BYOB: Be Your Own Boss in 5 Actionable Steps

woman studying

Tired of the 9 to 5, your little cubicle space, and having to follow the orders of your boss (and their boss)? Or maybe you’re working at a job you’ve spent thousands in college studying for but you go home every day feeling tired and uninspired.

It might be time to consider being your own boss.

Plenty of people that are unsatisfied with their jobs find that starting their own company is preferable. After all, if you’re great at something, why not make money while doing, right? Even better, you’re in charge of your time, you don’t have to answer to anybody, and you can cultivate your business to grow as large as you want!

But if you’re hesitant, know that you have every right to be. Being your own boss is a pretty big leap from instead having one. What’s more, entrepreneurship is something that needs to be planned carefully. You don’t want to be one of the 20% of small businesses that fail in the first year, don’t you?

With that said, you never know until you try. For the highest chance of success, make sure to follow these steps into becoming your own boss:

1. Set a SMART goal

Sounds trite, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t have goals when starting their business. They simply quit their job and start their own company. Unfortunately, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you do it this way. Having a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goal means starting with the end in mind. This allows you to take smaller, actionable steps to achieve it.

2. Identify the right business for you

So you want to work for yourself, but what do you want to work towards? You can find the answer by determining what you know and love to do, what things other people do that interest you, or what common problem exists that you want to solve. Also, look at your financial capability. Say, you want to start a landscaping business. Look into lawn care startup costs and determine whether you have the means to fund your own and still have enough to work with in case it fails.

3. Study the market and your audience

studying the market

Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it will translate well into the real world. Before investing your money into a business idea, make sure it’s profitable first. Look into possible competitors, consumer behavior, pricing, and other startup-related statistics with proper research.

4. Plan for success

Once you’ve established that your business idea is good, the next step is to craft a business plan that will ensure it succeeds. An actual business plan is a little more technical, a document that banks and investors will look at to help decide whether to invest in you or not. But at its core, you can form a business plan by asking yourself the following questions and answering them:

  • What is your product or service all about?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How will you reach them?
  • How will your business make money?
  • What sets you apart from the competition?
  • What are your business’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your ultimate goal for your business?

The steps above will take you closer to the path of becoming your own boss. Just keep in mind that you may encounter bumps on the road, but with determination, you can get to where you want to go.

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