This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme

How To Go From Employee To Entrepreneur

DATE: 15/10/20


Security or limitation?

Up until now, you’ve spent your professional life working for someone else. You know the world of being an employee. You have some security, you know what you’re doing, and at the end of the day, the buck does not stop with you.  But is there a point when the safety of being employed becomes a limitation? Have you considered what it would be like to work for yourself? To build a business of your own? A business that you are the boss of instead of being the employee?


Making the change

Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur can be a most rewarding and life-changing decision but it’s certainly not a simple one.  You’ll need to consider a lot more than just handing your notice in and setting up on your own. If you are finding it It overwhelming to know when and how to make the change, we’ve gathered up some tips from our successful employee-turned-entrepreneurs to help you through the process.


Plan, plan, plan

Figure out what it is you really want to do. Not enjoying your current job just isn’t enough of a reason to quit. Take time to think about where you see yourself. What is your passion and can you turn it into a business? And importantly, is the business area you’re considering something you can see yourself doing for years? After all, setting up a business is not a folly, you’ve got to really believe in what you’re doing and be willing to fully commit to it. Anything less just won’t work.


It’s all about the business plan

If you’ve spent any time researching setting up on your own, you’ll have been pointed towards drafting a business plan. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. A solid, researched business plan is essential to give your business the best chance at success. But more than that, it’s essential to you. The process of drafting your business plan will help you to research and truly think about your plans. To flesh out the financials, the administration, the goals, the customers, everything that comes into setting up a business. It is the smartest way to inform yourself and set up a structure to guide you through any next steps.

Look for some help to make sure you’re on the right track with your business plan. Contact us at Go For It, our experienced business advisors will help you through the design and development of your business plan and help you on the right path to launch.


Be realistic

Be smart and honest about your plans. Setting up a new business is complex and it can take some time before the business starts turning over enough profit to allow you to draw a salary. Think about your financial situation, try and save as much as you can before making the move and perhaps you could even consider setting up while maintaining your job for a while? Having a reliable income is welcome in the early months of a new business.

Your work life balance may also shift at the outset of a new business. Employees have the benefit of paid holidays and sick leave, fixed hours and weekends off but when you set up a new business venture, it can be very intense. It’s smart to take the time early on, to consider your family and home demands to make sure you can manage everything.


Master every trade

As an employee you’ve probably become excellent at your job. Your specific area of work. Be prepared to broaden that scope considerably when you’re setting up anew. Business owners necessarily need to be on top of every part of their business. Not only because you’re often working alone but also because making smart and informed decisions requires knowing absolutely all the facts.  Get ready to dive into everything from accounting to marketing, customer service to production. It can be a hugely satisfying process to know and understand every aspect of your business and a skill that you’ll come back to time and time again as a business owner.


Set clear goals

It is vital to be honest about what your goals are when it comes to your own business. Are you planning to grow a business locally, nationally or even internationally? Or are you hoping to create something that provides you with enough income and job satisfaction to sustain you and that’s all? Clarifying what you need and want from the business at the outset can help you create and stick to your strategy to achieve that.  If you are building a family business, make sure your family feel part of it and want to join you at some point in the future. If you’re building a business to sell on and retire, make sure you create something that can easily be separated from you as the founder.


Don’t worry about failure

You’re considering giving up a full time job and launching into an entrepreneurial life. You should know that failure will be part of that step. No successful business was built without failure and it’s how you learn from that failure and move forward that marks you out from others. The fantasy of owning your own business can feel liberating and creative when you’re desperate to get out of  a professional rut. The reality of setting up on your own is that you will be exposed to making mistakes. You’re learning, business is challenging, failures will happen. Prepare yourself for that, take as much as you can from negative experiences and use that to fuel your decisions and actions going forward.


Whatever your business idea, whether it’s just something you’ve been mulling over or whether you’ve taken some steps on the entrepreneurial path already, we’d love to help. Read some of our Go For It Success Stories and get in touch. Our business experts will be delighted to hear from you and to talk you through everything you might need to know to move forward with your business concept.