Personal Finance

The reality of quitting job for self employment


Becoming your own boss requires perseverance and commitment. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The thought of being one’s own boss is inspiring. Many people dream of the day they will become business owners.

Most people focus on the flowery details such as job satisfaction and freedom, while overlooking the contingencies. Failure to plan for these can lead to failure.

Moving from employment to self-employment is not an easy transition. You should not take this decision lightly. Before you decide to quite your job, ask yourself these questions about starting your own business.

Why are you quitting your job to start a business? Do you have a business idea that you are really enthusiastic about? Or are you quitting your job because you hate it and you are hoping for a change?

If you are leaving your job because of boredom and the desire for change, becoming self-employed might not be your best bet. It would be much better for you to seek another opportunity in another company.

This is especially true for you if you are hoping that starting your own business will save you from stress, low pay and all the hard work you have been putting in in the eight-to-five job.

Starting a business will require you to put in hours of hard work, you will feel stressed and there might be little or no pay during start-up period.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to dissuade you from becoming self-employed. I am saying it’s not going to be easy. And it’s certainly not a quick fix for when you’re tired o your job.

Becoming your own boss demands a lot of perseverance and commitment.

If you are ready to take the leap, it is time to start thinking about transitioning from an employee position to becoming an entrepreneur. The more prepared you are, the higher your chance of success.

People tend to think that starting you own successful business is a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. You just decide to clear your desk, toss the papers in the trashcan and walk out of your office, never to return.

The reality is different. Making such a drastic change might turn out to be a mistake. It is more advisable to start small and grow from there. Take time to prepare before you leave your day job. It will save you time, money and a great deal of stress.

Try building your business in stages. It will be less risky and it is likely to earn you more rewards.

The following tips will help you:


What kind of business will you start?

This question is not as easy to answer as you might think. You need to know exactly what you intend to do or sell.

The most successful business ideas are those that focus on offering solutions.

Examine the market for holes and craft a product that fills this void in the society.

Finding your niche will require some level of research. You can conveniently search for information about any industry using your smart phone or computer. There are many ideas on the internet. You just need to decide on one and customise it.

Ensure that you have a developed business idea before you quit your job. This does not mean that you should use company hours to work on your ideas. This will only land you into problems.

As an entrepreneur, you should learn not to burn bridges. Don’t create animosity between you and your employer by ‘stealing’ time to work on your business. Remember that once you become an entrepreneur, your employer will be part of your network.


How do you measure the potential of your business idea?

Moving from employment to entrepreneurship is a huge step. You don’t want to make a move with an idea that fails.

Test your idea on a small group with a market analysis so as to understand prospective customers, competitors and the industry.

Use questionnaires, surveys and interviews about your products to see how people react.

Don’t forget to take a look at the market trends and listen to the experts in that field. Pay close attention to crucial issues influencing the industry direction and use them as a guide.


Use a business plan to refine your idea. A business plan will be your roadmap for launching the business. A business plan contains details about target customers, the product you are offering, and source of funding.

Choose an opening date and location for your business, decide on the types of records you will keep, come up with a marketing strategy and create a budget for your business.


You don’t have to grow your business alone.

Build a network of experts from various fields such as industry experts and financial consultants.

You should also network with prospective customers.

Indeed, owning a business is not for everyone. If you have a solid plan and are passionate about it, you are halfway through the journey. For your dream, seek advice and trust your instincts.

Co-Founder Founders Breakfast Kenya.