How to prep for the leap to en­tre­pre­neur

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

The tran­si­tion from em­ployee to en­tre­pre­neur in­volves a dis­tinct shift in men­tal­ity. Be­fore you make the leap, take th­ese steps to make sure you’re ready.

1. Talk with other en­trepreneurs. The best way to pre­pare for the jump from a cor­po­rate job to calling the shots is to talk with those who have have made the tran­si­tion.

“You don’t want to rein­vent the wheel ev­ery sin­gle time,” says Cathy Pos­ner, a small-busi­ness coach in Ohio. “You don’t have to do it alone.”

Ask other en­trepreneurs how their roles in cor­po­rate Amer­ica pre­pared — or failed to pre­pare — them to run a small busi­ness. What do they wish they had done dif­fer­ently? What do they wish they had known ahead of time?

2. Iden­tify your re­sources. A small-busi­ness men­tor from SCORE is in­valu­able to en­trepreneurs, Pos­ner says. This free pro­gram, which is sup­ported by the SBA, con­nects sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als with small-busi­ness own­ers. A men­tor can help you turn your un­der­stand­ing of cor­po­rate goals into a busi­ness strat­egy by clar­i­fy­ing your vi­sion. They also can help you de­fine your ser­vices, de­ter­mine the fees you’ll charge and give ad­vice on daily busi­ness tasks you may not have han­dled be­fore, such as mar­ket­ing and man­ag­ing em­ploy­ees, Pos­ner says.

Be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur in­volves higher highs and lower lows

3. Pre­pare your­self for un­cer­tainty.

than work­ing in an of­fice, Pos­ner says.

“In many cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ments, your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties can be pretty seg­mented,” she says. But when you’re a small-busi­ness owner, “the buck stops 100 per­cent at you.”

4. Net­work, col­lab­o­rate re­peat. In a cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment, you’ve likely al­ready dipped your toes in the net­work­ing pool. Take ad­van­tage of those con­nec­tions be­fore you leave your 9-to-5. Con­tacts and re­sources may prove in­valu­able; plus, you never know who may be­come a client. — Nerdwal­let

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