When to quit your job to start a business (and when NOT to do it)

Did you ever wonder what's the right moment to quit your job to go full time with your business? This is a question that heard many times and, quite honestly, most of the time is you shouldn't. Here is why...
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I remember the moment when I went full-time to my business. For me was easy, because I was fired a few months earlier and I was committed to starting my own business and don’t work for anybody else, ever again.

That was a tough time, but in terms of decision-making was very easy. When you have no job, you don’t have anything to lose.

Simple.

But what happens when you have a 9-to-5 job, fairly well paid, and a mortgage to pay every month?

Even if you hate the job and you really want to quit to go full-time with your business the right moment never shows up —and trust me, it never will.

Perhaps you have already started to take advantage of your freelance skills and are making extra income working in your spare time for online clients.

You might already have a site up and running and you got your first few reviews. At this point, you have two options that lie ahead of you:

  1. Write a nice-looking, shiny resignation paper and present it to your manager, and then go full time on your new business venture.
  2. Stay comfortable at your job, keep getting paid on a monthly basis and do as many freelance jobs as you possibly can in your spare time.

Decisions, decision…

While quitting your own job so that you can be your own boss, make your own schedule and live the free and independent life you’ve always wanted to have seemed like a great prospect, sometimes it is better to stay at your own job.

The downsides of starting your own business are right there, being hidden from your eyes because of the initial enthusiasm. However, they begin to reveal themselves soon enough, and you realize that leaving your monthly paycheck behind was not the smartest decision.

In this article, I’ll try to give you some guidance in this regard to help you understand if it’s the right time to quit your job so that you can start your own business or you should NOT do this.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Find a profitable online business idea
that you can start on the side now.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Your business idea
  • Get unstuck and start generating lots of profitable business ideas that you will actually love.
  • Validate your business idea even before you start selling.
  • How to turn your skills into highly profitable business ideas —even if you don’t consider yourself an expert.

Step #1: Your Business Idea is Already Validated

If you have already researched the market and you know that your idea is a great one, you should probably quit your job and start your own business.

At this point, you have already done your research, created your site and generated a few sales. You also know a lot of information about your target market and you have the assurance that you won’t run out of customers anytime soon.

If you are struggling with that you can download here completely FREE my step-by-step guide on how to find and validate a profitable online business idea.

As a practical example, let’s say that you want to start a small content writing agency. You are extremely good at writing SEO-optimized content that is ranking exceptionally well, and you want to ensure that your business will be able to scale dramatically.

If you’re looking at your market, you realize that the need for high-quality content will not disappear anytime soon. In fact, it’s only poised to grow, as Google and other search engines are driving the need for better content.

The same goes true if you’re starting a business in translation services. You’re very good at English and French, and you’ve done some successful translation jobs. These two languages won’t disappear anytime soon, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to have a job in this field for a long time to come.

On the other hand, you can’t start a new business if you don’t have the validation. For instance, if you’ve completed a few jobs in a market that is not evergreen and you are not 100% positive that you’ll have enough customers in the future, you should probably think twice before leaving your current job. It is imperative to have a business idea that is validated and tested.

Step #2: You are Financially Ready

Another clear sign to quit your job and dive into a new business venture is that you are financially ready. On the other hand, if you struggle to make ends meet and you depend on your monthly salary, you should probably postpone getting to the next level.

Think of it like that: can I financially survive if I can’t make more than a few leads each month? Can I survive with less than $1,000 a month?

How much in savings should I have before starting a business?

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 6 months of your monthly expenses in savings, ideally 12 months. This includes all your expenses, mortgage, utility bills, food, but also covers your basic lifestyle like gym, eating with your partner and friends, a little vacation.

It really depends on you. What is your lifestyle and how many things are you willing to cut off?

Again, I don’t recommend you to jump into your business unless you have at least 6 months of your basic expenses covered. I’ve been on the other side and I don’t recommend you.

Sometimes, you’ll barely make enough money to survive, especially in the beginning, so you need to have some money stored in a deposit to help you along the way. Ideally, any business should be wildly profitable. However, in the real world, it could take months, even years, until your business takes off. That’s why you have to be sure that you can sustain yourself financially, even if it will be rough in the beginning.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If you’re already had a few clients and you notice people pouring in and asking you for help, that means you are losing money if you stay at your current job. In this situation, you should probably quit your job ASAP and move in the right direction towards a bright and shiny future.

