There isn’t a fixed formula for knowing the perfect time to leave your 9 to 5. If you decide to quit at any time, you would still be taking a leap and jumping into the unknown. It is okay to be nervous about leaving your secure source of income to start or focus on a business that isn’t. However, if you have a plan, you can have a smooth transition to entrepreneurship.
Here are some things you can do to better prepare yourself to plunge headlong into your side hustle full-time:
- Do your research.
Be sure you have a big enough market for what your business wants to sell. A lot of people jump into starting businesses without first doing thorough research to be sure there are people interested in buying what they are selling and they end up failing. If your business is in the same niche as your 9 to 5, use your 9 to 5 to see how the business is performing in the market. Request access to marketing reports and study them extensively. Study customer patterns to know what motivates, interests, and challenges them, this would help you focus your business accordingly and you could use this information to create a niche for yourself. This way you are laying the groundwork for your business and still getting paid.
- Build your skills
Entrepreneurship is much more than using your technical skills; it involves a lot more than that. Entrepreneurship involves marketing, finance, human resources, operations, and more. Sharpen your skills by participating in training and observing your bosses’ actions across the various areas of running a business. If you don’t have a mentor, get one who can guide you through the process. Communication is an important skill every entrepreneur should possess, endeavour to use every opportunity you have to sharpen it.
- Build a network
Networking is not a skill that comes easily to most people but it is essential for the success of your business. Being part of an organization gives you an advantage when it comes to having a network and connecting with people. Make the most of this and engage industry experts and leaders. Learn how to network without being excessively self-promotional. Networking will help you get constructive feedback when you launch your products, and will also give you visibility when people who have used your services give testimonials.
- Start putting together a plan
Don’t wait until you are out the door to start planning. Work on your business model while you are still working your 9 to 5 and only leave when you are confident with your model. Use the experience you have amassed from your 9 to 5 to draft your model. Some of your best ideas might be things you just stumble on, but you can’t stumble if you are not in motion.
- Build your resilience.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint-hearted. Only the tough ones can survive the first two years of entrepreneurship. You can leave your 9 to 5 when you are confident that you can handle anything entrepreneurship throws your way. Build your resilience by remaining at your 9 to 5 even if you are very eager to leave. Take your time and think about the bigger picture.
In conclusion, entrepreneurship is exciting, it’s also gruelling. If you leave you 9 to 5 without being prepared, you would be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Stay in your 9 to 5 as long as you need to and while you are there, learn the works, understand the process, and be eager to learn as much as you can. Only leave when you can confidently tick all the boxes listed above.