Every day I would go through the motions. Get up, go to work, come home, until I just had enough.
Although the business is still trucking along, I could have left my job in a better situation. From my experience, I came up with a list of things to do before quitting your full-time job. Completing these task will make your transition easier.
1. Extend your day
Bills have to be paid. There is no getting around that. After spending eight hours at work, you must find a way to spend time building your business.
Starting a business while working will come with sacrifice. Now I am not the one to tell you not to sleep at all. My advice would be to extend your day as much as you can. Start by adding an extra two hours whether you have to wake up a little earlier or sleeping a little later.
To understand this concept, read The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5 by Timothy Ferriss.
2. Identify your target audience
Numerous industries and companies are in need of branding. You have to find out who your company should target.
Knowing your target audience inside and out will make creating for them a breeze. Get specific when building out client profiles. A common misconception is creating a niche will limit the business. If there is a narrow focus, it becomes easier to be the go-to company for a particular industry or service.
3. Design case studies
Notice it says case studies and not a portfolio. Portfolios are excellent to show on Instagram or other social media site, but case studies will get clients talking about your work.
Case studies allow you to show behind the scenes shots, client testimonials, mock-ups, and results. You can go a little more in-depth with a case study.
4. Start creating content
As soon as you decide to quit your job, start brainstorming content.
Take the information you discovered from the client profiles and begin posted valuable content for your audience. The social media game can be a little overwhelming so take it one platform at a time.
Put primary of your focus on one platform until you get a good grasp of how you will utilize the network then add in another component.
5. Reach out to your current network
Let everyone you come in contact with know you are starting a brand design business. Ask if they know anyone who may be starting a business and will benefit from your services.
Always ask for other people's contact information. I like to have control over the engagement and have the ability to reach out to others instead of waiting by the phone.
6. Collaborate with other creatives
Collaborating will help rapport and gain exposure.
One of the easiest ways to begin collaborating is joining someone else in creating content. Start guest blogging, interviewing others, or you can even start a live stream social media show.
Whatever you do, get your name out there and connect with your peers.
7. Cut monthly expenses
Full-time jobs are nice and comfortable. You know what day you get paid and how much. The world of entrepreneurship is not as predictable.
Cutting back on expenses can relieve some of the stress that will come your way. Start your business with the least amount of financial responsibility as you can.
Pay off that car note, cut back on going out, I would even suggest moving back in with your parents if that's an option.
8. Build a financial runway
There is no point in leaving a stable job to struggle month to month to make ends meet. Before you tell your boss you are not coming back on Monday, build a nice finical cushion for those rainy days.
Calculate business and personal expenses, including a salary, then multiply that number by six, this will give you six months of financial runway. Save that amount up before quitting. The runway gives you a little breathing room.
9. Hire someone to do the work
Start hiring with your very first project. Doing this is a quick way to get to your ultimate goal of pursuing business full-time. If you are a little hesitant of being completely hands off from the project, I would suggest starting small with your freelancers.
Bring someone in to do minor tasks such as creating a mood board, processing files, or even project management. If you the business to grow, you must hire people to help out.
Keep the leverage
When you still have a full-time job the ball is in your court. Regardless if you book a project this month or not you will have money coming in to pay bills. The leverage you have is being able to pick and choose who you want to work with, and the projects you take on.
Be patient. I know you want to jump out there and get the business rolling but going through each step will make things more comfortable when you step into the world of entrepreneurship.