How to Transition From Being an Employee to an Entrepreneur

As we get ready to head into the New Year, there may be some entrepreneurial thoughts floating around the cubicles of employees. If you have a strong idea in place, 2014 may be the perfect year to break out of the corporate world and venture into becoming your own boss and running a start-up. There’s no better time like the present, and there is even still no better time than a brand new year to get your running start! But before you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur, keep the following tips in mind to make for a smoother shift.

Communicate with your current boss.

Be honest and up front with your current boss. Let them know that starting your own business has been something you’ve wanted for a long time and that you’re excited to finally make the jump but that it’s nothing personal to the company you currently work for either. Leaving a company to become an entrepreneur sounds much better than leaving a company to work at a different, or even rival, company. Plus, if you maintain a positive professional relationship with your old boss, you may be able to build up a partnership together later on, or at the very least go out for coffee and ask for business advice.

Find a mentor from the beginning.

Whether your old boss is your mentor, a family friend who’s also started her own business, or a LinkedIn connection who’s in the same industry you’d like to go into, pick someone you respect as a business owner, and who you can communicate easily with. Having a mentor is priceless to a new entrepreneur because it helps you figure out from their experiences and lessons learned along the way what mistakes to avoid making and what areas can actually be opportunities in disguise.

Make a business plan.

Start off with a short-term plan. Brainstorm on the first orders of business: what exact industry are you going into? What will you name your business? Do you have an idea for a logo? Where would you like to set up shop? These are all great ideas to start taking into consideration in order to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve figured out some of the first orders, take the time to sit down and actually write out a business plan. This plan will include areas like determining what your product or service is, who the target audience is, and how you plan on reaching your audience. Business plans are especially helpful to have on hand when you’re looking for investors. They’ll want to see where you think your business will be in five years time so be prepared to show them where you want to go and how you plan to get there!

Incorporate your business!

Finally, don’t forget to file your business as a corporation or LLC. Filing your business as a corporation or LLC will allow your business to pay less on taxes, gain protection, and let your customers know that you are a professional, serious business. Once you’re incorporated, you’re officially on the map – the first step in making your dreams become a reality!

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