Are you someone who has been juggling a 9 to 5 job while dedicating all your free time to being an entrepreneur? While balancing essentially two jobs, life can be stressful. However, when you begin to see that your side-hustle could actually become a full-time career, your hard work has officially paid off.
So, how do you know you’re ready to spend all your time being a small business owner and quit your 9 to 5 job? To ensure this shift won’t negatively impact your lifestyle, you must evaluate how your life will look if you become a full-time small business owner.
Here are a few key areas to reflect on and make sure you are ready to take the entrepreneurial leap!
You have a set plan & goal
Before you even think about turning in your resignation letter at work, know where your small business is going. If you have no set goal for your business, how can you say you’re ready to quit your job?
If you haven’t already, set a clear path to take for achieving your business goals. For example, if you are selling something you make yourself, is your goal to open a store or wholesale items to existing retailers? It might even be a good idea to write a business plan to give yourself a timeline for hitting your goals and possible methods for getting there.
It’s crucial to have clarity about where you plan to take your small business in the future. And although you might not have all the logistics about how you will get there, having a goal in mind will make navigating the present easier for your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Your finances are in order
The more obvious area to focus on when deciding if it’s time to quit your 9 to 5 are your finances. Financially speaking, it’s best to hold off on quitting your current job to focus on your business until you’re generating enough income to rely on it solely.
Another financial factor to consider is your debts: personal debt, student debt, or business-related debts. To mitigate the burden of multiple bills while taking on a new financial venture, sit down and combine every outstanding personal debt: credit cards, cars, student loans, and so on. Then, consolidate it into one personal loan. From here, you can streamline your finances to pay off multiple debts while only focusing on one payment.
Have a plan to keep your 9 to 5 for however long it takes to pay off this new loan. Transition all your income from your small business to current bills and use your 9 to 5 income to pay your personal loan payment each month. You can then have a feel for how your new lifestyle could be, as well as pay off your debt before letting go of that consistent income.
You’ve planned for the end & new beginning
By settling debts before quitting your 9 to 5 job, you are already thinking about the end and new beginning. You just want to have it all figured out.
Start planning your exit process and get things as buttoned up as possible before moving on to your next venture. Establish a timeline for when you can responsibly quit, and how you need to go through this process with your place of employment. Most of the time there is a two-week notice policy. If you have in your mind that you want to quit by the New Year, know that you need to submit your resignation sometime in the first week of December.
Also, understand how your life will change. While you will be a full-time entrepreneur, things are going to be different than they were when working a 9 to 5. If you use the above plan to move all your bills to your small business income and use your day job income to pay off debts, you’re already starting to set a plan for a new beginning as a full-time small business owner.
You have a reliable community
Depending on your small business, you probably have spent a significant time building a community. Whether that’s followers, one-time customers, repeat customers, or clients, communities vary based on the need you fulfill with your product or service.
To be an entrepreneur, you must establish and sustain this visibility. If you aren’t generating traffic (virtually or physically) to your business, you aren’t generating any money either. This will make your transition to being a full-time entrepreneur financially challenging.
Looking at traffic will be a good indicator to factor in if you are ready to quit your 9 to 5 or not. If you find that your traffic should be higher, this can be part of your plan when thinking about the end. Factor in how much you want to grow your community before quitting your job.
The community you have already built trusts you and knows you offer quality to their life. Just focus on continuously applying value to them while encouraging referrals and adding new people to your space.
You are thinking & acting like an entrepreneur
In order to become a successful, full-time entrepreneur you should either have or at least be thinking about:
- An overall plan and goal for your small business
- Your personal finances in order
- Enough financial cushion to live on your small business income solely
- A reliable community that supports your business
- A plan to sustain and grow your community
When and only when you have these things aligned are you thinking and acting like an entrepreneur.
Follow these few areas to go from your normal hustle and bustle of juggling your 9 to 5 and running your small business on the side, to follow your dream of being a full-time entrepreneur.