Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A check-list to complete before quitting job & starting your own business

This article is for those of you who are going to make a switch from a secured job to a self-owned business. I have prepared a list of things you should know and consider before quitting. There is also a small check-list which would check your business – readiness.
First let me list out the questions you need to answer to yourself before quitting:
        
      Are you quitting because you have figured out what you want to do or you are quitting just because you are not satisfied (or frustrated) with your current job. à If it’s the former reason, then well and good. But if it’s the latter, then you may want to reconsider quitting. I am not at all in the favor of quitting without having a positive and clear outlook about your future prospective. I faced this problem myself & believe me, it’s not a good idea to quit without having a clear plan. It’s not right to quit just because you don’t want to do your current job. It’s like sailing a ship without a compass. You may never reach your destination and may end up on a deserted island. Don’t take such a stupid and immature risk. Take some time out of your job to ponder over the objective of your life. Once you have your objective, think about the means to achieve it. Only if you have a clear cut plan, think about quitting. Quitting without a clear plan would lead you nowhere.
Some people may fool themselves into believing that they have all figured it out. But in actuality they are just frustrated with their jobs. So, they make up stuff to convince themselves that they have a plan. I am not ashamed to mention that I was one of these people. I quit because I could take it no more. I knew the place I was working in was not the right place for me. But at the end of the day, I at least figured out one thing: I figured out what I don’t have to do in my life. Though I was far away from knowing what I want to do.

Do you have sufficient resources à Before you quit your job to start a business, you should have in cash to pay for at least 6 months of expenses to sustain your family. Apart from the money you are going to invest into your business, you should have enough money to meet 6 months of your expenses. I believe that once you start a business, you won’t make any money for the first few months. The only money you are going to survive on is your savings. Only if you have sufficient savings to run your business, meet its operating cost & your personal expenses for at least 6 months, you should consider quitting. Otherwise, its too dangerous to quit.
   
     Do you have a business plan in place à IF you have figured it all out and you also have sufficient funds to start over with, then you are ready to consider this third step. It’s checking how business ready are you. Have you got a business plan in place? Have your thought about your business and revenue model? Have you done comprehensive and extensive research about marketing, production, competition, market etc? Have you already started working on the legal aspects of starting the business? If not, then you may postpone quitting for a little longer and first complete this homework. All this work, the research and other paper work, can be done along with your regular job. So why reject taking few months of salary while preparing for the business. Just do your research and start marketing while you are still earning the salary. Once you quit, your salary will be all you would have.

      Are you strong enough to take the decision and not turn back later and regret à After going through the first three steps, this is the final and the most crucial step. It’s like taking the final call. Things may turn out very differently than planned. You should take your final decision considering the worst case scenarios, because once you take the decision, there is no turning back. You’ll have to live with it all your life. So, just sit back, relax and think about all the possibilities. Then decide. Have confidence in your capabilities.

Here is your check list before you quit:
1) I know what I want to do!
2) I have my finances in order (6 months personal expense + Business     Investment)
      3) I have prepared a business Plan
      4) I have done my research on:
a.     Market and Competition
b.    Marketing and Sales
c.     Pricing
d.    Production and Services
e.     Financial Management and Funds
f.      Human resources
g.     Timeline
     5) I have confidence in myself. I am going to win. 

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