7 Things to Do Before You Launch Your New Business
You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to leave your full-time job, and open your own business. Before you go – before you even start telling people what you’re doing – there are things you need to do to prepare yourself, and lay the foundation to give yourself the best chance of success.
- Be really, really honest with yourself. Is this what you want to do? If you’re on the fence, try before you buy; work the business part-time or freelance first. If you can make coin doing what you love, you’re committed to continuous learning, and you’re okay with making mistakes and taking risks, go for it. New businesses require commitment and consistency if you’re going to be successful. You’ll have to wear a lot of different hats, and you’ll need to be extremely self-motivated. So, give it a good think: Is the entrepreneur life really for you?
- Save money. Ideally, you want to have a year – two if you’re really on the ball – of living expenses socked away to sustain you until your business starts generating regular income. Minimum six months if you’ve already got a running start, like you’ve been successfully working the business freelance long enough to see its potential register in your bank account. But a little security cushion or in-case-of-emergency-break-glass money will be handy because things will happen.
- Make sure your side hustle game is tight. This is related to no. 2, but it deserves it’s own space. Before you leave your job you should have secured at least one or two alternative sources of income. Money goes faster than you think once you cut off the source for regular infusions of cash – aka your salary – you don’t want to just have money flowing out and now flowing in. It’s stressful for one thing, and you could put yourself in a jam and jeopardize your new business and your current lifestyle.
- Go to the doctor. Make all of your yearly health appointments and keep them. You need to know you’re healthy before you embark on your new business. So, get your teeth worked on and what not while you still have company assisted insurance. If possible, you don’t want to find out you need surgery after you’ve lost access to that Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO.
- Establish your infrastructure. This is a big one. Your infrastructure is your foundation. It could encompass anything from setting up your company website, to identifying and pricing co-working office space, and securing your first clients. The bottom line is, do everything you can to establish yourself before you cut off your primary source of regular income. You don’t want to start doing all of these things after you leave. That’s a ton of time and money wasted. You should be ready to roll before your last day. For instance:
- Buy all of your equipment. Need a new laptop, camera lens, microphones, shelves, filing cabinets, folding tables, lights, cords, business cards? Whatever it is, buy it before you leave the job. Ideally, you should be buying these things one by one along the way. Unless you’ve secured a ton of venture capital, you don’t want to have basic but necessary expenditures eating into your seed money before your business gets going. Similarly, if you’re going to be working from home, set up your office, studio or work space.
- Create schedules. Entrepreneurs need discipline. You need to work as hard on your own business as you once did for your old boss. You’re probably used to getting up and going to a job, metaphorically or even physically clocking in and launching into your days tasks. As a business owner, you don’t necessarily need to buck that system. Plan to work, and work the plan. Set up reminders, schedules, whatever you need so that whatever you need to get done each day – marketing, distribution, sales calls, social media management – gets done.
- Establish your digital presence. Figure out which social media channels you’re going to be on – yes, you need to be on at least some of them. Get your LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook handles, pages and feeds rolling. It takes time to build a following. Start building an audience for your products and services long before you leave your job.
- Find your vendors and tools. Google is your friend. There are tons of economical options to get everything you need to get done, done. You just need to look for the right vendors and tools.
Let’s say you’ve decided to turn your love for photography into a full-time career. You’ve got your cameras, lenses, cases to carry them to shoots, box lights for the home studio, business cards, website, Instagram and Facebook pages are rolling, you’ve even booked your first major event. Do you know how you’re going to send high res pictures and videos to your clients? Email won’t work. There are too many restrictions for this to be an efficient method of regular digital communication, and you will have to share photos often. It’s part of the job.
Binfer is an affordable, dependable, secure option. Download our file transfer software. Create a Binfer account. Decide whether a monthly subscription or pay as you go options make the most sense. You’re ready to go. We make large file sharing fast and easy.
- Save your contacts. Relationships are important. Even if you’re moving into an industry that is radically different from the one you’ve been working in, you never know when you’ll need someone from your previous life. Don’t forget your emails and phone numbers in the work computer that you leave behind. Transfer them all before you go.
- Don’t burn any bridges. This is related to save your contacts. Even if you hate your job and your boss and everyone in the office, don’t tell them you do. Keep it classy. Leave on good terms. Give notice, and do your best until the last day. Again, relationships – and your professional reputation – are important. You never know when you may need someone. Set the tone for your success. Launch into your new life as an entrepreneur knowing that you left your old one like a champ because that’s how you want to run your business going forward.
As you can see from this list, it’s all about preparation. Before you embark on life as an entrepreneur – and leave the “security” of full-time employment (yes, those quotes are kind of loaded) – you want to do everything you can to establish your business, and give yourself a leg up in the game. This piece doesn’t get into the impact entrepreneurship can have on your family, or the need for support, a lot of things, but preparation is definitely one of the keys to success. And remember, if your business is online, and you have to regularly transfer big files, photos or videos, give Binfer a try.