Starting up your business can be nerve-wracking, particularly leaving the financial security of your job. However, unless you plan to start a business whilst continuing to work, you’ll need to leave in order to dedicate the maximum amount of time possible to making your business a success.

Starting up your business can be nerve-wracking, particularly leaving the financial security of your job. However, unless you plan to start a business whilst continuing to work, you’ll need to leave in order to dedicate the maximum amount of time possible to making your business a success.

Research

Market research is essential before you quit your job and run your business full time. You must be sure people will buy your products and services, and that you’ll be able to access a suitable supply chain that’ll yield a profit. You’ll also need to ensure you have a viable unique selling point (USP) or there’ll be no incentive for customers to buy from you rather than a competitor. Call suppliers and make sure they can sustainably manufacture your goods at a price that allows you to make a profit. Read our guide to market research for more information, and bear in mind that thoroughly researching your market can take several months.

Customers

You need to ensure you know precisely how you’ll attract customers when your business begins, whether it’s a grand opening launch, a direct mail campaign or a combination of tactics. It may also be worth contacting potential customers and seeing if the vibe is there for them to buy from you once you’re established. Identifying your target group is essential, because you’ll need to aggressively market to them once you’re set up. Make sure you understand what makes customers loyal so you can put this into practice once your business takes off.

Finance

With no regular income it’s essential you work out exactly how much you’re going to spend over the first couple of years and ensure you have a sufficient budget. Setting up a company will always cost more than you think, so double the money you expect to spend to be on the safe side. Make sure the funding is in place before you quit your job. Don't rely on verbal contracts. Unless the money is sitting in your bank account, or you have a signed contract, do not progress. Take a look at our guide to start-up finance for more information.

Solid business plan and model

You need to know precisely how you’re going to make money before you quit your job and start running your business full time. If you’re not sure how the services or products you offer will bring in money then you’ll struggle to turn a profit once your business gets underway. That’s why it’s essential to formulate a monetised business model. You must also take the time to develop a cogent business plan. This should include precisely what’s going to happen and when, and also what marketing and PR activity will take place. Read our guide to business plans for more information.

The right time in your life

Getting your business idea sorted before you quit your job is essential, but it’s also important to make sure your lifestyle is accommodating of being an entrepreneur. Times where financial security and emotional involvement are particularly important – such as in the initial years of a child’s life – are not ideal times to start your business. Likewise, if you’re about to purchase a property then starting a business will likely devour your deposit. Having a secure, stable and robust home life, including an understanding partner, are key to business success.