There are certain signs that indicate when you’re ready to be your own boss, both practically and emotionally – increasing disillusion with work, a craving for independence and freedom, and having the finances in place to cover the first few months of self-employment, are just a few.
You need to bridge the gap between your idea for business and the realities of starting up, however, so how do you know when you’ve reached this stage? Here are seven indications that you’re ready to take that leap of faith, and work for yourself.
You want autonomy and freedom
Being self-reliant is crucial in business – you often only have yourself to depend on when making the tough or important decisions. Craving autonomy is a sure sign that you’re ready to start a business – you’ll be able to set your own agenda, and manage your priorities without unwanted input from bosses or colleagues.
You’re unfulfilled in your job
Are you simply going through the motions at work, without feeling inspired or fulfilled? It can seem like a never-ending source of annoyance when you’re competent but not appreciated at work, or are regularly overlooked for promotion.
If you’re thinking of self-employment because you know you can do a better job, rather than because you’re stressed and overworked, then it might be the right time to make the move.
You have enough savings
Going into business can feel much like a lottery – without careful financial planning, you risk losing everything. If you’ve saved up at least six months’ living costs, you have a cushion to protect you from financial disaster, and added confidence that you’ll be able to deal with the challenges of self-employment.
You have an idea you’re passionate about
It’s the genuine passion for what you do that provides motivation and enthusiasm to carry on when business is slow, or you’re experiencing problems that seem insurmountable. Maybe this is a successful side venture you’ve been running alongside your day job that you think you can make a living from? You already have proof that it works, and just need the time and dedication to make it grow.
You understand the risks and rewards
You’ve balanced the risks of starting your own business with the potential rewards, and are happy that you understand the possible outcomes. If you naturally see solutions rather than problems, you’ll be more able to move past the complications of building a business, control the risks, and enjoy the rewards.
You know there’s a good market for your idea
Does a market already exist for your business? If so, is it large enough or growing sufficiently to sustain you over the long-term? When you’ve carried out extensive independent and unbiased market research and your business plan is ready, the facts and figures should speak for themselves.
You’re ready to make sacrifices
Starting a business involves sacrifice from day one, both financially and personally. You’ll need to focus totally on the new venture to make it work, and avoid the social distractions that can compromise your success. Hard work and determination will guide you through this initial phase, and hopefully onto a more balanced and fulfilling life.
You need to factor in two different aspects when deciding whether it’s time to start your own business. Are you ready in a practical sense – have you got the finances in place; do you understand your legal and financial obligations, as well as the market you’re entering?
If you were buying a business, due diligence would be a top priority to ensure you weren’t wasting your money. So use this principle to help you decide whether now is the right time.
The other aspect is readiness on an emotional level – do you have a ‘gut feeling’ that it’s the right thing to do, and are you prepared to forgo the financial stability of a regular pay check for a while?
Running your own business can be rewarding and demanding in equal measures, but you’ll have control over your own destiny and nobody to answer to but yourself.