If you are employed, chances are the job you have does not inspire you to wake up happy every morning. Putting in your time and effort into a job you are not particularly fond of will leave you feeling unfulfilled, uninspired, and generally exhausted. Pointless office politics, a boss that constantly picks on you, and a salary you can barely survive on do not help make things any easier either.
If you are in such a situation, perhaps the only thing left to do is to take control of your time and become your own boss. This way, you get to pursue what you actually enjoy and earn money while doing it. But how do you go about doing this? What exactly do you need to do as you prepare to be your own boss? Well, if this is what you have been wondering, this guide will answer all your questions.
1. DETERMINING YOUR SPECIALTY
Once you have decided that you want to be self-employed, the next step is to determine what business you want to get into. Coming up with a great idea is usually one of the hardest parts of the process since you can never really be too sure how it will pan out. However, being your own boss is all about betting on yourself. Take your time and do as much research as you can to help you figure out exactly what business you can get into. Once you determine your specialty, you need to evaluate it and find out exactly how well you can expect to do in it. Which brings us to the next point.
2. YOUR IDEA VERSUS THE MARKET
Have you figured out what you want to do? Great! The next step involves evaluating your business idea and determining whether it will be successful or not.
After brainstorming and coming up with a viable idea, you need to dive into researching the market you intend to break into. This market research is very important because from it you will be able to gauge how your business idea will potentially perform once you get it up and running.
3. MAKING THE SWITCH
At one point or another, you will have to give up your regular job in order to pursue your interests fully. You have two options here:
A gradual transition
If you want to still have a steady income while you make the gradual shift to becoming your own boss, then staying at your day job is the way to go. This way, you will be able to get things in order as you plan your business, especially the monetary side of things. This is really important especially while you are still taking the initial steps of setting up.
While having this kind of security is great, you may be biting off more than you can chew, especially if you are working a full time job and setting everything up for your business at the same time. In the end, your overall quality of work on both sides may end up being affected. Furthermore, the security of still having your day job may reduce your incentive to branch out on your own.
Quitting cold turkey
Another alternative is quitting your day job altogether and dedicating all your energy to your business venture. This option allows you more time to focus on your plans, and since you have no safety net to fall back to, you will be twice as motivated. However, you won’t have the steady stream of income that a gradual transition allows before your business fully takes off.
All in all, there is no right or wrong way of going from working for someone else to being self-employed. How you navigate the transition will depend on the type of business you intend to launch, your financial stability, and your own work ethic.
Here is a cool article I wrote about the best side income jobs
4. ACCUMULATING FUNDS
It is important to keep in mind the financial aspect of starting a business before you solidify your plans. Unless you have an unlimited source of funds coming in from somewhere, money is a pretty big deal when it comes to getting ready to be your own boss.
Money to sustain yourself
While putting money into your business plans is a top priority, don’t forget about your own personal expenses. Ensure that you establish a predictable monthly budget and have some savings set aside before you make the switch to becoming self-employed. Ask yourself this: if there is no money coming in for a few months, how well will you be able to survive?
Money to start the business
Once you determine the amount you need to set aside for your personal expenses, you have to decide how much you will need to start your business based on what you will be venturing into.
• Selling/producing a service
If your business will involve producing or selling a service, then the cost of the startup shouldn’t dent your pocket too much since there is no physical product. You will spend most of your startup capital on creating a website (or hiring someone to do it for you), branding, ads, and any other related expenses you may deem necessary.
• Selling/producing a physical product
You will spend much more money if you plan on selling/producing a physical product since you will need capital to purchase inventory, rent office or retail space, and hiring specialists. The amount you will need will entirely depend on what business you are getting into and how far you are willing to go.
5. YOUR OWN CAPABILITIES
It is important to take into consideration your own strengths and weaknesses when you plan to set up a business in order to have an idea of what kind of boss you will be.
Skills and abilities
Establish your strong suits and work on what you may not be too good at. For example, if you are good at managing your finances but your time management skills are somewhat lacking, focus more energy on the latter but without neglecting the former. It is all a matter of how well you can balance everything.
Emotional and interpersonal state
Is your business idea all that you have or do you have a backup plan? Does your family support your business venture? Are there current or potential distractions in your life that will take up a huge portion of your time? You need to know the answer to all these questions and what those answers mean to you before you launch your business.
6. COMING UP WITH A BUSINESS PLAN
The next reasonable step after establishing your capabilities is to create a business plan. However, before you do this, you have to be clear on why you need to come up with one.
If you intend to seek funding from sources such as investors or a bank, you will have to convince these parties that your business is viable. This is known as a business plan event, and you will need to come up with a formal business plan.
