Start Up Talk

Seven Steps to Go from Paid Employment to Entrepreneurship

I have seen many people who, inspired by the great benefits of entrepreneurship, decided to launch their business. As good as their intentions were, many of them failed because they didn’t know how to make the transition or ventured into entrepreneurship without checking the business plan box. On Startup Talk this week, I will share with you the seven steps on how to make a hitch-free transition from your paid employment to entrepreneurship.

Transition is Good

 

The mainstay of every economy is a thriving small and medium enterprise community. These are the companies that service the everyday needs of society. There is much to say about the benefits of starting your business. However, it is not always the most uncomplicated feat to achieve as it is fraught with many challenges. Therefore, I applaud your resolve to leave the comfort of paid employment to the unpredictable life of entrepreneurship.

Below are the seven critical steps to follow as you prepare to launch out into the deep waters of entrepreneurship

1)  Think Before You Leap.

  • Why do you want to become an entrepreneur?
  • Think carefully about your desire to quit your job. Why do you want to quit your job? Why do you want to start your business? Finding your Why, the reason propelling this desire to start your business will centre and keep you focused through turbulent tides.
  • What is your state of mind? You have to first succeed in your mind before you can win in your business. I say this because building a business is like going to war and standing on the frontline. You must make sure you are bulletproof and develop a thick skin and tenacious personality to succeed.
  • Do you have savings? Many people have jumped out from their paid employment and into bankruptcy, hurting their families in the process. All because of the allure of being your boss and how promising the business idea looks.
  • So, can your savings meet your family needs for six months or one to two years post entrepreneurship?
  • How will you take care of your family or personal needs while you pursue your entrepreneurial goals?
  • Where will you get your startup capital?
  • Do you have the skill to start this business, or would you need to go for training before you start? It would be best if you had the requisite skills and expertise to be able to run your business. Like I pointed out earlier, having a business idea is not enough; you need more to be able to translate that idea into a business.
  • Make no mistakes about this; I am not saying everything must be perfect before you start. Some big businesses today started in someone’s sitting room and garage. It would help if you weren’t ignorant of the reality of starting your business. It would help if you didn’t jump out from your job with the delusion that all that matters in successfully running your business is your expertise.

2)  What Idea Do You Have?

  • So now you have ticked the boxes above, let us start from the top.
  • What are you passionate about? Think deeply about what type of business you want to build.
  • What excites you and gets you talking non-stop twenty-four hours, seven days a week?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • At the heart of any new business venture, is an innovative The catch here is this; if your business idea has no Unique Selling Proposition, then, your new venture would be just like any other one in your industry without a differentiating factor. This situation, in its entirety, is not a terrible idea; it won’t matter if your intent is not about scaling or gaining a chunk of your sectors market share. However, if you do care, then you have to make sure your idea is innovative.

3)  Define Your Market and Craft Your Message

·         Whom are you trying to help?

·         Who needs this solution?

·         Identify your target market.

  • Can they afford to pay for your solution?
  • Who else is already in this market?
  • How much are people willing to pay for your solution? Define your price point and design your product or service to meet market needs and expectation.

4)    Validate Your Business Idea

 

  • Create a model of your dream business. In a lay man’s term, start a side hustle of your big idea.
  • Test out this idea within a small circle of your defined market.
  • This new product trial in the market is where you are allowed to make all your mistakes.
  • Assess how it was received, survey the price, content and branding.
  • Conduct opinion polls to get feedback from consumers.
  • Take all the feedback and information gathered back to the drawing table.
  • Redesign or tweak your business model based on the report gleaned from the research earlier conducted.

5)    Create a Sales Funnel and Marketing Strategy

 

  • Your idea alone cannot market your business profitable on its own.
  • It would help if you had an airtight marketing strategy and a badass sales team to drive traffic to your business.
  • For now, as you are just launching out and might not have the considerable budget required for a 360-degree media and marketing campaign, creating an online marketing system should be okay.
  • An online lead magnet, sales funnel, and conversion system will promote your brand well enough to generate consistent sales.
  • This strategy is the life force that will sustainably keep your business profitable.

6)  Plan Your Exit from Paid Employment

 

  • Planning: Now that you have found your market, tested your idea and identified the sweet spot for pricing your service or product, it is time to start planning your exit from paid employment.
  • Timing: This is a critical step. Your exit must be timed with precision and adequately planned. This step is essential more so if you have a family depending on your salary for survival, and you are funding your startup capital.
  • Re-asses the reason you are quitting paid employment: One of the reasons many people want to jump out from their job is because they have figured out how their company makes money. Some even quit because they claim that their bosses are using them to make money when they see how much the organization makes.
  • You need to understand that if you are working in an organization, thirty days might be enough for you to figure out how the business runs. However, you may need in the minimum, 30 months to develop the capacity to run that business profitably on your own.
  • The reason is that there is an entire network behind the scene running the affairs of the business. The work you do for the organization is only a small part of this network.
  • You are simply a part of a whole. You are a part of the system, and while you think you are the best asset the business has, the other junior employees and their supposed insignificant jobs also make all the difference in the organization.
  • As much as your contribution adds to the global bucket of the business, so does the janitors, security guards, tea boys and girls, accounts department, marketing teams effort play the same role. Every department’s contribution and not just an individual no matter how valuable, make up the profitable system within the organization.
  • So, take time to articulate your reason for desiring to become an entrepreneur. Get your affairs in order by putting in place and following the strategy you have designed, and when it is time, make your exit with dignity and the blessings of your bosses.

 

7)  Launch into The Deep!

 

  • As you consider stepping out to run your business, don’t be blinded by the reality of the business environment or by the projections you made on how profitable the market might become.
  • Be sure that you have ticked all the boxes above.
  • Ensure you have what it takes to launch, grow and profit from your business before you leap.

Don’t forget to write and tell me all about your entrepreneurial journey at thestartupdoctor@gmail.com or ask@startupdoctor.ng

To your continued success.

Keep Sparkling!

Muna Onuzo 

The Startup Doctor.

Twitter: @startupdoctorng

Instagram: @startupdoctor

 

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