25 Things You Must Do If You Want to Leave the Corporate World Behind Forever & Have Your Own Business

October 28, 2010

making a career transition1. Look at your current financial situation. What do you have in the bank, savings accounts, investments, etc? Determine what you have to pay off before you leave your day job.

2. If you have family/friends that you are financially responsible for, let them know your plans. Everyone has to be on the same page.

3. Join a networking group and start meeting people outside of your circle. Go to Chamber of Commerce events, local community events, events at your place of worship – meet people and get to know them. Work on building relationships. People will be willing to help those who they get to know and like, also known as the “know, like and trust factor.” In addition, don’t be afraid to help others as well. People will be more likely to assist you if you do the same for them.

4. Join social media groups such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn in particular is the main site for professionals, and you can find many industry leaders there. People on social media sites are there to connect and network, so don’t hold back from making connections.

5. Research your business idea using internet searches to find out if similar products or services exist. You want to determine who your competitors are and how big your market will be.

6. If you’re creating a product speak to an intellectual property attorney and find out about getting a trademark for your invention.

7. Stay focused on your day job and set aside time outside of work to do your research. While you’re setting up your business you want to insure that you keep your regular salary coming in.

8. Pick a date on the calendar that will be the date you leave your job. Pick a realistic date as opposed to one that is based on what you wish you could do.

9. Find out how much money you’ll need to start your business. Are there start up costs or fees that you’ll need to pay before you begin?

10. Will you need training or specific education before you begin your business? If you can take classes at night or on your off hours, you will be able to have a salary coming in while you’re learning.

11. Look for conferences that will give you the chance to meet other business people. Attend the ones that offer a chance to network and learn about business ownership. Avoid those that promise “get rich quick” schemes or require you to make expensive investments in “home study programs.”

12. Speak to a business attorney about how to incorporate your business. Incorporation will allow you to protect your personal assets.

13. Hire an accountant if you don’t have one. Make sure that they are well versed in accounting for small businesses.

14. Don’t share your plans with everyone at work. You don’t want your manager to think that you’ll be doing your business work in the workplace. You don’t want to give your employers a reason to let you go if the company is looking to cut back.

15. Start an exercise program if you don’t regularly exercise. Working on your own business will be emotionally and physically demanding. Start now to create healthy habits, including getting proper rest and eating nutritious foods.

16. Read motivational books so that you can give yourself positive and uplifting messages.

17. Accept that making the transition from employee to entrepreneur will be a major life change. Don’t expect that you will go from one to the other without effort. Give yourself time to make the adjustment.

18. Step back from office politics at work. You’ll be moving into your own thing after a while, so keep your focus on your work and don’t get caught up in negative situations.

19. Determine how much money you’ll need to live on. It may take a while to show a profit, so (depending on your situation) you may have less money coming in for a while. Consider things such as health insurance and taxes as well as contributions to retirement funds and debts such as mortgages and car payments. Don’t forget to add up all of your personal expenses and your business expenses.

20. Save as much money as possible, and cut back on extras that you really don’t need.

21. Start learning how to manage your time. Once you’re working for yourself you will be in charge of your schedule. If you can’t manage your time you’ll end up frustrated and unproductive.

22. If you need funding be careful who you borrow from. If you borrow from family create a contract so that everyone knows the terms. You want to keep things professional and not personal.

23. Take courses in sales and marketing so that you’ll be familiar with them before you go out on your own. Create a marketing plan. Business plans are optional unless you’re going to go to a bank for funding. Find your local SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and sign up for classes or counseling.

24. Prepare yourself to work beyond eight hours per day. Once you’re no longer an employee you won’t have regular nine-to-five hours.

25. Create a vision for your business and stay focused on it. Create a vision board, write in a journal – do everything you can to keep your dream in front of you at all times. If you are ready to leave the corporate world then things will go much easier if you prepare yourself first. Set deadlines for yourself and always keep your dream in mind. Many people want to start a business, but most people never take the step to do it. You will achieve success if you stay focused on your goal!

Copyright © 2010 – 2014 Deborah A. Bailey

Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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