According to the latest Google search data, “how to start a business” beat “how to find a job” in Google search queries in 2021. This information comes from Google’s “Year in Search” which shows last year’s data broken down into a list of trends by category. It seems that while millions of Americans quit their jobs in search of higher salaries, many of them do so in the hope of becoming their own bosses.
Government data supports this trend. US Census Bureau figures reveal that Americans submitted a record 5.4 million business inquiries in 2021, the highest in nearly 20 years. Moreover, the demands are expected to be even higher this year. So if you’re considering making the transition from corporate life to freelancing, you’re not alone.
The pandemic has presented many opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs. But, of course, the transition to entrepreneurship is not easy. Working for yourself can give you the freedom to choose your own lifestyle, but again, you don’t count on a steady paycheck. So if you’re thinking of leave to start a businesshere are some key considerations for making the leap successful.
Start a business you are passionate about
Starting a business is like having a baby. Not only is there never really a “right” time, but it also takes a lot of planning, preparation, and dedication. There are going to be ups and downs. You will even have days where you pull your hair out thinking, “did I do the right thing? But if the passion is there, it will get you through those tough times. If you want to take a giant leap forward, it should be doing something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Then, when you find yourself involved in an activity that nourishes your soul and harnesses your strengths, you will know that you are on the right path.
Starting a business for the right reasons
Some people are destined to be entrepreneurs. Maybe you like variety, making decisions and building something from scratch. Or do you dream of pursuing your passion while having more flexibility and leaving behind a legacy you can be proud of. And then, of course, there is financial independence. But if you want to start a business because you hate your job, despise your boss, or want to get famous, it’s probably a good idea to reconsider entrepreneurship.
Know what you don’t know
One of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur is leveraging your strengths and finding resources to fill in your weaknesses. You can’t do it all yourself. Even as a solo entrepreneur, you will have to rely on freelancers, interns, or other helpers to get the business started. Another suggestion is to find trusted advisors, coaches, or mentors who can provide valuable advice and feedback along the way. Find people you would like to emulate. A mentor or coach can help hold you accountable while giving you the support and confidence you need to keep moving forward.
Start slow but think big
Starting a business requires planning and dedication. Give yourself at least 12 months to prepare your exit strategy. Ideally, you’ll want to start your business as a side hustle while still employed. Take the time to know your target audience. If possible, do some formal or informal market research. This approach will reduce your risk and give you more time to validate your business idea.
Prepare financially to start a business
It’s no secret that most small businesses fail within the first five years. Corn a US Bank study found that 82% of the time, poor cash flow management contributes to this failure. So, before making the transition, talk to your accountant or advisor to review your financial situation. Having a healthy cash reserve will help you weather the inevitable ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship. The amount of money you set aside will depend on your industry, your expenses, and when you plan to start generating income. You’ll also want to choose a legal structure, register your business, obtain federal and tax IDs, and open a business bank account.
If you want to start a business, there is no better time than the present. You can take advantage of the rise of entrepreneurship to network with other potential small business owners. Chances are you also work remotely, which gives you more flexibility. As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, that is, living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And above all, have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They kind of already know what you really want to become. Everything else is secondary.”