Quitting Your Job to Start a Business: 6 Questions You Should Ask

When making a career transition, thoughtful preparation is everything.

If you’re liberated by the idea of handing in your resignation letter, first take a moment to evaluate your situation. Deciding to leave your day job can be a heavy task, so rather than rush into a choice you might later regret, review these six things to consider before quitting your job.

1. Am I Looking to Escape a Job I Hate?

If you’re contemplating reasons to quit your job and start a business, make sure your judgment isn’t clouded by negative emotions surrounding your current job. A desire to escape your present circumstances isn’t likely a good enough impetus to leave your job. Before you make the jump, think through the opportunity you plan to pursue so you can depart your job knowing your new venture will bring you pleasure and satisfaction.

2. What’s the State of My Finances?

The hope is that your new business will be wildly profitable. However, quitting your job to start a business means saying goodbye to the financial security it brings, not to mention benefits such as medical insurance and paid vacation. If you already have a side business that is generating enough money to help cover mortgage, utility bills and other essentials, you’re in good shape. If you haven’t started your new business yet, or if it’s not providing the funds to cover your cost of living, you’ll need enough savings to float you until your business makes money.

3. Have I Tested My Idea?

It can be tempting to reinvent your career before you have your new business up and running. Consider transitioning from employee to entrepreneur by launching your business on the side first. This will allow you to network with possible clients, work out the hiccups and generate income. Plus, streamlining all this while still pulling a regular paycheck will give you a much better idea of when to quit your job for your business.      

4. Do I Have a Sound Business Plan?

If you’ve thought about starting a business, you likely know that a business plan is crucial to success. Start with an overall summary of your idea, then follow that with details on startup costs, projected revenues, a breakdown of operational plans, target audience and marketing strategy. Be sure to run your business plan by a few trusted folks to get their feedback before deploying it.

5. Is My Family Prepared For My Career Change?

It’s important that your partner understands and supports your decision to quit your job and start a business. Your new business may mean that they’ll have to carry a greater share of the burden in generating income, managing childcare or handling other family obligations.

6. Do I Have What It Takes?

The answer to this question requires an honest look at yourself, your skills and your entrepreneurial spirit. Running a business isn’t for everyone, and it’s helpful to know if you have what it takes before you quit your job. A few key traits of successful business owners include self-discipline, resourcefulness and an ability to separate work and home life.

We’re Here When You Are Ready

Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Ready to get started on a financial plan for your new business? Contact your local Farm Bureau agent.