Are You Ready to Go From Employee to Full Time Entrepreneur?

Back in December, we had two employees of major retailers (probably stressed out by the holdiay rush) who took our Intrapreneurship course (S05), and I thought the course deserved a little more comment.

In addition, Nathalie Lusier, writing in the Young Entrepreneur Council blog last month, had a creditable post on how to evaluate whether you’re ready to make the leap. (And, as usual, we’ve added a few comments to her comments).

1. Download and take our Entrepreneurship Quiz on our web site to find out if you’re even suited to be an entrepreneur. It’s not easy. You might find yourself working for many people, not just one or two.

2. Understand your options. There are a variety of ways you can become a solo preneur (nice term)….buy a business, start one or even do a franchise. There are also done-for-you services (e.g., dog walking), consulting or a product.

3. Start with a service business. Because it’s the easiest to get into….comparatively little capital. You might be able to run it while doing your existing job. Think about whether your service would scale, ie. be able to be expanded.

4. Plan to save money. As you look at the best time to leave your job, put together an estimate of how much money you need to bring in on a monthly basis to sustain your lifestyle, and how long it’ll take you to get there, even under worst case assumptions. Our idea validation course (A02) might help you.

5. Surround yourself with other like-minded business owners. It might be an incubator, it might be a peer advisory group, but it helps to have a check on your accountability. If you’re still working, still try to carve out some time for this function.

6. Be willing to pivot. You might think you’ve got it all figured out, but the market might say differently. Be willing to change your offering.

7. The state of the economy is not a justification for or against entrepreneurship. Lots of major businesses have been launched in bad times. Think about whether your target market has been impacted by bad economic times.

8. Be a sponge. Learn as much as you can before, during and after launch. Take our courses: we can reduce your risk of failure by as much as 80%.

9. Start on the side. Can you start your business working nights and weekends? Think about the woman who developed Spanx: she was doing over a million dollars a year in sales working nights and weekends before she left her job selling copiers for Danca.   Also check with your boss and tell him/her that you’re starting a business on the side, so you might be a little sleep-deprived.

10. Get ready for growth. Once things start to take off, at what point do you leave your job? Note the financial requirements discussed above.

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