Is it time to strike out on your own? - The UpStream

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Is it time to strike out on your own?

posted Thursday Dec 28, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

There's nothing quite like the thrill of working for yourself. While a traditional corporate job can offer comfort, routine, and a stable life, it can't match the deep satisfaction that comes from being your own boss. When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to find your own clients, cultivate your unique strengths, and chart your own course without outside direction.

When considering striking out on your own, it's normal to wonder about the ideal time to take the leap. However, as there's no one to give you an unequivocal green light, you must decide when to venture out yourself - a daunting prospect that can inspire self-doubt and anxiety. Since none of us can predict future outcomes or guarantee success, mustering the courage to face the unknown head-on becomes imperative.

In this post, we'll discuss a few indicators and questions that will help you determine when it's time to strike out on your own.

Is your skillset sharp?

Ultimately, you have to rely on yourself entirely when you first start your enterprise. While you may potentially recruit old, networked contacts, outsource, or scale gently at first, you still need to rely on yourself as the main visionary and yes, the ultimate asset of your brand. For this reason, it's important to be clear about your skills and how they can be used. If you have any blind spots, now is the time to fill them.

That might involve taking a certification course, investing in online personal training software, or even performing a trial run with clients you work for at a reduced cost or contacts who will help you get the ball rolling. When you have the utmost confidence in yourself, you can then move on with confidence that no matter what, your skillset is where it needs to be.

Do you have a detailed business plan?

Embarking on your great, new entrepreneurial journey requires more than just a spark of inspiration-it demands strategic groundwork. Central to this preparation is the development of a detailed business plan that accounts for your entire mission statement. Think of it like the blueprint of your business.

But what does this include? Well, imagine if you were explaining to a keen investor what your business aims to do. First, you delve into market analysis, identifying opportunities and potential challenges with your idea and who, specifically, it will serve. That will also include financial projections, helping you anticipate costs, revenue streams, and potential profits. Other considerations like opportunity costs and the price of outsourced help can be included here. This thorough planning allows you to account for every realistic challenge and consideration you may have ahead of time. If you're looking for investment, a business loan, or even to sell someone on your startup idea to inspire them to come and work for you, the business plan is key.

Is your branding strategy strong?

Many more practical-minded individuals will assume that the branding strategy comes after you have some grounding and are ready to present yourself to a wider market. Of course, that can be the case. But it's also good to spend some time thinking about your branding approach before you launch, because it's not disconnected from what you have to offer or service.

In other words, marketing is more than just promotion. It's about the cohesive practice of your firm and how it presents itself via its operations. A capable employee who knows your business inside and out is just as much a marketing asset as any billboard.

So, investing in a strong branding strategy is always a worthwhile approach to take. Enlist the help of a capable graphic designer and explain your presence with the help of a proficient copywriter. This will help you curate a friendly package that both attracts and explains what you have to offer to customers or clients.

Is your professional presence credible?

If you're going to strike out on your own, it's helpful to make yourself into a trusted figure people can look up to. For example, a realtor creating their own realty firm will usually place themselves front and center - a welcoming, warm, and trusted face that can be relied upon.

That might involve investing in your professional wardrobe, or your tools. A craftsman deciding to open his own workshop and make his own guitars, for example, might rent a humble space and invest in the tools he needs to get started, while also mythologizing his creations through online portfolios designed to appeal to and attract.

Also, you don't need to post on LinkedIn or other platforms daily to share your thoughts, but it's an option that could benefit your networking efforts. While your work remains the most important means of expression, having a personable and professional online presence separate from your brand can enhance credibility and foster meaningful connections.

Are you willing to seek professional advice about compliance?

You may be an expert in your field, but navigating the complex legal codes and regulations to truly make your presence verified and justified in the eyes of the law can be daunting. Failing to comply can result in legal consequences and hinder your business's success. Consider hiring an outsourced professional to ensure compliance and legitimacy. They can assist with meeting regulatory standards, acquiring necessary permits, and ensuring your products meet domestic and international requirements. By leveraging these services, you can avoid costly mistakes and focus on growing your business with confidence.

In conclusion, striking out on your own requires consideration of various aspects of running a business. By addressing these, you can create a robust foundation for your ventures and pave the way for long-term success.


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