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Transitioning from Employee to Entrepreneur

entrepreneurMany people would love to “be their own boss” but only a select few actually make the switch. If you’ve decided to leave behind your traditional 9-5 job that’s great! However, make sure you take the right steps to make the transition as smooth as possible. We here at Ballantyne Executive Suites want to see you succeed. That’s why we’ve put together this list to help take you from being a “wantrepreneur” to a truly successful entrepreneur.

Start with Experience

Start with what you know. One of the greatest predictors of success is starting in an area where you already have some experience. Find something in your chosen field that can be improved or something missing that you can add to it. If your chosen field is an area where you don’t have a lot of experience, determine how you’ll acquire the experience you’ll need to succeed.

Brainstorm and Research

Once you’ve determined which field you intend to pursue, it’s time to start brainstorming and researching that field in depth. It’s important to spend some time assessing demand and looking at your product or idea from your customer’s point of view. Does it fill a need? Is it an improvement on an old way of doing something? What type of competition will you have?

Consider Attending a Business Workshop

Attending a workshop is a great way to gain some knowledge of the basics of launching your own business. You’ll learn some useful tips on legal considerations and how to work with lenders, as well as other important information resources. SCORE has several great workshops that can help you get your business off to a great start.

Get Reliable Advice

Once you’ve gathered as much information as you can, and come up with a great idea, it’s important to discuss your plan with an experienced advisor or business counselor. SCORE is, once again, a great resource with counselors who can point you in the right direction, help answer questions, and evaluate your business ideas to see how likely they are to succeed. It’s also important to utilize other resources to help you get into the right mindset. The book, Employee to Entrepreneur: A Mind, Body, and Spirit Transition by Suzanne Mulvehill is an excellent resource to help you get in the right frame of mind to make the switch efficiently.

Lay Out Your Business Plan

Once you’ve got a solid idea in your chosen field and have done your research and spoken with an advisor, it’s time to get down to making your business plan. As you start laying out your idea on paper, you may end up with even more questions, but don’t worry – this is good! The more questions you encounter, the better you’ll be able to refine your idea into a viable business plan.

Gather Your Resources

Once you’ve devised a thorough business plan, it’s time to gather the people and money you’ll need to get things going. Do you need investors? Is it time to contact potential customers or gather employees? Take some time to devise a plan to get things rolling, including how you’ll market your business to give it the best possible start.

Get Moving!

Usually after about 6 months you should be ready to get moving. This number is not set in stone, however, and some businesses may need more or less time depending on the nature of the business and your individual experience and knowledge. Once you’ve gotten to this point, don’t procrastinate! Start putting your business plan into practice as soon as possible and step outside of your comfort zone.

Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Just following a few simple steps and gaining the knowledge and experience you’ll need are great first steps toward getting things moving. A word of caution, though: once you start working for yourself, you’ll find that you’ll never want to go back to being an employee! So what are you waiting for?

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