How to prep for the leap to entrepreneur
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