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10 Steps To Start A Business While Working

| August 23, 2012 | 23 Comments

Some entrepreneurs simply quit their job without a game plan or without logical planning for opening a business.  More often than not, they end up back on the job market.

Quitting your job to open a business is not a black and white concept meaning that you can start before you quit your job.  In all actuality, I recommend it.

How many hours does this take?  If that’s your first question, than you may want to look elsewhere for advice because to be a successful entrepreneur, the time dedication to your business is going to be something that will at first seem very foreign and very daunting, but it’s very necessary.

However, if you’re not overly scared, here are 10 steps on how to open a business while you’re still working without sacrificing ethics:  Remember that these can be done over a period of time (don’t rush, yet never procrastinate).

1. Determine What Type of Business

You can’t be an entrepreneur without a business idea.  Quitting your job to open a business is overly vague and will often lead to confusion.  When determining a product or service (or suite of), it’s best to get involved in industries that exist and that have a market already.

It’s okay not to be the next Bill Gates.  It’s not okay to quit your job to reinvent cat-nip! Having an existing market increases your odds for success as a young entrepreneur as, among other things, it serves for a pricing base.

2. Determine Who Is Currently in the Space

Once you know what you’re selling, know who is already in the space and how they position themselves.  Don’t get overly intimidated; these businesses were not built in a day either.

Also, never copy off of; you don’t want to end up like one of those “B” actors who is referred to as “A Poor Man’s.”  Rather, this exercise is done to evaluate how people in the space conduct business.

3. Determine How You Want To Market Your Business

You can take any business and make it sexy.  You can take any business and make it anything.  Look at Steve Jobs.  He made computers cool.  He made them sexy.

When marketing your business, stay 100% original and stay 100% creative.  The limit is not what other companies are doing, rather it’s your imagination.

4. Determine Your Start-up Costs

In one clean shot, how much is it going to cost you to be from where you are now, to up and operational?  Do you need a new computer?  Do you need a new workspace?

Think one-time costs here.  Quick hint: just because they are one-time, does not mean that you should roll out the red carpet.  The less you spend, the longer you can survive without a job.

5. Determine Your Monthly On-going Expenses

Now that you figured out the added expenses it’s going to take to get up and running, figure out the monthly expenses that you’re going to incur for your first few months of business.

6. Determine Whom You Want To Sell To

Who is going to buy your product or service after the launch?  Are they companies or individual consumers?
If they are companies, who within those organizations are going to be the ones who pull the trigger.

Don’t answer this with, CEO, CEO, CEO.  CEOs hire employees to take care of vendors.  Now, figure out which employees are paid to do so.

7. Determine Your Pricing

Once you have your monthly expenses and your competitive analysis done, you can determine your pricing based upon:

a. How much it is going to be to break even.
b. How much the competition gets away with asking for when selling similar products or services.

8. Determine Your Sales Pitch

The best way to sell is to be upfront.  Give the facts.  Phrases like, “I’m the best,” insult the buyer’s intelligence.  Let them determine that through the facts that you want to give upon speaking with the individual.

9. Determine Other Skills Needed to Grow

Since I opened my company, I’ve had to learn everything from accounting to how to speak to a camera. There is no way that you know everything that you need to in order to take your company to the next level.

Successful entrepreneurship is about growth of not only the company, but of oneself.  One can not grow without the other.

10. Website

Now that you have all of this information, it should not be all that hard to formulate a website.  A website is just a visual sales pitch, but a necessary one.  Don’t rely simply on a Facebook page.

In the End

When leaving a job to start a business, the name of the game is to have that business already operational or as close as possible.  The quicker you can generate revenue, the quicker you have a real business. Take these tips as individual exercises and you should never have to write a resume again.

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement www.kasplacement.com an executive search firm specializing in sales and marketing recruitment for organizations from over 30 countries.  Sundheim founded the company at age 25.

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Category: Personal Branding, Startup Advice

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameskohn Jim Kohn

    It’s about time we recognize Network Marketing, or MLM, as a viable path to owning your own business that’s accessible those without big dollars to invest. It’s the one entrepreneurial endeavor that we can undertake while we are working a full time job that has the potential to replace that job and then some. The time has come.

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  • http://twitter.com/kickrest kickrest

    Follow the steps above, this is how The Kickrest got started, we are now heading into retail.

  • Roni

    All very practical advice. It’s amazing how many more hours seem to appear in your day when you are constricted by a 9-5 to get your 5-9 up and running. Focus and action become so important. If you are willing to make the time sacrifice this is the smartest way to continue to sustain yourself while figuring it all out.

  • Roni

    All very practical advice. It’s amazing how many more hours seem to appear in your day when you are constricted by a 9-5 to get your 5-9 up and running. Focus and action become so important. If you are willing to make the time sacrifice this is the smartest way to continue to sustain yourself while figuring it all out.

  • Jack

    Hmmm. All very sounds points but not to do with starting a business while working. So i agree with the general tenor but I was looking for more on actually transitioning from paid work to startup, not just thinks to do before transitioning.

  • Jack

    Hmmm. All very sounds points but not to do with starting a business while working. So i agree with the general tenor but I was looking for more on actually transitioning from paid work to startup, not just thinks to do before transitioning.

  • Ken Sundheim

    Very well said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000053275770 Penny Furman

    Isn’t this discrimination for age since it is for under 30? Come on. Get with the damn program and don’t do this to yourself. You can get sued over this probably because it is outright discrimination. Time to contact my lawyer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000053275770 Penny Furman

    Isn’t this discrimination for age since it is for under 30? Come on. Get with the damn program and don’t do this to yourself. You can get sued over this probably because it is outright discrimination. Time to contact my lawyer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Nice piece, I also suggest that you look for a business that you have some passion for and get a mentor in the niche you want to practice in, that way you will make fewer mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Nice piece, I also suggest that you look for a business that you have some passion for and get a mentor in the niche you want to practice in, that way you will make fewer mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Nice piece, I also suggest that you look for a business that you have some passion for and get a mentor in the niche you want to practice in, that way you will make fewer mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Nice piece, I also suggest that you look for a business that you have some passion for and get a mentor in the niche you want to practice in, that way you will make fewer mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Nice piece, I also suggest that you look for a business that you have some passion for and get a mentor in the niche you want to practice in, that way you will make fewer mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enete.chuks Enete Chuks

    Well said Jim, funny enough your name sounds like one of my mentor’s: Jim Rohn. As one in the MLM industry myself I always recommend one investigates the MLM company you want to work with and then seek the right tools to use in achieving your MLM goals. The internet (especial facebook) is such an incredible tool that one can use to build and grow a ‘B’ business.

  • Pulin

    Nice info. Its never too late to start something on your own specially when you ‘Love what you do’ I am in the phase of starting something on my own but the dilema is where to start it??

  • http://www.facebook.com/mileena.bey Mileena Bey

    I liked this artile so much I pinned it to reread on Pinterest If your an entrepreneur like myself feel free to add me on Fb.

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  • Guest

    Hey Ralph, great tips! I especially like Tip#2. Once you’ve discovered your niche specialty, two things are vital…. 1) Can this “thing” that I love to do make me money? and 2) Who are my competitors in this market? If those two questions are not researched, answered, and strategically implemented you are just setting yourself up for disaster! – Great Read!

  • http://www.ehvconsultant.com/ EHV Consultants Erica HVincent

    Hey Ralph, great tips! I especially like Tip#2. Once you’ve discovered your niche specialty, two things are vital…. 1) Can this “thing” that I love to do make me money? and 2) Who are my competitors in this market? If those two questions are not researched, answered, and strategically implemented you are just setting yourself up for disaster! – Great Read!