You may have many different reasons why you want to quit your job: you hate it, you want a change, you’d like to work with friends, you don’t want a boss, you don’t like having a predefined schedule, you think it will give you more balance in your life. But before jumping ship to start your own business, ask yourself these questions:
How do you plan to raise capital? One of the greatest reasons entrepreneurs fail is that they don’t have adequate capital to grow their business. Starting a business takes a lot of work, sacrifice and planning … and it often takes two to five years to see a profit! How will you and your family handle this?
Can you make a graceful exit? It’s important not to burn bridges with your former employer. If you decide to leave, give as much notice as possible and offer to help find your replacement and train her. You never know when your old boss might become your new client!
Are you good at keeping in touch? Once you cut the umbilical cord to the corporate world, it’s important to stay connected with colleagues, former bosses and executive search firms. You never know when you might need them!
Do you have enough discipline to work without a large infrastructure behind you? Often, people don’t realize how hard it is to do everything themselves. If you’re planning to work from home, are you easily distracted by other things you want to do like going to the gym, attending your children’s events, throwing in a load of laundry … or two? And what happens if the house phone rings or there’s a knock on the door?
How does your family feel about your new venture? They’re your main support group, so it’s important to be fully open with them about the risks so you can all make intelligent decisions.
Do you have a contingency plan? Be sure there’s a “Plan B” when developing your business strategy. If possible, consider a “side launcher” – start your business while you’re still employed.