Many times, when we think about the word “Entrepreneur” what comes to mind is a rebel, a misfit, someone who breaks the rules, does something out of the ordinary and changes the world. He usually has an eureka moment when he has discovered the next big thing and then starts work immediately on that idea, quits his job immediately and uses his garage as an office to build the next big thing. This view of the entrepreneur isn’t a realistic one, especially in our economy and culture.
The average entrepreneur is someone who tries something out and hits it after many tries. Click To Tweet Many of us are scared of the idea of quitting our jobs; where i get the money to manage myself and family if i quit my job to start a business. This brings us to the question “how to start a business without quitting your job?”
This depiction of the entrepreneur scares people off because they see themselves as not so daring, haven’t had an eureka moment, have responsibilities like rent and children that can’t be put at risk. Most of us can’t afford to quit our jobs and start a business without another source of income that pays us as much or more than our current work engagement (and it’s wise not to do so). Click To TweetBut this shouldn’t stop us from chasing our dreams of being an entrepreneur; you can start and build your business while working for someone else without going on leave or quitting your job. In fact, there are many advantages to that such as; bearing reduced risk and access to contacts and useful networks.
Before we begin, we are going to assume you already have an idea you want to build into a business. If you don’t, feel free to download a FREE idea generation template here.
- Test your idea
While having an idea is good, you shouldn’t build every idea you have. This is because an idea is about 10% of what it is involved in building a business and other crucial factors come to play when selecting a business idea to pursue. You need to prove your idea, test that it has a ready market and it can in fact be built. You can test your idea in many ways; conducting market research/feasibility study, designing a prototype and releasing it free to your customers, engaging a focus group etc. Click To TweetTesting your idea gives you the added confidence that your idea can replace your full time job when you eventually get around to quitting your job.
- Plan every aspect of your business
Once you have identified and tested the idea you want to pursue and you’ve made the decision to transform it into a business, the next step is to prepare a comprehensive, living business plan; detailing plans for every aspect of your business.
How will you develop your product/service? Who will buy/use your product/service? How will you reach them? How will you convince them to buy from you? Do you have the money to start or will you need to raise money? Ask yourself real questions and put it together in a detailed business plan that will serve as a manual and guide for you. This part cannot be over emphasized because you can’t afford to go into business blind or with wrong information; i strongly advise you get an expert to prepare the business plan for you as this saves time and you can leverage on the consultant’s expertise and industry knowledge. Here is where we can help you, our expert consultants can prepare excellent business plans to make sure your business launches well.
- Employ the services of a start-up consultant and leverage outsourcing
Consultants can help you immensely in the pursuit of starting your business. They are trained to look critically at an idea, identify the pitfalls and point you in the right direction. They can help you achieve in 1 month what can take you up to 3 months to do. Consultants and Outsourcing services can provide an extra hand and work full time on your idea while you work at your day job. Think of them like babysitters or day care. Many tasks needed to start-up can be outsourced; your website design, development of your prototype, market research & feasibility study, proof of concept etc. Click To Tweet With a consultant, you can start a business without quitting a job!
- Get a co-founder
The process of starting a business can be intense and a lot of work, worse off if you are starting a business without quitting a job. Getting a co-founder can help you immensely as 2 co-founders working part-time can equal 1 person working full time. So you can enlist the help of that co-worker or friend who is always complaining about his job and wants to start a business. Your partner must complement you and bring to board skills & abilities that you don’t have; you must enjoy working together and have goals in the same direction of being an entrepreneur. Click To TweetSerious care must be taken here not to enlist the help of just anybody as that can do more damage than you working alone; a clear agreement must be in place on profit sharing, decision making and ownership rights.
- Save money to put into your business
A lot of money and time goes into starting a business and you would need to put aside money to handle every stage of starting your business. Increase your savings to 30-50% and save as much as you can. You might need to cut back on going to the cinemas, eating out, shopping every week and getting the latest devices in town. It’s going to be hard but think of it as an investment into the future you desire. Save in excess as entrepreneurship comes with surprises and unexpected expenses and you don’t want to be caught unawareness by unexpected expenses that will definitely come up.
- Prepare to work nights and weekends
You will need to put in time to work on your business; the major part of your day has been put into your job leaving you with just evenings and weekends. Put this time to effective use; meet with key stakeholders like your consultants, designers, partners etc. This time must be well scheduled and free from distractions of any kind. You must be careful here not to neglect other important things such as family but structure your schedule to accommodate other important things and allow time for distractions.
- Set goals for yourself
It’s important to give yourself things to look forward to and work towards. Your goals can look like this;
- Month 1 – Perform market research, feasibility study and test my product/service
- Month 2 – Prepare business plan and build company online presence
- Month 3 — Start selling product/service publicly
- Month 6 – Quit day job and focus on business
Things to Avoid
- Letting your business distract your full time job.
- Not working on your business at all
- Breaching intellectual property rights or using company resources for business
- Getting filled with pride and burning bridges
With this carefully laid out strategies, i hope you have learn’t you how to start a business without quitting your job.