I am a firm believer in entrepreneurship – it is one of the biggest contributors to the economy. To ensure upward social movement, more of us must embrace starting up. Most people are in employment, so it can be very intimidating to combine entrepreneurship with full time employment.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give up your day job, have a ton of money saved up for your new business? Unfortunately, that does not tend to happen, especially in most African unfavorable economies. This has to be the #1 reason most people decide to remain in employment. There are ways though you could keep your entrepreneurial fire burning and plan towards starting your business venture whilst keeping your day job. Today, I want to challenge the notion that it is impossible to transition from full-time employment to self-employment. Many successful entrepreneurs have done it, and so can you.
Here are 6 ways to make that transition:
1. Stretch that Salary
Don’t forget, this is your only means of livelihood. You can use your salary to finance your entrepreneurial plans. Do you have to do any kind of registration? Perhaps incorporate your company, pay for certification or specialist consultation (Legal, Accountants, etc). You want to keep any kind of borrowing to a minimum while still testing the waters, as such, your salary is the best (and in most cases the only) way to plan effectively while in employment.
2. Network Properly
You may want to start attending networking events attended by other business owners. Networking is one of the MOST important aspects of being an entrepreneur. You not only get to meet new people, you get to hear about issues that affect businesses, trends and opportunities. Through networking you can easily learn more about the business venture you are interested in and established pitfalls.
3. Become an Intrapreneur
Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Many companies have embraced intrapreneurship in order to keep competitive advantage and have invested heavily in their employees by giving them the autonomy to innovate within the organization. If you are lucky enough to be in a company that encourages intrapreneurial aspirations, you can easily use that to your advantage and learn a few things about bringing a product to market, and staying ahead of the competition.
4. Manage Your Time
Easier said than done right? But there’s no way round it. There is a set amount of time you dedicate to your employer, you must dedicate some time to your potential venture too. Do this with the knowledge that you will eventually work for yourself and reap the rewards at some point. Without proper time planning, you could end up having very little time to do the necessary research into launching your business. You could dedicate your weekends or holidays to the planning of your new business.
5. Utilize Employer Training
As part of boosting staff morale or company growth, your employer might invest in some staff training. It is important you utilize these training courses effectively because they might come in handy in your business. Remember, no training course is worthless. Courses like First Aid, Risk Assessment or HR might seem relevant only to your employment but they all apply to businesses, particularly SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises). Having a certification in any of these short courses could save you time and money; you wouldn’t have to pay external specialists while you are growing your business.
6. Part Ways with your Employer on Good Terms.
Starting a new business is quite daunting and can hold a degree of risk. Some entrepreneurs have failed in the past but by leaving employment without malice could mean you have a decent chance of being considered for your old post. In addition to that, your employer can give you a very good reference and could perhaps even patronise your business or recommend you to other businesses. Should you leave them with acrimony, that level of support may be destroyed for ever.
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