You’ve decided that it’s finally time to start your own business and quit your job . You have a winning business idea in mind and you think it’s time to put it into practice by starting your own business.
Your enthusiasm is skyrocketing, but fears aren’t lacking either.
Those who leave the old road for the new one know what they are losing and do not know what they find.
How many have told you that? How much does this damned old adage buzz in your head?
It’s all perfectly understandable. When you’re about to open a business and start your own business, the last thing to do is behave hastily , making hasty decisions, because impulsiveness in these cases can have dramatic consequences. Much better to sit down, and draw up a nice list of the advantages and disadvantages that abandoning your current job would entail.
While this first assessment won’t change your intention, you will still need to evaluate a number of things before leaving your current employment.
To help you prepare for your first day as an entrepreneur, here is a list of the 10 things you must do before leaving your job and starting your entrepreneurial career.
Research and document
Your new business venture begins well before you leave your current job .
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The research work you must have done upstream must include at least these points:
- Learn everything there is to know about your product or service;
- Identify and know your target market;
- Study your competitors;
- Select the people who will make up your team;
- Identify the most suitable and effective marketing channels and strategies.
Choosing the best accountant for you and your business
It may seem strange but choosing an accountant is one of the first things you should do when you decide to start your own business. Choosing the right professional from the first steps can help you save a lot of money and start off on the right foot.
Don’t settle for the only one you know down the street, and don’t think the accountant is just a bookkeeper who will help you with your taxes. Take some time to make a careful choice, because the accountant is your first partner in your adventure
Drafting a business plan
A breakthrough to carry out your research, you will need to put pen to paper. Drawing up a business plan before starting a business is essential, also because it is a document that you can or will have to present to any lenders, investors, partners, shareholders .
Typically, a good business plan includes:
- an executive summary , i.e. a synthesis of the project;
- a description of the company;
- goals, vision and mission ;
- an analysis of the market you are about to enter;
- the strategy you intend to adopt to enter the aforementioned market;
- the composition of the team you have selected;
- a marketing piano;
- an operational plan ;
- a financial plan ;
- an appendix with further more detailed information.
Identify financing options
Before considering starting a business, you need to understand your financial situation . It’s not easy to run a business if at the end of the month, after paying rent, bills and suppliers, you’re left with little money in your pocket. You will hardly be able to count exclusively on your savings or on your personal financial resources, but even if you could afford it, it will be good to carefully evaluate the various financing options for your startup.
Typically, there are three options :
- One or more investors;
- Your personal finances;
- A fund or recognition for your project.
In any case, you must be able to plan ahead , because if you are not able to obtain the necessary capital to start, your business risks being blocked even before starting or stranded at the first difficulty.
Define the legal form of your business
Before leaving your current job, you must have structured your startup , starting with its legal form.
What is the most suitable choice for your reality?
The right choice is essential to avoid unnecessary costs and better manage your business, and several factors must be considered. Talking to your accountant can be of great help in choosing.
The sole proprietorship is certainly in many ways the least onerous solution for starting one’s own business even if it is interpreted by many as the most risky and the most limiting. However, there is no legal form that is better than the others and the choice always depends on many factors.
Partnerships (simple, general partnership, or limited partnership) are not required to keep accounting books and, in general, are subject to a limited number of fulfilments and formalities (i.e. expenses) from a constitutive point of view. Even in this case, however, the partners have unlimited liability and are liable with their personal assets for the debts contracted by the company.
Joint-stock companies (Spa, Sapa, Srl, Srls) imply a clear separation between the assets of the company and that of the shareholders. It is therefore the most suitable option when the activity involves a high risk and in particular requires high initial investments (except in the case of Srls). They involve higher management costs and more administrative formalities than other legal forms, and are subject to greater organizational obligations, such as the shareholders’ meeting, board of directors, board of statutory auditors, preparation of financial statements, etc.
More details on the various forms of joint stock companies here:
- Joint stock company (Spa)
- Limited partnership limited by shares (Sapa)
- Limited Liability Company (Srl)
- Simplified Limited Liability Company (Srls)
Leverage your resources
Try to make the most of the resources you have available, in terms of tools, people, contacts. For example, if you know people who can build a website, try contacting them for your business site. Your relationship of knowledge and trust will help you to have a better guide to the initial choices and maybe even a favorable economic treatment 😉 .
Use your network of contacts and acquaintances also to get suggestions and advice . Does your friend’s company get on well with their accountant? Perfect, get his contact information and try to contact him. A friend of yours, after several years of testing and research, is comfortable with one internet service provider rather than another? Take advantage of his experience and choose accordingly.
Lastly, don’t forget the value of training . The first resources you can rely on are you and your team. Plan a training plan that can make you as self-sufficient and independent as possible from external agencies or consultants.
Leave your job while maintaining good relations
Leaving your current job without adequate notice , leaving the tasks you were assigned unfinished, not enabling your successor to continue your job, and perhaps spending your last days as an employee complaining and badmouthing everyone it is useless and counterproductive .
Things may not turn out as you hoped, and maybe your business venture won’t turn out to be the success you hoped for. If so, having maintained a good relationship with the company you worked for for years may offer you a chance at salvation.
If, on the other hand, everything goes smoothly, your former employer himself could become your client, or could still give you good publicity to enter the market more easily.
Cutting ties, and doing it badly, is never a good idea, remember that.
Don’t overlook the details
Anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur is naturally inclined to think big , but there are so many small details that can really make a difference in putting a business on the right track. Small things, but important.
For example: which Social Media(s) will be more effective for promoting your business? Once identified, with what content and how often will it be updated? Who will take care of it? Or again: have you synchronized your email client on all your devices so you can always keep your emails under control?
Have you thought about how to store receipts, receipts, bills in an orderly way?
Have you studied and defined your eventual logo? Website, business cards, letterhead, etc. are they well coordinated?
Choose the right venue
Thinking about running your new business with a home office , at least until you get the hang of it, may seem like the most convenient and sensible choice. It is, of course, if it refers to a short period of time, but it is not at all thinking about the long term.
Working at home implies an inevitable compromise between private and professional life , with the real risk of developing bad habits that can affect both the quality of your life and that of your work.
Try to separate the two as soon as possible , and find a space dedicated exclusively to your business. There are now many opportunities for shared coworking spaces, useful among other things to establish further collaborations and partnerships.
Develop your portfolio or resume
Did you think that starting your own business would save you from having to submit your resume and references? Nothing more wrong.
A summary of your previous experiences, your most successful works and your professional background is however very important in the initial phase of your new business, because it will be the key to convincing your investors, your team, and your first customers to believe in you, in your project, and in the product or service you offer.
And to conclude…
Remember that leaving a job, even more if it’s a permanent job (the famous permanent job) and starting your own business is much more challenging than it might seem , and it’s a choice that must be carefully evaluated in every aspect.
Having said that, by following these suggestions you will be able to face with greater confidence and determination what could prove to be the most important adventure of your life. Good luck!