You are not happy with your job. You hate your boss. You feel like you have been exhausted for years in your current company. So you think of quitting to start your own business. Well, I hate to break it up to you, but if these are your reasons for starting a business, then I’m telling you now, “Do not quit your job to start a business.” The reason why you will start your own business should be because you have an idea which you are really passionate about. You have something that you think would be patronized by prospective consumers. If you want to build your own business for the wrong reasons, then expect that the same exhaustion will make you give up on building your own company – which is not a good way to waste your current income and sacrifice your on-going career.
Before you quit your job to start your own business, you should have the following considerations:
Make sure you have a laid out plan for your business and the possible risks it will encounter. In short, be ready to be broke. I am not saying that you will, indeed, get broke. But just have an available buffer for the possibility. Make sure that aside from your business plan, you should have laid out strategies to make your business work. Do not be contented with plan A; make sure you have a plan B. Take note that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Your business can run with 0% profit for a year or 2 or even more! You have to make yourself ready and be able to find ways in order to finance your losses and get your operations going.
Be ready to make major sacrifices, including life outside work. In the first phases of your business, you have to make sacrifices. Your life outside work may have to endure a lot of explanations and excuses because you would need more time in making your business work and profit. Starting a business is never easy, especially during the first phases. You may have to do multiple roles – CEO, marketing, communications, supervising, secretarial, and even utilities. And oh, you’ll be taking a lot of calls – from partners, prospective clients and employees (if you have) – 24/7. Thus, family affairs, event invitations from friends, and tea time may have to be forgone for awhile. If you are ready to do this, then you’re on the right track.
BUT WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO QUIT YOUR JOB AND START YOUR BUSINESS?
Even business professionals have different opinions on this issue, as discussed in Bloomberg. One group advises that you should continue on your current job while starting to build your own business and then gradually let go of your current job. Another group strongly disagrees with this concept, saying that you cannot start a successful business if you do not have a strong commitment from the start.
However, based on working with various clients, the answer greatly depends on you. You must remember that business is a risk. You cannot build one if you do not take a plunge. However, to be able to minimize the risks and save yourself from getting completely broke and in the end go back to finding a job, you can take note of these signals on when you can quit your current job and start your own business.
1) If you have a 9 to 5 job and then you commit your night time and weekends to working on your own business, then good for you. This may be a challenging task, but if you are committed to entrepreneurship, then you have to commit yourself to divide your time. If not, then maybe you are not yet ready to start a business, or you are not ready to sacrifice one for the other.
2) You have saved up money for yourself and secured enough credit to back yourself up during down times. It is always better to be ready for the worse. As they say, “Hope for the best, but be ready for the worse.” If you think you have the financial resources and you have a credit line, then you may be ready to go full time on your business.
3) You are 101% committed to success. If you put your mind to it, then you will surely go in that direction. Success is a state of mind. If you do not commit to bringing your business to success, then you are likely to give up in the process. Committing to success will encourage you to go on and do the best you can. Commitment is a sign of readiness and a good indicator that you might just be ready to leave your current comfort zone.
All these things are just signals and points to ponder. Whether you are ready or not, the sole decision will come from you. Evaluate yourself, your financial capability and your psychological readiness. You know your own person. Building a business and being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. It is for the strong and the risk-takers.