A guest post by Tina Martin.
Today, it’s easier than ever to become an entrepreneur – plenty of business ideas require little to no start up capital or overhead, and technology has opened up all kinds of fresh opportunities. Yet if you’re interested in running your own company, yet intimidated by the idea of full-time entrepreneurship, you may be wondering if this path is really for you. Thankfully, it’s definitely possible to ease into entrepreneurship without risking your entire livelihood on a single business idea! These simple steps will help you chart your course.
Filling in Skills Gaps
If you don’t think you’ve mastered all the skills you’ll need to start your own business, that’s okay – going back to school is always an option! Instead of rushing to launch a business, you could focus on developing your business acumen through higher education. For instance, you may want to consider earning a master’s degree in business administration online, which will allow you plenty of flexibility while gaining the expertise that can lead to success.
Start a Side Hustle
You don’t necessarily need to quit your job to enter the world of entrepreneurship. After coming up with a profitable business idea, consider working on it as a side hustle before relying on it for your livelihood. This will allow you to maintain your financial stability as you expand your customer base or secure new clients and establish a healthy work-life balance.
As you ramp up business operations, you’ll want to take care of a few legal tasks. Instead of trying to handle all of this on your own, you could benefit from working with a business law expert like Andrew M. Ayers, P.C. From helping you file to form a business entity to creating investor financing agreements, you’ll have access to a wide range of invaluable services, and you won’t have to navigate confusing legal waters alone.
Build a Personal Safety Net
You don’t want to make poor business decisions out of financial desperation. As your side hustle begins bringing in more money, it’s important to build up your personal savings so that you can eventually say goodbye to full-time employment. Wells Fargo recommends saving anywhere from three to six months of living expenses in a designated emergency fund, which will provide a safety net if unforeseen problems occur. It can take a while to reach this number, so be patient as you contribute more funds to your savings account and try to add a little more with every paycheck.
Financial Record Keeping
In addition to carefully manage your own finances, you’ll need to track your business expenses and income. After all, scrambling to collect your old receipts and invoices when taxes are due is extremely stressful! Keep your financial records up to date by establishing an organized system. For instance, The Blueprint suggests storing all of your financial documents digitally and purchasing helpful, record-generating accounting and payroll software.
Marketing and Networking
As you prepare to leave your full-time job to focus on your business, you’ll want to expand your marketing initiatives. It’s all too easy to push marketing to the backburner, but this is not an area where you can afford to skimp! You need a smart marketing strategy if you want your business to provide you with a sustainable income, because if customers haven’t heard of you or don’t know what you offer, they won’t come to you to spend their hard earned money.
Networking efforts are also key to finding new clients and customers. After you shift to working solely on your company, maintain your professional connections with your former colleagues. You never know who could help drive more business your way!
You don’t have to switch from being an employee to being an entrepreneur overnight. Instead, focusing on taking a sustainable path towards entrepreneurship. By the time you’re ready to commit to running your company full-time, you’ll feel very confident in your business skills!
Tina stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance.