by Kelly Smith of Career FAQs
We all like the idea of running our own business. We value the freedom, the possibility of unlimited income and the idea of spending our time working for ourselves – not for someone else. With owning a business, however, comes the kind of risk you will never experience at your regular job, which compared to running a business seems much less demanding. Be prepared to say ‘goodbye’ to a steady paycheck and time-framed work with limited scope – things you now might take for granted.
If you’ve been considering starting your own company, you need to know what it takes to set it up and steer that ship to success. There are many things you can pick up at your current job that will prove useful in the future. Here are some suggestions on the kind of experiences you should get at your workplace before you start thinking about becoming a self-employed entrepreneur.
It’s very likely that your business will require you to lead a team. Even if we’re only talking about two or three employees, you’ll need to have developed some seriously effective leadership skills. Knowing how to be a team leader is the essence of entrepreneurship – you should be able to provide a vision, motivate others and hold it all together in times of crisis.
If you’re already a team leader at your workplace, that’s great and it means that you’ve got what it takes to start your own business. All you need to do is hone your skills and think how you’ll benefit from them in the future. Remember not to rely too much on others – once you open your own business, you’ll be the one making all the tough decisions.
Understanding the legal side of your future venture is crucial if you want to make it work. Before you resign from your current position and delve into the exhilarating world of self-employment, you should make the most of your time at the office and, hopefully, befriend a few people during some prolonged coffee breaks.
After all, where else will you get access to trusted lawyers or accountants? Learn as much as you can about how to run a business, including which regulations, taxes and licenses you’ll need to follow, pay and get for your new business. Administrative and technical details are crucial and you can observe them in action in your workplace.
And by that, we don’t mean at your local gym. Every employer who values their workers has an interest in their professional development. See if you can get some additional training sponsored by your workplace. From the art of presentation and public speech to detailed courses on Excel and leadership training, those additional qualifications will contribute to your future success as an entrepreneur.
Working provides a great opportunity for networking, especially if you’d like to situate your future venture in the industry you’re already a part of. Getting to know important people might grant you new partnerships, investments or, simply, a piece of good advice. Having a chat with entrepreneurs who already run their business will help you to get a sense of what you aim to do.
Problem solving, creativity, persistence and risk tolerance can all be developed while you’re working on your current projects. Knowing how to work under pressure will be invaluable once you get your own business running and suddenly discover that working eight hours a day was a blessing.
Kelly Smith works at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, as an online marketing specialist. She is interested in new technologies and the possibilities of the social media.