the corporate rat race behind and starting a business is something which most people dream of doing.
With a little bit of hard work and persistence, you can beat the odds and be successful in your entrepreneurial pursuit. Just work hard, work smart, and be prepared for the sacrifices that are required.