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Leaving Salaried Work to pursue your Dream

Sink or Swim: Leaving Salaried Work to pursue your Dream

By Anita Fleming

Leaving behind the security of a regular income to start a business sends chills up even the most hardy of people - kind of like walking the plank without knowing what lurks beneath.

If you've been there, you'll know it's not actually all about long lunches, avoiding traffic jams, or spending lazy afternoons on the golf course. You will also know (if you are still in business today) that laying strong business foundations is imperative for successful business growth.

If you are seriously considering leaving your job to start a new business, there are some considerations to be made before taking the leap. You could probably use some qualified advice. I certainly did. Sleepless nights were not what I left my day job for. Tip number one would certainly be to try and get your business running before resigning. This way you have the potential to earn money from day one.

Some more helpful hints below:

You gotta spend money to earn money:

Invest in your business early on to enable you to prosper in the months to come. Initially you'll probably be reluctant to spend any money unless absolutely necessary, but remember, while being thrifty is wise, it is important to know the difference between opportunities for future growth and a wasteful investment. Some examples:

Professionally designed stationary is vital if you want your new clients to see you as being a professional business (hire a qualified designer to create your new logo instead of creating one yourself);

- A good, well designed and maintained website will enable you to earn money online once it is set up (and is well worth the investment so potential clients can find out more about you);

- Hire a qualified telemarketer to promote your business and get you in front of potential clients.

Implementing a basic marketing plan early on is also a good idea to encourage steady growth. Don't buy expensive advertising or hire corporate PR companies. There are plenty of other cost effective solutions to get the phone ringing.

Treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself:

Practice what you preach. Make sure your terms of trade are clear and reflect your own morals and intentions in business, and that they are visible in all contracts and agreements you enter into. You will get a name for yourself in the market as someone who is fair and honest, and will be chosen over others who aren't as trustworthy.

Eat your own dog-food: Being a user of your product or service will put you in the shoes of your clients, showing you first hand what it is like to be on the receiving end. You will be first to learn when things are broken, incorrect or downright annoying - before you get a complaint!

Don't reinvent the wheel! We know your business idea is brilliant, but being defensive of those trying to help really is shooting yourself in the foot. Remember - it is much cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others! Get yourself into one of the many FREE small business training courses available in Auckland - their primary focus is for you to succeed in your new venture. Or, try contacting homebizzbuzz, Trade & Enterprise, and The Open Polytechnic for extra guidance and support.

Ensure consistent evaluation of progress: Remember to measure everything you do - and to keep recycling your successes. There is no value in inventing new ideas if existing ideas are already working. Set yourself a reminder to evaluate your progress every 8 weeks to ensure you're recognising all business opportunities available to you (and to drop the ones that aren't working). Remember too that as you grow, delegation will be required of the more elementary tasks. This will free up your time to enable you to expand your business capacity.

Be open to advice from everyone: Your first clients will be your biggest teachers. Take on board their suggestions (and encourage feedback) for your products and services - their comments will help to shape your new business to be the best it can be. Make sure too that you test the water before making the leap - do people want to buy what you are selling?

Before you know it, you'll be enjoying lazy lunches and missing the daily congestion of rush hour traffic. It's as simple as putting in a little hard work - before walking the plank

There are many free resources available to small business owners to assist in the positive growth of your new business. For more information or for free marketing advice contact Anita Fleming from GROW Marketing - yes@iwanttogrow.co.nz

ENDS

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