12 Steps to Self Employment

You’ve been dreaming for awhile about working for yourself and doing something that will make a difference in this world. You’d love to say goodbye to your regular J.O.B. but you have no idea where to start.

With the right guidance, becoming self employed really isn’t that hard. Just follow the 12 steps below and you’ll be good to go start building your dream business.

  1. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses 
    • Are you in a good place in your life right now to start a business (relationships, mindset, & responsibility level)
    • List out what your strengths and weaknesses are
    • Determine what your skill sets are
    • Determine if you have the self discipline to focus on your own business
  2. Determine what you want to do – Once you’ve decided that you have what it takes to become your own boss, it’s time to answer the most important question: What do you want to do?
    • If you already have an idea in mind, skip this step. If not, get to brainstorming.
    • Make a list of business ideas that appeal to you
    • Look at your strengths, and see what types of businesses they lend themselves to
    • Evaluate your existing skill set, and determine what kinds of businesses you could start with your skills
  3. Evaluate your idea and the market – To successfully become your own boss, you need to ensure that you’ve come up with a product or service that people actually want, that you’ve evaluated the market you are entering, and that you have a clear idea of who your target customer is.
    • Validate your business idea to make sure it’s a good one
    • Come up with a buyer or user persona to help improve your business idea
    • Conduct market research
    • Determine your target market
  4. Make the switch – Now, it’s time to determine how you plan to divide your time. Are you ready to make the switch right away, and quit your job to pursue becoming your own boss full-time? Or, would you prefer to make the switch gradually?
    • Create a schedule for work on your new business outside of the hours of your day job
    • Transition to working part time at first
    • Establish as much of your business as possible while still bringing in some external income
    • Quit your day job when you are ready
  5. Set money aside – It’s time to dive deep into your finances, see where you stand, and determine the amount you’ll need to pursue your new business. Make sure you have enough of a cushion for both your personal expenses and your startup costs.
    • Evaluate your own expenses
    • Create a budget
    • Use a personal financial management system (like Quicken or Mint) regularly
    • Build up savings to cover personal expenses for six months to one year
    • Estimate your starting costs so you know how much you need saved before you begin your business
    • Look into your funding options if needed
  6. Create a plan – No matter what path you take to becoming your own boss, you’ll need to do some planning. Now is the time to flesh out the plan for your new business venture.
    • Decide what kind of business plan you’ll need
    • Determine if you will have a business plan event (like a meeting with investors or pitching to a bank for a loan)
    • If you have a business plan event, create a formal business plan and pitch deck
    • If you don’t have a business plan event, create a Lean Plan or a One-Page Pitch
  7. Pick your business name – Perhaps one of the most fun parts of starting a business is picking your business name. Make sure it’s a name you can live with and feel comfortable telling people about (and saying out loud!).
    • Brainstorm naming options
    • Try it on for size—say it out loud and ask for feedback
    • Check that your business name is available on social media channels (and claim it!)
    • Register your business name with your county clerk’s office or state government
  8. Make it legal – To successfully transition to being your own boss, you will need to dot some i’s and cross some t’s. During this stage, focus on getting a sense of the legal requirements you’ll need to sort out.
    • Choose your business structure
    • Get the necessary licenses and permits for your industry, if needed
    • Determine if you need a Federal Tax ID number (or EIN), and apply for one via the IRS website
  9. Get your finances in order – Before you officially start offering your products or services to the public, make sure that you have your business finances in order.
    • Determine if you want to hire an accountant or bookkeeper, or do it yourself
    • If you want to outsource the job, hire a bookkeeper
    • If you want to do it yourself, choose a bookkeeping software
    • Familiarize yourself with key financial metrics and the do’s and don’ts of small business accounting
  10. Set up a workspace or decide on a location – What kind of space does your new business venture require? You may be working out of your own home, or you may need to look into finding retail or office space. Either way, now is the time to sort this out.
    • Decide if you’re working from home, or looking for office or retail space
    • If you’re working from home, set up a home office where you will be productive (and if you are accepting clients or customers, make sure your home is zoned for business)
    • If you’re seeking office or retail space, start shopping for locations
  11. Establish a website, social media presence, and brand – You’re nearly there—now it’s time to set up your web presence. Spend some time setting up a professional website, choosing which social media channels to focus on, and creating a brand for yourself or your new business.
    • Set up your website
    • Establish a social media presence on relevant social platforms
    • Develop a social media strategy
    • Build a cohesive brand that is reflected across your logo and other visuals, product offerings, tone of voice, website, and social media presence
  12. Market your business and get the word out – You’ve successfully made the switch—you’re now your own boss, and it’s time to spread the word. Now, it’s important to create a marketing strategy, and network with others in your industry.
    • Create a marketing plan for your business
    • Use growth hacking tactics to expand your reach
    • Spend time networking in person and on social media

The best part of this whole thing is you don’t have to do it alone! It may seem a little overwhelming but there are people and systems that will help you. If you’d like some (well, ok…step by step handholding with your own personal coach), you definitely need to check this system out. Click HERE to learn more.

I hope this helped you start to figure out how to start your own business. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. If you found value, feel free to share this with your friends.

To your success,

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