If you can comfortably fund your business by yourself or your business startup doesn’t need too much capital, then there is no need to prove the viability of your business to outsiders. However, you will still need to come up with a business plan. Except this time, it doesn’t have to be a complicated formal plan. A flexible and easy-to-follow plan you can use internally will do.
7. A BUSINESS NAME
Your business has to have a name, and a memorable one at that. When picking out a name, make sure that you choose one that will last for a long time. This way, you won’t have to deal with the inconvenience that comes with changing the name of an already established business.
8. THE LEGALITY OF IT ALL
Legalizing your business is an important part of the process. This involves taking care of various issues such as establishing your business structure and acquiring licenses and permits.
Establishing your business structure
The simplest business structure you can choose is sole proprietorship. This basically means that you own the business and you are responsible for any debts that you may accrue in the future.
If you choose to start a Limited Liability Company (LLC) instead, then you are legally not liable for the debts or liabilities that the company may encounter. A corporation is another business structure that may be an option as well, especially if your business is on a large scale.
I am not a lawyer so please consult the appropriate resources to sort this part of your business out
Licenses and permits
Whether or not you need licensing and permits entirely depends on the kind of business you intend to launch. Consider carrying out research to see exactly what your business needs and how to get them.
9. STRAIGHTENING YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
You need to have your finances in order before your business takes off. This means having to consult with a bookkeeper or an accountant, setting up a bank account solely dedicated to your business, taking matters into your own hands and doing your own accounting, and so on.
10. YOUR WORKSPACE
Having your own work space will not only help you distinguish work from play but also allow you to fully channel your focus into your business.
Working from home
If you are going into a service business such as freelance work, then you may be better off setting up your work space at home. In this case, find a quiet section of your home away from distractions to serve as your home office. Set it up with everything you need to work comfortably and you will be good to go.
Getting office or retail space
If you need more space for your physical products or for accommodating your customers, then working from home is not the way to go. You will need to look for locations that will best suit your business. You want to look for an affordable space, but not too far out that your customers cannot reach you. You should also consider the daily commute from home to your place of work.
11. BRANDING AND ESTABLISHING AN ONLINE PRESENCE
It is no secret that a strong online presence and an instantly recognizable brand give you an upper edge over your competitors.
Setting up your website
Setting up your own website is one of the basic steps of an online presence for your business. Make sure that your website has a well-designed layout so that potential clients can easily look up how much you charge for your services/products, the quality of your previous work, and your contact information.
Establishing your presence on social media
To establish a strong online presence, you have to know the social media platforms that your target audience frequently uses so as to familiarize yourself with their needs. To get started, all you need is a distinct username or handle that can be easily linked to your business.
Building your brand
Whether or not you need a brand entirely depends on your business venture and your preferences. However, a brand helps your business become instantly recognizable so you might want to consider developing one. It doesn’t have to be complicated- a few unique colors, imagery, or fonts on your website can go a long way.
12. SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
To get your business and running, you need to spread the word and generally create awareness around it. Make people know you exist.
Marketing your business
You need to get the word out about your business any way you can as long as it is legal. Use both online and offline marketing tactics to your advantage to reach out to potential customers.
Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to networking. Just like in marketing, this will involve online (participating in forums related to your field or joining support groups) and offline (joining a local group involved in your industry) efforts. It is important to interact with other similar-minded entrepreneurs who will provide you with the support you need as well as connections in your area of business.
Research, research, research.
If you don’t have much of a business background, try to find out as much as you can about the subject, as well as whatever you plan to specialize in.
Also, while it is great to have a positive outlook on things, sometimes it is important to be prepared for failure. Know that your business may not take off immediately, so patience is key.
Lastly, commitment is everything when you want to be your own boss. It may not look like it now, but putting in a significant portion of your time and effort into your business venture will eventually pay off.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about financial freedom and preparing to be my own boss. I have tried many “hustles” in the last 20 years. I always felt, and still do feel, like I needed to have a “backup” plan. I tried contracting, selling real estate, being an appraiser, EBay and Amazon FBA among many other ventures. I found that all of them had some merit. The problem was that I was trading time for money. With a full time job and a large family, time was what I had the least of.
So I ventured into making money online and I landed on affiliate marketing. It took hard work but it gave me the freedom to work at my own pace. It allowed me to grow my business at my own pace. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick. But if you are looking for a legitimate way to make extra money online, I believe that you should consider it! I did and I am better for it.
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I hope you give the link above a try. I also hope you found this article helpful. Please leave me your question or comments below!
To your affiliate success!