Have you decided that you’re better off working for yourself? Of course, you have an awesome business plan. Of course, your idea is revolutionary. You could even start making loads of money within the first few months. But with anything, it is always best to make sure it is the right path for you. I had this friend who always to go into the hair business. You know all that kind of stuff – selling weaves, hair accessories and so on. At the time, she was totally FED UP with work. Her boss was nasty AF, she was always doing long hours and the pay was shitty.
She wanted to quit.
I remember a couple of people advising her against it. Their reasoning was that she did not have enough experience with running a business. Some told her that she needed to plan properly. Others told her to “just manage and stop complaining”.
“You’re even lucky you have a job. Do you know what others would do to be in your position?” they asked her.
Were they right? Continue reading as I tell you what you should do before you quit your job to run your own company.
Research. Research. Research
Obviously, for you to even want to quit your job to run your business, you must have an idea what you actually want to do. The next thing for you to do is research. Yes, American and British reports are detailed and have the proper statistics. You could actually also learn a thing or two from them. But your research should not be limited to those. You should be able to find out how it works in Nigeria. Is there really a market for it? Has this been done before? What resources will I need? Do I need to speak to people who know about the business? Who are my competitors? Be thorough in your research.
You really really need to plan
Research is good but now is the time to put it all on paper. One of the first steps in making your business successful is to have a business plan. Your business plan will eventually guide you so that you don’t go off-track especially at the beginning of your business. Also, if you want to ask for financial assistance from anyone, you will need to present them with a business plan. No one is just going to gamble with their money just because you want to start a business. They will need to see that there are prospects. They also want to be assured that you’re serious.
Sometimes, a business plan could be for just yourself. In this case, a one-page blueprint is fine. You don’t have to go overboard. But you definitely should write something down.
Then, you should start considering your finances and spending options
Some businesses don’t need a lot of money. Some businesses just need a small initial capital and everything takes off from there. Whatever it is, you will definitely need some initial financing. You will also need operational costs. Whatever the situation is, plan in advance. Is your capital going to come from personal savings, family and friends, grants, loans, or a mixture of these? You need to know this before you start anything.
What is your structure like?
What kind of business do you want to run? Do you want to run you business by yourself as in a sole proprietorship? Do you want to be in a partnership? Will your company be a limited liability company or will it be a corporation? You need to know this early in your planning because for you to even be able to register at the Corporate Affairs Commission, you will need to indicate what kind of company you intend to start. The best way to be guided in how you can choose what your business structure will be like is to consider things like operations, control, capital and so on.
A lot of aspiring business owners shudder whenever they hear those three letters and I can’t even blame them. The Corporate Affairs Commission could be a nightmare – typical Nigerian government-owned business. But this is something that you will need to get done. For you to even have an official company bank account in Nigeria, your business must be registered with the CAC, and you must have all the documents to prove this.
Apart from this reason, registering your company is good because you will be able to trademark your business name. If you don’t to go through the stress of registering at the CAC, a lot of people I know get lawyers or accredited agents to handle all the paperwork for an extra fee.
You need to know where your business will be located
Will your company start from your kitchen? Your bedroom? Will you rent an office space? Is it expensive to do so? Where will your products or services sell? Will you be too far away from your target audience? Are you trying to open up a bougie (lol that word makes me chuckle) restaurant in a low-income area? In Nigeria, a lot of coworking spaces are springing up so you might want to consider this option as they are cheaper than regular offices.
Who is on your team?
Will you be hiring employees? Now is the time to start planning. Start listing roles and responsibilities. Remuneration? Will you use contractors and freelancers instead of employees? Decide.
Leave on good terms
It doesn’t make sense or tell well of you if you just decide to leave without notice. Participating in office politics, gossiping, fighting, not completing assignments, and so on, are horrible ways to leave. Even if you are leaving to start your own thing, you cannot be SO SURE that you won’t need help or referees from your former company. Your former boss might even be able to help you with clients.
Starting a business is challenging. It’s not a bed of roses. It’s best to keep away from get-rich-quick schemes and miracles. Keep an open mind and also focus on hard and smart work. Make the best use of you time. Good luck!
What do you think about these tips? Have you started any business? How hard was it? Tell us!