4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

Jul 23, 2017 by

4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

A career in the corporate world is a great way to be a productive member of the society – you earn a salary in exchange for your time and skills. A corporate career can also be a great way to improve your skills, pick up more skills, and test your capabilities – on someone else’s dime. However, a time will eventually come when you’ll start feeling like you are just another employee turning the wheel without making much of an impact on the greater good.

If you are already contemplating early retirement or you can see the signs of a forced retirement on the horizon, you’ll most likely be thinking about firing your boss and becoming a boss in your own business. Here are 4 tips to help you along before you make the jump from the corporate world into the world of entrepreneurship.

1. Sound out other entrepreneurs

Your corporate career will prepare you for the challenges of being a business owner in some areas—but your experience in corporate America can be a liability for you in other areas when you start a business. One of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth transition from corporate America to starting your own business is to pick the brains of those who have taken a similar path in the past.

Talking with other entrepreneurs who made the switch from the corporate world will help you know how to spot and avoid potential pitfalls. They might also offer you insights on how to make a gradual switch or help you to decide if an abrupt switch is in your best interest.

2. Know your support system

You’ll need a strong support system made up of many essential parts to succeed in your move from being an employee to calling the shots in your business. The SBA provides small-business mentorship through its SCORE program and you’ll be doing yourself great favor by taking advantage of the mentorship in order to refine your business strategy.

You’ll also need to identify a support system for your core business operations, financing your business activities, and taking care of legal and regulatory requirements. For your core business, you’ll need to create a production strategy, marketing process, and a management system. For your financing, you’ll need to build up startup capital, know where to go for expansion capital, and have a ready funding source for ad-hoc capital needs.

3. Start expanding your network

Your experience in the corporate world might not give you the best preparation to build a business but it sure can provide you with a great opportunity to build a strong network. Building a strong network makes it easier for you to get your business up and running because you can always leverage your connections to find professionals that could help you with startup activities.

In addition, the people in your network are folks who know and trust you and they’ll be more readily inclined to patronize or recommend your goods and services. More so, having a strong network helps you to keep a social circle that might be otherwise lost when you leave your colleagues at work behind.

4. Uncertainty is a certainty

Corporate America is mostly predictable – you show up, do the work required of you, punch in the clock, and you get paid at the end of the month. However, when you are running a business, the only certainty is that you are living in a world of uncertainties. You’ll need to be grounded mentally in order to maintain your sanity and make smart decisions when the uncertain nature of business rears its ugly head.

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