Business development 24 October 2016

Leaving a full-time job to start a company

happy businessman
Entrepreneurship can provide numerous rewards should you be successful

Most people don’t start out as entrepreneurs, preferring to launch their own business only after accumulating a few years of work experience, writes Quality Formations director, Greame Donnelly.

Leaving a full-time job to start a company is a goal many people share, be it through the autonomy of being your own boss or just simply to blaze your own trail.

Last year in the UK, a record number of aspiring entrepreneurs started their own business, beating figures from 2014, which saw 581,173 startups registered. In 2015, there were 608,100, fulfilling the prediction that Britain would surpass 600,000 registrations.

Reasons for leaving

Leaving a full-time job to start a company often means sacrificing job security. Without a 100 per cent guarantee of success, it can be daunting, but it can also provide you with numerous rewards should you be successful.

You’ll have more control over your career progression and satisfaction, rapidly learn new things and make fresh business connections. Registering your company with Companies House and going into business for yourself can be the defining moment of your career and personal development.

Your skills and abilities

Know your limits. Cataloguing your strengths and weaknesses can help you realise what you can and can’t do for yourself. It will also enable you to see where you need to improve. As such, you should invest in yourself before quitting your job, so that later you’ll be able to avoid outsourcing certain aspects of your start-up and prevent extra costs; that money could be being funnelled into your new business venture, after all.

Your business plan

Launching a start-up is a time-consuming process, and requires a lot of work on your part – you want your business to be successful from the get-go, meaning you need to pour all your efforts into it. For this reason, when setting up your company, it’s important that you have a business plan in place so that everything goes smoothly.

Creating a clear and realistic timeline for your business can help you see the goals more easily – and create strategies to achieve them. This will also help you avoid disappointments, as you’ll never feel your goals are unattainable.

Your finances

It’s essential to have your finances in order. If you don’t think you can finance the initial stages of your start-up, it’s better to wait until everything is in place; don’t drain your resources.

You can also opt for a startup loan scheme. Although, while this is a great solution to help you launch your company, it is wise to utilise its potential as a complement to your current budget, and not to make it the entirety of your start-up finances.

You should also ensure that you have an emergency fund in case of unforeseen costs. This fund should be separate from your living expenses budget, and can give you the security and peace of mind you require while you grow your company.

Departing from a familiar full-time job might be a scary prospect but, if you’ve created a great business plan and have your finances in order, your start-up is built on solid foundations. You’ll be your own boss and have the autonomy to make all the important decisions, delivering the potential to help you realise your own potential.

Greame Donnelly is founder and director at startup specialists Quality Formations.

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