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Quitting paid employment to start your own business


Have you ever considered quitting your job and starting your own business? If so, you probably have wondered how and when to put in your notice. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition

When should you start?

There is no perfect time to quit your job and start a company. The fact is no business can be 100 per cent prepared for what’s to come. However, there are some questions you need to answer before taking the leap, such as: How many months of expenses should I have saved? How far along should my business be? How will I make money?

The most important thing that you can do is keep an open mind.

Don’t be afraid of change

Every great entrepreneur is able to roll with the changes and adapt to meet the needs of their customers. Listen to the feedback that your customers/clients provide and be willing to adapt when necessary.

Plan less and do more

The longer you spend planning your exit, the lesser the time you are spending on building your business. There is no greater contributor to success than failure. The best way to become an expert at something is to practise. No amount of planning or preparation will ever come close to real life experiences.

If you follow some of the tips below, you may be able to go back to your job if your start-up doesn’t work out the way you hoped.

Don’t use company’s time for personal projects

If you’re working on your business ideas outside the hours you’re working for your employer, that’s okay. It may be difficult to focus on the job you’re doing when your head is filled with dreams of starting your own business, but you have to buckle down and do great work. This is the last chance you’ll have to make an impression on your employer, and you don’t want that impression to be “the one who stole company time for personal projects.”

Resign properly

Maybe you’ve not written your resignation letter yet; Maybe you wrote it months ago, keep it in your back pocket at all times, and are just waiting to slap it on your boss’ desk. Make sure it’s short and polite.

Give your employer a two to three sentence letter that tells them how grateful you are for the opportunity to have worked for them, and how much you’ve learned. Your resignation letter is also your two weeks’ or one month, depending on the company’s resignation policy. Understand the situation that the letter puts your employer in; they now have to find someone to fill your spot, either via a backfill or hiring.

Don’t steal company’s personal projects

When you go, don’t steal the company’s clients upon departure. Remember, as a start-up, you’re small. It’s a strength you’re nimble, customised and fast. But you’re also small, as in easily crushed by a big, angry business with more reach and power than you. If a big business feels like you’re threatening its ability to turn a profit, it can hit you with legal issues, suck up your cash reserves and send your business into bankruptcy.

Don’t recruit your friends to jump ship

By all means, put it out there for them. Let them know what you’re planning and that there is a place for them but don’t facilitate their departure or sow seeds of dissatisfaction with the current employer. In many ways, taking an employee is far worse than taking a client. Losing an employee is losing information, revenue, and incurring the cost and energy of sourcing new talent, onboarding a new employee, and getting the team back up to speed.

Don’t steal office items

Do not pocket the company stapler, a pack of stationery, or a box of pens. This is beneath you.

Record how your work is done

Sit down with your employer and map out everything you can about what you do and how you do it. If they ask you to show someone else the ropes, do it, and take it seriously. If you leave and they call you with questions that only you can answer, answer the questions; even if you don’t like your former employer and don’t want to hear from them.

Be open-minded

Many entrepreneurs leave one business to start a very similar business their way. If this is you and you are open and willing to help your former employer, you may find that former employer will send you clients that they don’t service the way you would. But if you’re not willing to help them, they won’t be willing to help you. Nor will they be ready to bring you back.

Double your work before you leave

Once you hand in your letter of resignation, work extra hard. Do not, under any circumstance, coast. Not only does this let them know that you were a valuable employee, it also reinforces what losing you represents. The ideal situation for you to quit and start your own business is one in which your current employer says to you, “We’re going to miss you around here, and if you ever want to come back, there will always be a place here for you.”

Quitting paid employment to start your own business Quitting paid employment to start your own business Reviewed by mujeeb Olagunju on June 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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