1. Take a stand

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Perhaps the hardest part of leaving that 9 to 5 rat race and go into business for yourself, is taking the plunge and firing your boss. Until this happens nothing will change.

2. Identify the right business

Before you take that plunge you must at least have an idea of the type of business or industry you plan to enter. Look for an industry that is growing and find a business where you can do something you are good at. If you are unsure what you are good at, consider franchising opportunities. This allows you to follow a blueprint for success and helps you be in business for yourself without actually being in business by yourself.

3. Create a business plan

Creating a business plan may feel like you are back in school. Some would say that this is only necessary if you are looking for a loan from the bank. But the truth is, a business plan is very beneficial to you. It adds color to your business idea and helps structure your thoughts in a way that will help you move forward more intelligently. There are many business plan templates you can look for on-line but here are a few topics you definitely want to cover in yours.

  • About your business
  • About the industry
  • About the competition
    • Top 3 competitors
    • What do they do well
    • What can you do differently/better?
  • About the Consumers/Target Audience
  • How much money is needed to get started?
  • How will this money be spent? Worse case scenarios and Best case scenarios
  • How long will it take for you to break even from your initial investment?
  • What is your monthly break even point and how many sales/customer must you convert in order to make this happen?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What is your distribution strategy?
  • What is you forecasted profit and loss statement for the first year based on your research?

These are just a few of the topics you definitely want to include.

4. Know your personal finances

They say big risks can yield big rewards but consider your circumstances. Do you have a family to feed? How much do you have in your savings? Does it make sense to bring in an investor to help with funding? This is a tough decision but evaluate your personal circumstances thoroughly.

5. Have a support network

Behind every great entrepreneur there is a support system that is there for you throughout all the challenges. No one said building a business is easy and there will be times when you feel like quitting. Surround yourself around positive people that will lift you and not let you waiver.