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5 Tips for Launching a Small Business while Keeping your 9 to 5

An increasing number of employees are taking matters into their own hands and launching businesses of their own. In the UK alone last year, the number of new business registrations reached record highs. If you’ve got a great idea for a business, it’s now easier than ever to get started thanks to new media and technology. But don’t quit your day job just yet; you’ll want to put a solid plan in place before you leave the confines of a 9-5 lifestyle to make your own schedule! Here are five tips for launching your business while still working full-time.

1. Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses.

You may be a wiz at your current job, but running a business requires a diverse skill set. Before you leave the safety net of a steady paycheque, you need to first start being realistic about your personal strengths, weaknesses, and skills. List the skills you possess and your level of proficiency, to see where there may be room for improvement. List your strengths and see if they would give you a marketable competitive edge in the industry. List your weaknesses and determine if these are areas where you could outsource tasks to other professionals.

2. Research the industry.

Another important preliminary step to take is to research the industry you plan to launch in. Learn more about the current competition, and the business paths they’ve taken to get where they are. Is there truly a need for your product or service, or is it already being fulfilled by someone else? If there’s no real market need for your business idea, it’s time to start brainstorming again.

3. Fill in gaps in your existing knowledge.

Remember that list of strengths and weaknesses? You can start filling in the gaps by upskilling while you’re still at your full-time job. Find out if there are any training programs available through your existing workplace, or sign up for continuing education courses. Online education platforms and local universities will both offer the type of business courses you might need, whether it’s marketing courses at the community college or accounting courses at training.com.au.

4. Create achievable targets.

How will you know when you’re ready to quit your day job? You should be setting milestones along the way. Set a series of daily, weekly, and even monthly goals that you can work towards, with one of them being the ability to ease full-time into your new business. Setting targets can also be a great motivator, and you’ll feel a senses of accomplishment as you see yourself making real progress.

5. Get feedback from trusted sources

Establish a trusted group of mentors, friends, or industry insiders who you can turn to for advice before you launch. You want to build a business with a product or service that provides true value, so you can’t just rely on your own outlook. You need to get feedback at every stage of the process. It’s better to get unbiased feedback, so rather than turning to your partner or your best friend, you should be asking fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, or former colleagues.

With positive feedback, achievable goals, and newly acquired business skills, you’ll then have the tools you need to take a real leap of faith!

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