Entry to the entrepreneurial world may come from different points and in various forms. There are those who have started early because their hobby or interest has grown organically. Some may have arrived at this path because of family influence or connections. Others probably stumbled to it by accident or found their way there because of a great need. Then there are those that transition from a regular job towards self-employment.
The jump from working as an employee to starting your business is a treacherous trail before you get to the entrepreneurial highway. EO Melbourne members have shared their experience through featured articles in this blog. One must consider a lot of things before making this life-changing decision because there is a huge difference from being employed to becoming your own boss. Both have their pros and cons that one has to put a lot of thought into this big switch.
Working as an employee can limit your creativity, decision-making capacity, and freedom to make certain changes and introduce new ideas. You are bound by what people above you appoint you to do, working 8 or more hours a day to accomplish the tasks placed on your lap. However, you get to receive regular pay, a few days of vacation, and certain benefits as prescribed by the law.
When you start and own a business, you can inject your personality, style, vision and ideas into every part of the venture. There is more flexibility in working hours, vacations, executive decisions, organisational structure and corporate directions. If everything works out well, you can earn heaps than what you would receive as an office worker. On the flip side, the risk is too high as you need to invest your resources, time and effort to the enterprise. The responsibilities are greater because the success or failure of the business lies heavily on your shoulders.
If it is something you are contemplating of doing, you have to weigh a few things before you take the risky move. You may need to do an inventory of your skills, resources and connections if they are enough to help launch you towards the path of entrepreneurship.
Do you have the proper frame of mind to handle a startup on your own? The pressure of a business owner is different from the pressure that a manager goes through in an organisation. Challenges and heartaches are aplenty in running a business, and nothing can fully prepare you from the hardships unless you experience them yourself. It’s not something you try on a whim. Determination and willpower will be your backbone for you not to waver on your resolve in taking the entrepreneurial journey.
Are your resources enough to put up a business and sustain you when income is slow to come? Financial capital is needed to start a business. Even when you start operating, there is no guarantee that you will get a return of your investment immediately. There are instances when owners pay themselves last as they need to take care first of business expenses, wages and other bills. Alternative sources of income may be necessary while you are in the initial phase of your enterprise to sustain you while revenue is unsure or may be gradual.
Can you devote time to establishing and running your business? Starting a business requires long hours and sleepless nights to conceptualise it, prepare the necessary documents, set up an office and get the essential materials and tools to get the venture off the ground. It is a bit tricky when you are employed. The regular paycheck you receive may be helpful while you build your business, but it may mean limited hours to spend on your undertaking as you still have to report to your 9 to 5 job.
Who are the people you want to target for your startup business? Have a clear idea of what your target market needs. You may need to ask around first to help you formulate your plan for your venture. Gather as much data as you can so that you can make an informed decision of taking a leap towards entrepreneurship or staying on the employment track.
What type of business will you create? What will be the brand of your venture? How are you going to promote it to others? A business plan is something you have to think about if you are going to go to the other side of the fence. Contemplate on the product or service that you are going to offer. Take a closer look at your talents and capabilities as well as your interests. Ponder on strategies and define the steps you need to take to transition to running your business and making it grow.
Is there a need for you to hire people? There are certain types of business where you can handle things by yourself during startup. But if your endeavour requires a team to operate, then you have to consider the kind of members you will need and where to find them. First, choose staff members who share the same values and mindset with you, then hire based on skills second. You also have to brush on your leadership and managerial skills as you need this to bring your business forward. If you do not have enough resources to pay for wages, consider getting help from family and friends to lend you an extra hand.
Do you know people who can help you begin, maintain and grow your venture? You may need a mentor to show you the way or a set of friends and acquaintances that can introduce you to business opportunities. A network of like-minded individuals is helpful if you want to start your enterprise as you need new customers that you can hook to become loyal patrons.
Although it’s good not to rush your decision to take the entrepreneurial journey, it is also advisable not to delay it too long. The transition is crucial and can affect many people’s lives – yours and those around you. Bear in mind that you need as much support as you can to take the big leap. Better to walk with those who can build you up as a person and as an entrepreneur. Once you go down that road, do it with courage and persistence so that you get to your goal in a shorter time. The change may be painful and difficult, but if you are relentless and persevering, it will be all worth it.