When we find ourselves basking in the excitement of a business venture gone right, the high of success can become the inspiration to make drastic life changes. When your idea is selling and profits are coming, it is tempting to dive in head first! If you’re considering leaving your day job behind to focus fully on a new endeavor, these six pointers will help you decide if you have the secure foundation you will need for a bright future.
1. Put Aside a Savings Safety Net
As a rule of thumb, having at least enough to survive for three months without income in your savings will buy you leeway in any moment of crisis. This is especially true if you’re taking a potentially risky financial move. A solid savings safety net will help keep your mind on your project and off of frightening what-ifs.
2. Create a Practical Business Plan
Start-up money is one thing, but budgeting for your future is a step that cannot be missed when branching out. Calculate your needs and costs; then map out what realistic options you will have.
Some questions to consider include:
- How much income do I need monthly to stay afloat?
- What costs can I cut if I have a bad month?
- How much do I need to bring in before I should invest in expanding?
Prepare a roadmap of what you can do if you are doing well, average, or in a disaster situation. Sorting through these plans before launching will help you feel organized and prepared when your future is fully riding on your success.
3. Have a Base of Operations
Any kind of business, creative or otherwise, needs a home base. Do you have the supplies and space necessary to work independently? An organized home office may seem arbitrary, but it will make all the difference. Knowing where documents are kept, where your supplies are stored, and where you can settle for peace of mind while you work is extremely beneficial.
Also ensure you have ideal sources of communication. A phone is important, of course, but in today’s world internet access is equally, if not more, important.
Keep in mind too, you may have begun operating on your own personal accounts, but for some things it is important to switch to business accounts at this point. Did you know that internet providers give priority service to business accounts over personal accounts? Having your internet fixed in hours over days can make a major impact on your new business.
All in all, make sure your resources are not only reliable, but also set up properly in order to help your business grow, as well as designate for tax purposes.
4. Consider Your Long-Term Needs
Long term needs like healthcare and retirement can be tricky for those who work for themselves – especially if you have a family that depends on you. Take those factors into consideration when deciding to work as an independent. What will your needs look like in 5 or 10 years? Will you be able to afford those costs down the road with the plan you have?
5. Review & Properly Submit all Legal Documents
Paperwork may not be fun, but it is critical to building your business on a sturdy foundation. Triple check everything – contracts, and otherwise before diving into independent waters. Be sure that you’ve noted how long documents are valid for and that everything has been properly notarized and filed away.
If you’re bringing on employees, make sure that you’ve drawn up comprehensive employment contracts and have familiarized yourself with any necessary state laws and regulations.
6. Establishing a Protectible Brand
Does your brand need to be trademarked? Do you have products that need to be patented?
Keep in mind that the power of your brand ties in very closely with the value of your business. Customers come more easily once brand trust is established. Also, if you plan to one day sell your business, how recognizable and trusted your brand is plays a big role in how much your overall business is worth. A protected and well established brand is an asset.
Important questions to ask before establishing your brand (or before spending a great deal promoting it) include:
- Does someone already own this business name or operating with it?
- If so, how long have they done so? How successful are they? Where are they located?
- Is the URL and/or the social profiles related to this brand available? If not, what are good alternatives?
Investigating these things first can save a tedious, stressful and costly re-brand in the future and protect you from potential legal challenges.
Not sure where to begin? This is where Garcia-Zamor comes in. We can help you establish a protected brand that leverages a strong and valuable footprint in your industry. Contact us today to learn more.
Following your passions into an independent career is an exciting journey. But remember, you can avoid some of this journey’s biggest stressors by careful planning at the start. With smart preparation, the future will continue to be bright and full of success and growth for your business!