The title might make it sound much scarier than it is. Yes, it is a big step, and likely many people will tell you that it isn’t one you should be considering. But the truth is if you aren’t happy with your current job, and you have a transferable skill – then (aside from those pesky bills) there isn’t much stopping you. But there is a way to do it more practically.
Long gone are the days where you needed to have office space, a front door or, well, anything more than a computer and some internet access. Businesses have never been cheaper or easier to open. If you do happen to need funding for your big idea you can make use of crowdfunding, small social business grants and awards, business start-up loans or maybe you don’t even need any of those. If you want to set up an online shop, you can do so via Big Cartel, Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy. Amazon andeBay are also essential options to consider.
When starting a business, initially it should be something you are passionate about rather than something you have to do to earn money. After all, you want to leave your current job and start your own business for a reason. However, you don’t have to be in love with an idea to make a company out of it. You might be great at coding and can build a useful app or plugin, you might be gifted in design and can produce unique art at short notice, either of those will likely be successful without you having to wax lyrical about it. Overall it is just better you enjoy something if you are going to be making a living from it.
Taking a leap into the world of self-employment doesn’t have to be a leap into the unknown. Before leaving any steady gainful employment, you should take a few steps:
- If you have a service or a product to sell, start selling it before you leave. Set up your online spaces, blogs, social media, and shops. You need to know that it will work.
- Accept your income will vary month to month. Use bumper months to carry less fiscally bountiful months. Pay off debts in advance, so an unexpected bill isn’t going to sweep your feet out from under you.
- Have a figure in your mind that you’d like to make. It should ideally cover your rent/mortgage, bills and any other essentials in the early days. Your payment is the freedom to do what you enjoy (just for a little while)
- Get legal. Make sure you have registered your business with the appropriate bodies, and while you’re at it, make sure you know what your tax-deductibles are for some instant perks.
- Remember if you have a family to take care of or a partner, that their care is a priority. So make sure everyone is on board.
- Run your new business alongside your current job until your new company is making around 50-60% of the money your job is.
- Get another (passive) income stream running too.
Once you meet these checkpoints, you’re ready to start label printing your new business details and slapping them on all your correspondents in the future.