You’ve taken the plunge and started your own venture. You aren’t confident enough in it to quit your day job — or are you? You may be at a breaking point, trying to run your small business and work a 9-to-5 at the same time. The idea of working only for yourself is appealing but frightening. What should you do?
Knowing when it’s time to go full time at your own business can be difficult. There are dozens of unanswered questions and you have people depending on you. So how do you know when the time is right? Ask yourself these questions to start with and see where your thoughts take you.
1. Are You Heading in the Right Direction?
You started your business from the comfort of your couch or maybe your home office. It started small enough, and you certainly had the time you needed to get it off the ground and work your day job. According to Freelancers Union, nearly 50 million working people had side jobs over the past year.
If you’ve gotten past the startup phase, you should have a good idea of where you are headed. If the direction is up, you may be able to let go of that safety net you are calling a full-time job. Chances are high that you didn’t start you own business with the plan of running yourself ragged. Once you are moving in the right direction and your outlook is positive, it’s time to give some serious thought to focusing your effort on your company and not someone else’s.
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2. Are You Out of the Novice Stage?
When you started working for yourself, you were a novice. That is true whether it was your first company or your first company in a particular industry. Running a business takes knowledge and experience. Building that knowledge and experience takes time. If you feel like you still have a lot to learn, it’s probably not the best time to quit your job.
If, on the other hand, you feel as though you have what it takes to make it and can handle any little bumps that come your way, you have surpassed the novice stage. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you’re relatively safe to go full time at your own business.
3. Do You Have Customers You Can Rely On?
Having customers is necessary for your business. Having customers who are reliable is necessary for maintenance and growth. Pulling numbers from Freelancers Union again, out of five freelancers, only one has a steady and reliable source of income.
When you have reliable customers, you know that you have the financial means to work for yourself. If you don’t yet have a good customer base, you’ve got to spend a bit more time building it up. If you do, you should be considering working for yourself full-time.
4. Can You Live On What You Make?
Take a look at what you are bringing home now. If you are close to making an income you could live on, you may be ready to quit your day job. Why? Because if you devote yourself to your company full time, you will probably make more and that would tip you over the edge toward supporting yourself.
Let’s say that right now you are making enough that if you lost your full time job for some reason, you think you would be okay. That’s a great indicator. If you’re making enough money with your side gig to pay off a few bills and put some money into savings, that’s also a good indicator. If your side gig is paying for your weekend pizza and nothing more, you can’t quit your job just yet.
5. Can You Afford Not To?
You are running your own company and you find yourself having to turn down work because you simply don’t have enough time to take on anything else. You are actually starting to lose money by working two jobs. Not in the sense that your bank account is suffering, but in the sense that your business is suffering. It’s time to go full-time on your own.
Here are just a couple of other considerations. If your family or social life is suffering because you are working so many hours a week just trying to get yourself to the point that you can quit your day job, you may already be there. If you can’t grow your business any bigger because you don’t have enough time or energy, you may be ready to quit. If the only thing holding you back is fear, you may definitely be ready to quit.
No one can tell you that letting go of your steady, full-time job in favor of working only for yourself is an easy decision to make. Reread the above questions and answers. If they apply to you, it may be time to take the leap. If they don’t, or you truly don’t feel like you are there yet, it may be a few more months or even a few more years before you are secure enough to work for no one but yourself. The decision is really up to you, and only you can make it.
Let Company.com Help You Run Your Small Business
If you need a bit of help running your own small business in a way that takes up less of your time, we are here for you. We have services and tools that you need to make your company run more efficiently and allows you to concentrate on the important things.
Reach out to Company.com today to learn more about how we can help you succeed in this exciting time in your life of deciding to go full time at your own business, or to start a free trial of our premium software package.