A business journalist posted this question in an online forum: I’m looking to speak with a business coach who helps individuals looking to start their own companies for advice on how to know when you’re ready to strike out on your own.
Tip 1: Hold a sincere conversation with yourself and ask yourself questions such as:
- Have I fallen for the romantic notion of being in a business start-up or am I really called to this kind of work?
- Do I see a very defined need in the marketplace and my field where I feel I’m uniquely qualified to fill?
- Do I have potential customers who have said they will do business with me.
- Do I have sufficient time and money to weather slower revenue growth than expected?
- Do I have a business idea burning so brightly within me that if I don’t pursue it I’ll regret it deeply forever?
- Am I willing to look stupid
- What is the price I’m willing to pay to make this work?
- What’s my strategic story? How does my past prepare me for this start-up future?
- Why am I confident that I can make this new business flourish?
- Who can you count on help you as possible angel investors, workers, freelancers – whose on your team?
Alternatively, ask a seasoned business you know to grab a cup of coffee. Hand them these questions and ask them to interview you using them plus any of their own they want to ask.
Tip 2: Don’t quit your day job (if possible) until you have the following fundamental marketing tools and logistics in place. In short, the day you open for business, you want to be able to do business. Otherwise you risk wasting your first precious 30 to 90 days getting ready to do business instead of being in business.
- Company logo designed
- Marketing collateral printed or PDFs done.
- Business cards are printed
- Company website ready to launch – this forces you to clarify your marketing and messaging
- A dedicated workspace where you can focus and it is set-up and ready to go
- You have the basic tools needed to do the work you propose to do.
Tip 3: Be strategic before you strike out on your own.
- Clarify your personal purpose, vision, missions, and values (my tool: ONPURPOSE.me helps with this)
- Clarify your business purpose, vision, missions, and values
- What’s your strategic story – why is starting this business meaningful to you?
- Put together a simple business plan that gives meaningful expression to 1 and 2 above and ties to 3.