How do I start a business without having to leave my job first?
This was a recent question I received in my Inbox. “How do I start a business without having to leave my job first”? So imagine as I often hear, “Chris how can I do that when I also have a Disability or long-term health condition too”?
It also remind me that far too many people fail in business precisely because they ‘jumped’ as many motivational speakers argue is the only way, and very soon they cannot admit how bad things have got and dream of being back in the job or career they hated so much. These people also have to injure a cue of those only too willing to tell them how it was doomed to failure – “I told you so”.
So here’s a thing. What if it really is possible to actually create the right business for you, market test your idea and grow it to a point where you could leave work relatively risk free? Does that sound like a better way than taking a blind leap of faith into the unknown where the risks feel too great and the fear of failing is going to prevent you ever fulfilling your dreams?
Here are some examples of what you could do:
First Things First
If you already have a clear idea about what you want to do, you can Download my ebook, The One Page Business Results Plan and build some structure and create the steps you need to implement over the next 12-months to turn your business idea into a reality.
For everyone else saying things like “I want to be in business”, if you do nothing else, you must begin by learning more about who you really are, what you really want and your personality type. Too many so called business gurus fail to concentrate on this important area of self-reflection. Don’t be afraid to think big dreams, visualise yourself with what you truly need, want and above all deserve.
In addition, ask yourself how your Disability or long-term health condition has given you certain skills and strengths. These challenges have shaped who you are, treat them as an intrinsic part of who you are and what you have to offer the world.
You should now be feeling a little clearer on knowing what a business should provide and the type of business that matches who you are – your ‘Business Persona’.
Who Would Buy Anything From Me?
The truth is that there are also many people just like you in this world, who think and need the same things you do. The simple difference that separates you both is that they may not realise what they need to solve the problems they have. The other big truth is that you don’t have to start a traditional business that needs a special purpose built facility, factory, office. The fastest growth sectors in business today are home-based businesses working online providing services built around knowledge. Even better, many Professionals who have acquired specific technical skills are much in demand.
This is much easier to work out than many people realise – it is not rocket science.
Every successful business is able to articulate who their Ideal Customer is, their ‘Customer Avatar’. If you don’t believe me consider recent businesses that were once successful, but are now struggling to stay in business. Department stores used to appeal to a certain type of shopper, but they have not kept pace with how these shoppers have altered their behaviour and increasingly want to buy online. The ones that are doing better have assessed who their customers are and understand their needs, wants and desires.
A good starting point is to revisit the work you did earlier on what you need, want and desire.
You also need the second helpful set of questions, Who is my Ideal Customer Avatar
What Should I Sell?
Before we look at this important next step in how do I start a business without having to leave my job first, you need to check your Contract of Employment. Many businesses have clauses written in to stop you stealing business ideas from them, coping them or attempting to poach their customers. This does not mean that you cannot set-up a business based on your current knowledge and skills, but be aware that this might result in disciplinary action against you. This is not an issue if you intend to say open an online shop and you work in the public sector. What you should avoid is a ‘Conflict of Interest’.
Now the good news right now is that many business start-ups can be home based, require very little time if set-up properly and can be easily scaleable.
The important thing to bear in mind that running a business must be built about something you have a strong passion for, a purpose and be in a profitable niche.
“You must have your heart in your business and your business in your heart”
Next a good starting point is to revise the ‘Ideal Customer Avatar’. This will help you to begin to work out what you are actually going to sell to your customer. This will enable you to know what you will need to invest to get your business off the ground, but will stop you throwing hard earned money into a bottomless pit. It will save you massive amounts of time and get you results much quicker than if you kept trying everything until something either worked.
Next time we are gong to look at the Products that your Ideal Customer will be knocking down your door to buy from you.