When it comes to finances, you definitely don’t need to know how much you’re spending on groceries. You don’t need to make any plans and stick to them, because that’s not the point.

The whole point is to ensure that, if things get rough, you don’t return to your old job. Many people who have started out found out that having their own businesses is harder than they’ve anticipated, so they’ve gone back to their previous jobs.

So first you need to ensure that your business idea is validated and that you’ll have a constant flow of customers who will continue to buy from you.

Next, you want to ensure that you are financially ready to grow on your business and not worrying about finances. You need to have a contingency plan in place and be financially covered for at least a year or so.

Which brings me to the next step, you need to ensure that you have already developed an entrepreneurial mindset.

Step #3: You’ve Developed an Entrepreneurial Mindset

When it comes to your success as an entrepreneur, this sign is the most important by a large margin.

While ensuring you are financially safe and making sure your idea is validated is fairly easy, developing an entrepreneurial mindset is a long-term process that never ends.

Before you quit your job to start a business! Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is a long-term process that never ends. Here is how you can develop a successful mindset. #businessmindset #entrepreneur Click To Tweet

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset involves developing risk tolerance, being emotionally prepared for the roller coaster that is an entrepreneurial journey, and ultimately being willing to change continuously.

This mindset is a way of thinking that most people are not born with. Fortunately, you can educate yourself at any age and start developing this successful mindset.

Of course, incorporating an entrepreneurial mindset in your everyday life will help you minimize the blows you receive by failing and will enable you to keep going, no matter what. If you’ll look at the lives of successful entrepreneurs, most of them will tell you that failure only drove them forward.

They learned their lessons and kept going. On the other hand, people who gave up when they met failure will never be able to boast with their success, because they’ve never experienced true success and breakthrough.

So why developing an entrepreneurial mindset?

An entrepreneur is willing to take risks and lose. He is also able to look ahead, foresee obstacles and find innovative ways to overcome them. Having an entrepreneurial mindset will also encourage creativity, while critical thinking is a key factor that helps people succeed when no one else has.

By developing an entrepreneurial mindset, you’ll be able to become more confident in your skills to deliver and you’ll gain the respect of your customers.

People always trust other people who know what they are doing. If you do your best to think, act and behave as an entrepreneur, your prospects will believe you are the real deal and will want to do business with you.

Develop an “always be testing” mentality

As an entrepreneur, you need to accept that most of the actions that you start are going to fail.

Is nothing wrong with that, we all fail, but you need to adopt the right mental frame to understand the importance of trying things.

As an entrepreneur, you need to develop an "always be testing" mindset. This is how you can convert your fails into valuable learning. #successfulmindset #entrepreneurmindset Click To Tweet

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Step #4: You Have a Detailed Action Plan

Another clear sign that you are ready to embark on your own entrepreneurial journey is that you know what to do next.

The importance of a business plan should not be minimized. The plan you are about to create or have already created needs to contain a feasibility study, the 4Ps, competition information, and practical guide on how you are going to deliver.

You need a few procedures in place and you need to know exactly how you’re going to work with each customer.

Think about this way: if you are implementing tactic number 1 and fails. What’s tactic number 2, and 3, and 4…

That’s a plan that keeps you going over the idea of testing different angles until you find out that is working for you.

The benefits of having a detailed action plan in place are many and include: gain complete awareness over your business, enjoy strategic focus, be able to easily manage change, set your priorities right, develop accountability and gain a new level of strategic alignment.

Step #5: Starting Low Cost

financial planning money finance business

Lastly, in order to ensure that you are ready to launch your business, you want to make sure that you can start it without breaking the bank.

Make sure that you can afford the operational costs, which include salaries, distribution, utilities, rent, accountant & marketing tools, and any other expenses you might have.

While you need to have some money store aside which is the emergency fund, you also need to ensure that your business won’t cost more than it makes. You want to strike a balance between how much you make and how much you spend. In a few months or so, you’ll want to make more than you spend, not vice-versa.

If you want to learn more about starting your own business and you need help and guidance on how to stay on top of all the challenges you might face, do not hesitate to contact me.

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