So you have an enterprising idea, a new product, or a unique service to offer. You want to call the shots, be the leader and make all the top-level decisions that will influence your professional success and increase your personal wealth.
It’s not just about wanting to make your own hours or being able to call yourself a boss. You have a concrete vision and you know where you want to go and what you want to achieve with your own company. Well, get ready for the hard work, stress and ultimate satisfaction of self-employment.
The Entrepreneurs Council developed a 5-point to-do list to consider when getting started:
1. Don’t quit your day job… yet. Whether you’re currently a student, work part-time or are gainfully employed, the next great idea usually doesn’t need 40+ hours per week to get off the ground. Create a strict schedule for how much time you really need. You may not make a dollar from your new business for a while, so keep whatever job is currently paying you.
And don’t ask your spouse or significant to quit like I did, or you will end up living in your parents’ mobile home … like we did.
2. Estimate your annual revenue and divide in half. Some businesses never get off the ground, while others grow at such an amazing pace that annual estimates become immediately obsolete. However, you must be realistic about the time it will take for your efforts to really kick in.
Calculate how much you think you can make, then divide it in half and plan your expenses around that number instead. I started a business that facilitated recreational sports leagues in a community of 600,000 after getting the idea from a sports club in Chicago, home to more than two million people. The two markets were vastly different, so my estimates on participation and growth were way off: I ordered 2,000 jerseys for our first season and only 75 people signed up! For an entire year, I didn’t know if I was running a sports business or a T-shirt business.