Quitting your job to open a business is not a black and white concept meaning that you can start before you quit your job. In all actuality, I recommend it.
How many hours does this take? If that’s your first question, than you may want to look elsewhere for advice because to be a successful entrepreneur, the time dedication to your business is going to be something that will at first seem very foreign and very daunting, but it’s very necessary.
However, if you’re not overly scared, here are 10 steps on how to open a business while you’re still working without sacrificing ethics: Remember that these can be done over a period of time (don’t rush, yet never procrastinate).
1. Determine What Type of Business
You can’t be an entrepreneur without a business idea. Quitting your job to open a business is overly vague and will often lead to confusion. When determining a product or service (or suite of), it’s best to get involved in industries that exist and that have a market already.
It’s okay not to be the next Bill Gates. It’s not okay to quit your job to reinvent cat-nip! Having an existing market increases your odds for success as a young entrepreneur as, among other things, it serves for a pricing base.
2. Determine Who Is Currently in the Space
Once you know what you’re selling, know who is already in the space and how they position themselves. Don’t get overly intimidated; these businesses were not built in a day either.
Also, never copy off of; you don’t want to end up like one of those “B” actors who is referred to as “A Poor Man’s.” Rather, this exercise is done to evaluate how people in the space conduct business.
3. Determine How You Want To Market Your Business
You can take any business and make it sexy. You can take any business and make it anything. Look at Steve Jobs. He made computers cool. He made them sexy.
When marketing your business, stay 100% original and stay 100% creative. The limit is not what other companies are doing, rather it’s your imagination.
4. Determine Your Start-up Costs
In one clean shot, how much is it going to cost you to be from where you are now, to up and operational? Do you need a new computer? Do you need a new workspace?
Think one-time costs here. Quick hint: just because they are one-time, does not mean that you should roll out the red carpet. The less you spend, the longer you can survive without a job.
5. Determine Your Monthly On-going Expenses
Now that you figured out the added expenses it’s going to take to get up and running, figure out the monthly expenses that you’re going to incur for your first few months of business.
6. Determine Whom You Want To Sell To
Who is going to buy your product or service after the launch? Are they companies or individual consumers?
If they are companies, who within those organizations are going to be the ones who pull the trigger.
Don’t answer this with, CEO, CEO, CEO. CEOs hire employees to take care of vendors. Now, figure out which employees are paid to do so.
7. Determine Your Pricing
Once you have your monthly expenses and your competitive analysis done, you can determine your pricing based upon:
a. How much it is going to be to break even.
b. How much the competition gets away with asking for when selling similar products or services.
8. Determine Your Sales Pitch
The best way to sell is to be upfront. Give the facts. Phrases like, “I’m the best,” insult the buyer’s intelligence. Let them determine that through the facts that you want to give upon speaking with the individual.
9. Determine Other Skills Needed to Grow
Since I opened my company, I’ve had to learn everything from accounting to how to speak to a camera. There is no way that you know everything that you need to in order to take your company to the next level.
Successful entrepreneurship is about growth of not only the company, but of oneself. One can not grow without the other.
Now that you have all of this information, it should not be all that hard to formulate a website. A website is just a visual sales pitch, but a necessary one. Don’t rely simply on a Facebook page.
In the End
When leaving a job to start a business, the name of the game is to have that business already operational or as close as possible. The quicker you can generate revenue, the quicker you have a real business. Take these tips as individual exercises and you should never have to write a resume again.
Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement www.kasplacement.com an executive search firm specializing in sales and marketing recruitment for organizations from over 30 countries. Sundheim founded the company at age 25.