I see many people who want to take the entrepreneurial jump after working for corporate for a long time. Earlier this used to happen as part of the mid-life crisis where one person has worked for close to 10-15 years and he wants to change from his routine. He wants to start doing something, which is of interest to him. In current scenario this has started even earlier, we see youngsters who have just joined the corporate within two years wanting to quit and start something on their own. I am not here to say that is wrong but here to help you have the basics ready before you decide to leave your job and start the entrepreneurial journey.
I was working in a corporate, I worked for an Indian bank for a year and then for an MNC bank for close to six years before I decided to call it quits and start my own company. When I left my high paying job to start on this new journey many called me crazy, nobody in my family background had any business experience and here I am venturing into a new field in which I had no experience either. It has been three years now and I am pretty successful at my business, things are going really good and I do not regret even for a moment the decision I made to quit my regular paying job. When I look back there are three things I did correctly which have helped me to sustain in my business as well as succeed. I am sharing the same to you.
One: Have a Business Plan
I know that most people have an idea on what business to start and what are the possibilities of making money. It is not enough that they have an idea about the business, one needs to have a clear business plan of what business, the business potential, who is the target market, how to reach them, what is the investment required? When will the business breakeven? Does the founder have all the skills or he has to find a co-founder with the necessary skills, is the business viable, sustainable and many more.
Even though these might sound basic many people do not chart a clear plan. They jump into it with a lot of mental calculations, which they try to bring it to reality that causes a lot of problems. After your business plan is ready ideally you should sit with a consultant in that business area and go through the plan and make it perfect. I would also suggest you discuss the business plan with lot of your friends and get their inputs too.
When you actually start the business it might not exactly happen as per plan- that is okay. We need to constantly look at the market scenario and change the business plan accordingly.
The reason why this is important is I see many entrepreneurs who make a quick decision and they leave the job. By the time they decide the right business/opportunity or if they have the business idea by the time they put the basic requirements into place it takes close to a year. By that time they have consumed all the savings they have, in many instances, they would have taken up more loans and not able to pay back which leads to failure of business. This is one core reason why many businesses shut down in the first year. Having the business plan ready, setting up the basic work before leaving the job, also arranging for the funds required to run the business upfront will help you to sustain longer in business therefore increase your probability of success.
Two: Family Support
This is a crucial element. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, it is mostly a lonely journey. Unless your business requires you to have many staff, in the initial years you will have limited people in team. Your family becomes your support and cheer team. It is very essential that you get their buy-in before you get on the journey. Already the initial years of entrepreneurship you will be fighting a lot to survive, sustain and grow. You cannot have another fight happening when you come back home. They should be able to understand and appreciate your journey. Every single word they say might give you the confidence to run faster or demotivate you to take a U turn to your job.
Personally I informed, convinced my parents, spouse as well as my in-laws when I started this new journey. My parents were apprehensive, even today my father feels I should have stuck for few more years in the job before starting this journey, but they have been of immense moral support in this journey.
When most concepts of entrepreneurship are new for you, same is the feeling for them. They might be used to seeing you all dressed everyday and leaving to office and being busy all the time, things might be totally different based on your business. They might see you are just sitting at your home and working in the computer all day long and just making phone calls to friends and might not understand what the business involves. (They might not be aware that is what we did in office too- chatting and wailing away time mostly 🙂 ).
Take the time to convince them and ask for the time you require in order to succeed in your venture. You can fight the world, but you need peace when you come back home.
Three: Money Backup
Do a calculation of your monthly expenses. You need to have atleast saved 6 months of expenses and that money should not be used for business expenses. If you have loans like home loan, car loan then you need to have atleast 12 months EMI amount set aside apart from 6 months monthly expenses. This is very crucial, as it will give you the freedom to go all out in your business for almost a year without being bothered about everyday basics.
I have seen many people again make this mistake a lot. They just make a sudden call and quit their job. They might have money only to survive for three months, it constantly creates pressure at the back of their mind. When there is pressure you cannot perform at your best. You will start under quoting in your business just to make money and survive. When you are being paid less you don’t want to give your best, the cycle continues. I have seen passionate people coming to start something new with less money and a large heart. When you have to feed your child or feed your passion what will you feed? Obviously the child, and there they take a U turn to their job.
So please have necessary back up, if you do not have the money- save it, take that time you are saving the money to learn more about the business you want to start. Connect with people in that business, join forums related to your business and enhance your knowledge as well as contacts. By the time you have saved your money, you have the knowledge and contacts already made; it will make your journey even easier.
Knowingly or unknowingly I did all these three aspects and it has helped me to give my best in my entrepreneurial journey.
Wishing you the best in your journey!
Ganesh Kumar S