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How to Choose Between a Job and Starting a Business

The decision to give up your job and start a new business is not an easy one. It’s a giant leap from being an employee to a business owner.

The top reason for the giant leap is that unlike a job, in entrepreneurship, you are on your own. Add to that; entrepreneurship means hoarding loads of responsibilities, juggling multiple tasks, and testing new waters at your own risk. 

But, sometimes, the risk is so much worth it and can help you reach heights never imagined. Starting a new business, as overwhelming as it can be, is also very rewarding. Obviously, you are in a very tricky position.

It is a situation where no online course or entrepreneurship development program or advice from an online guru can help you. As they say, once you start – you are on your own.

So, should you quit the job and set sail in your direction, or should you stick to your job? 

Based on my years of an entrepreneurial career, here are a few tips to help you identify if you are cut-out to be an entrepreneur just yet. 

  1. Is Your Financial Position Stable?

One of the most significant advantages of being employed is financial security. There’s a paycheck guaranteed for you at the end of each month. But, when you start a business, you can’t be sure as to when you will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses as well as earn a profit. It highly depends on the nature of your business. 

There are chances that your startup might encounter losses in the beginning until you manage to gain a significant customer base. In unfortunate situations, your startup might even screech to a halt within the first few months of starting the business. 

How are you going to survive without a job, then? 

So, your financial situation is a key decisive factor in giving up the job to start a business. It’s essential to ensure you have sufficient funds to manage your day-to-day expenses in addition to handling business expenses. There is a good possibility that your costs will only pile up and not the other way around.  

In this scenario, assessing your savings before starting a venture is an essential factor. Look at how much have you saved so far. Ideally, it would help if you had enough left to keep you going for at least six months to one year. 

  1. Are You Prepared to Take the Risk?

Risk is synonymous with entrepreneurship. There is no shortage of startups in the world today, but their survival rate is a small number. Nine out of ten startups are bound to fail, and starting a business is no fairy tale. 

So, an important reason to give considerable thought before starting a business is ‘How prepared are you to take a risk’? 

You are risking your job, funds, and current lifestyle to begin a new business that may or may not survive in the market. What you build from scratch for an extended period might crumble very soon, and you can go bankrupt. If you raise funds to finance your business from external parties like banks, the loss can get you into debt.

But – all is not dark and gloomy.

Your business has an equal chance to succeed. With the right strategies, you can design your startup to thrive in the market and grow into a booming business. More importantly, it’s vital that you are not risk-averse and don’t shy away from new challenges. If you think you are confident enough to face the obstacles and unprecedented issues that come your way, why not do it?

  1. Do You Have A Proper Business Plan?

A mere business idea isn’t a good reason to give up your job. You need to have a clear, promising path ahead of you to begin your entrepreneurial journey with confidence. 

A business requires you to figure out the investment, financing, marketing, and sales aspects of your business. More importantly, you should have a solid business plan to have a firm grip on what you hope to do. Without creating a business plan for a new business, it’s challenging to determine the feasibility and capacity to execute it. 

For this purpose, you have to do a lot of market research to identify your competitors, effective marketing strategies, customer base, and many other important aspects crucial for the success of your business. It’s also important to consider external factors that can affect your business in the future. It means you have to research and forecast if the economic factors will be favourable or unfavourable for your venture. 

Don’t set your foot in business without determining these aspects. It will be a hasty decision as you don’t have realistic elements backing your dream. Trust me; you will be better off in your good old job. 

  1. Have You Weighed the Pros and Cons?

Every choice has its benefits and drawbacks. So, before you decide between a job and starting a business, understand what you gain and give up by selecting each. 

When you are employed in a job, you get to enjoy several perks such as a limited or fixed number of working hours, guaranteed salary, recognition, and paid vacations. Also, you have access to bonuses, promotions, and other benefits like insurance. But, you depend on others for your paycheck, should stick to a routine, and have less scope for personal growth and acquiring new skills. 

On the other hand, if you start a business, you get to make independent decisions, work according to your hours, and expand your horizons for learning new things. Moreover, your financial rewards may be higher than your salary, and you can’t be fired! But, the benefit of being your boss and building your vision involves a risk of failure, working overnight, and pressure. You have to account for these as well!

However, If you are up for the challenge and believe that you can succeed in your startup, quitting the job is a reasonable idea. 

  1. What kind of personality are you?

Sometimes, the reason why you would want to start a business is that it seems more tempting than the job. People around you might be stepping into a new venture, whereas you are clutching on to your fixed-wage. 

So, even if you don’t have an issue with continuing your job, you may feel like you are left behind.

But, what you should ask yourself is whether you like the idea of the business or job better. Think of what appeals to you the most before making a decision based on external factors. Don’t base your decision just because you encounter a few drawbacks or frustrating issues at the office. 

Starting a business because your friend is doing it or your employer is earning a lot aren’t valid reasons either. There should be a deep urge that propels you towards beginning a business venture. If you don’t feel that way yet, you might not be prepared.

Similarly, suppose you believe that the new opportunity is more promising and will help you define your personality and succeed better in life. In that case, you shouldn’t hesitate to begin a new business.

Final Thoughts

The decision to seek a job or start a business is entirely up to you. It depends on your abilities, expectations, and preferences. However, assessing the questions mentioned above can help you make a rational decision. If you carefully think through all these aspects, you won’t regret your decision in the future because you know that you have given attention to every element impartially. If you feel like you need more help, ask someone who was in your position in the past, trying to decide between a job and business!

Jasmeet is a founder of Lessons at Startup – A blog where he shares entrepreneurial stories. He specialises in Digital Marketing and Content Writing. He is addicted to Google News, Netflix, Good Coffee and Quora ☺.

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