For most aspiring business owners, taking that incredible leap from employment to entrepreneurship takes courage and hard work. This is especially true if you have a family to support. However, there comes a moment when you just know that it’s time to make that transition from rank-and-file worker to small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or startup business owner.
Are you ready to finally quit your day job and pursue your dream business? Entrepreneurs-in-the-making, take note of these five compelling indicators that could signify your readiness to take the plunge:
1) You Have a Clear Plan to Achieve Success
One of the first signs that you're ready to transition from a job to your dream small business is that you’ve readily come up with a well-defined plan. Your business plan serves as a roadmap for your new venture, outlining your goals, strategies, and milestones. If you’ve put together the major pieces by yourself, that means that you have a good grasp of how tangible your aspirations are and what you’re willing to do to put your dream in motion.
Sharpen your business plan draft by setting SMART goals—or goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—so that you have a clear framework for success. Remember, a clear plan will not only chart your course, but also instill confidence in your potential investors and stakeholders.
2) You Are Prepared to Learn the Tools and Skills of the Trade
Entrepreneurship demands continuous learning and adaptability. Being prepared to learn the tools of the business is a crucial sign that you're ready to launch your small business. Start by identifying the specific skills and knowledge required for success in your industry, and draw up a rough budget for procuring the proper tools to practice them.
Take, for example, a payroll management system for properly compensating your future employees. Unless you have a background in accounting, it may take a while to learn how to navigate this complex process. Fortunately, if you’re based in that part of Southeast Asia, you can take advantage of an easy-to-use payroll system Philippines-based businesses also use. For payroll system software designed to fit the needs of SMEs and startups specifically, you can explore solutions like Maya Business’s Maya Disbursements.
A payroll system is just one example among the many tools you need to learn about to steer your business to success. But remember that as an entrepreneur starting from scratch, you’ll also have to learn different roles and skills in the beginning. You’ll likely have to take care of operations, marketing, office admin, and more. Only if youhave the drive to continue learning will you be able to accomplish all these processes and put your new business on the path towards success.
3) You Have Multiple Products or Services to Offer
Diversification is a key strategy for ensuring the sustainability of your business. If you find yourself with multiple products or services in the pipeline, it could be a sign that you're ready to transition from the life of a regular employee to the life of a serious entrepreneur.
Offering a range of products or services not only caters to a broader audience, but also provides a buffer against market fluctuations. Thanks to a well-thought-out business model with multiple revenue streams, you’ll be able to bolster your business's resilience from the get-go and set your own stage for long-term success.
Imagine, for example, starting your dream bakery business. Instead of simply selling ordinary bread products, you can prepare to diversify and capture the vegan market by offering vegan options. Another example is a nail salon that also offers foot spa services. If you have the initial knowledge and resources to branch out into several products and services at a time, you’ll be in a good position to start a profitable business.
4) You Have Identified Your Market
An understanding of your target audience is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurial success. Are you appealing to the eco-conscious Gen Z market? Then, your brand has to have sustainability built into its DNA. In addition, you have to establish a strong online presence and meet your market where they spend the most time—social media platforms. On the other hand, if your product is meant for older audiences, you may have to establish a physical store for your business. These demographics prefer to shop in person rather than online.
If you have a pretty clear idea of who you’ll want to reach out to—and if you already have an “in” with that particular demographic, for example as someone known in your field—then you may be ready to leave the working world for the entrepreneurial life. Just remember to do thorough market research to identify the demand for your products or services, and ensure that there’s a viable market for your venture.
5) Your Initial Business Dealings Is Already Generating Income
What if you’re working and testing your business out on the side? While the journey to profitability may take time, you should notice if your sideline or “hustle” is already generating income. This early validation is a significant sign that you may be ready to pursue your SME venture full-time.
Celebrate these initial successes as crucial milestones on your path to sustained growth, and develop strategies to scale and expand your income streams further. As a business owner, you can’t ever be complacent about how much money your business is going to make. Markets can easily shift at the drop of a hat, so you have to be ready for your next move, even while your present setup is already bringing in the profits.
So, do you have what it takes to become a small business owner? The answer may be yes. But as you take these indicators into account, remember that the path to success is unique for every entrepreneur. Take your initial readiness for what it is, and commit to further strengthening your abilities and your resilience as your dream to found a business becomes a reality.