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How to Quit Your Job and Start the Business of Your Dreams
Many people dream about being their own boss. Being able to set your own hours, take vacations, and work on something you really care about are only a few of the perks of being a business owner. This is especially alluring when your current job starts to become a source of undue stress. Maybe you feel undervalued, or perhaps you lack the passion you wish to have for your job. Starting your own business can help you to feel connected to your work in a way that is unmatched.
However, the business of your dreams doesn’t come for free. Before deciding to quit your job and start your own business, be sure your lifestyle can support that dream. After that, begin looking into your financing options and legal obligations to make it a reality.
You’ll want to build a team to help you succeed and make a plan for networking and marketing your products or services to potential clients. The work to get there might seem daunting but being a business owner is all about taking risks and working hard.
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Make Sure You’re Ready
Business ownership is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work, involves long hours, and includes a lot of failure. Being an employee for a business is hard in different ways but, make no mistake, quitting your current job to start your dream business can be challenging. The switch will also involve more work than most normal staff positions: you have to be ready to work long hours and weekends. You must find financing for your dream and be passionate about this new path.
Some might feel intimidated by the idea of starting a whole new career if they’ve spent a large portion of their life in one field. However, it’s important to evaluate what’s important to you. People of any age can make a career switch, but it’s important to be realistic about what it takes. Don’t let that deter you from finding what you really want out of a career, no matter what point of your life you are in.
Financing Your Business
Some businesses don’t require a ton of capital upfront, but others may require much more. Each business will be different, so decide for yourself how you’ll be able to finance the process. Not only will you need to start your business, you’ll also need to be able to go without your normal paycheck while things start up.
If you’re worried about this aspect, you might consider starting your business while you still have your job instead of quitting first. In terms of financing, there are many options depending on how much money your business will need, and how much you already have:
- Use savings: This is a risky option if you don’t already have emergency savings should something go wrong, but it’s a safer option in other ways. Using your own savings means you won’t have to pay interest, you won’t be liable if you can’t return that money back to your savings account, and you won’t owe any money to investors once your business gets going.
- Get a loan: There are plenty of small business loans or micro loans available through your bank, credit union, or local small business administration. Make sure you have a good credit score in order to get the best interest rate that you can.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have made so many projects and small businesses come to life. The idea is to ask people for money to help back your idea. In return, they will receive an honorable mention, discount, or perk of some kind with your business.
- Investors: Finding an investor for your small business can be the perfect way to start your dream. It usually involves pitching your idea and selling the investor on your passion and ability to create revenue.
Legal Backing and Obligations
Starting a business is never as easy as having a great idea, funding it, and selling it. There are a lot of legal details that you’ll need to sort out before you get your business rolling. You can choose to handle many of these legal obligations yourself, or hire legal backing to make sure you’re covered.
With the rise of modern and convenient legal resources like LegalZoom, there are now plenty of affordable options in terms of legal assistance for your small business. It’s important to make sure your business is legal, and these platforms can simplify legal processes so you can stay focused on other important business matters.
The legal aspects you’ll want to keep your eye out for include:
- Trademarking your business name
- Forming a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation
- Obtaining a tax ID number
- Obtaining licenses or permits
Creating Your Team
As your business grows, you’ll want to think about how you want your team to grow. Fill your openings with the talent you lack, and with people who share your passion and vision. You might think about hiring someone to help with your finances, legal obligations, or both if those are areas of expertise you lack. You might want someone with a creative mind or someone who can build what you envision. However you choose to build your team, do it with your overall dream in mind.
Just remember that there are also legal and financial aspects to hiring employees or managers to help with your small business venture. Do your research about keeping your team protected, paid, and legal.
Networking and Marketing
The key to making the business of your dreams work is to make others believe in the dream as well — not just investors or employees, but clients and customers too. There’s a lot on the line when you quit your job to start something risky and new, but it’s also rewarding. Spend time making a plan for how you intend to network and market your business. Learn about internet marketing, your competitors, your niche, and getting your name out to your community.
In our technological age, there’s a lot to be said for paying special attention to internet marketing and search engine optimization. This is the process of getting traffic to your site through major search engines. This means maintaining a user-friendly website, creating a successful blog, and sharing that content across the web. Finding your niche, brainstorming topics, and finding a unique angle are essential to providing readers with worthwhile content and, ultimately, establishing your brand as an authority.
Your SEO can also be affected by how you deal with feedback that you receive online. Even something as simple as responding to online reviews can improve your local SEO rankings; in fact 15.44 percent of your business’s search rankings are determined by how you engage with online reviews. Be sure you are networking and marketing your business for the modern world in a variety of different ways.
There are many more steps involved in quitting your job and starting your own business, but it’s important to understand the basics and what this process will involve. It’s important to understand because quitting your job and putting your livelihood on the line is a risky step to take, but it’s one that can lead to big rewards. If you think you’re ready to take the plunge into business ownership, be sure you’re prepared for what it takes. If you are, your passion for your dream can lead to a feeling of fulfillment you’d never get with your old 9-to-5.
About the Author
Magnolia Potter is from the Pacific Northwest and writes from time to time. She prefers to cover a variety of topics and not just settle on one.
When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her outdoors or curled up with a good book. Chat with her on Twitter @MuggleMagnolia.