Starting a New Job

FAQ: Should I Quit My Job to Start My Own Business?

October 7, 2021

If you're interested in starting your own small business, you may contemplate whether to quit your job or keep your position. There are several personal and professional factors to consider when making this decision. Understanding the potential benefits and challenges of pursing two professional opportunities at the same time can help you determine whether to resign before taking on a new professional endeavor. In this article, we discuss if you should quit your job to start a business, questions to ask yourself before you resign and reasons to keep your job when launching a new project or company.

Related: 10 Things To Do Before Quitting Your Job

Should I quit my job to start a business?

If you're interested in starting a business, you may consider whether to leave your current role in order to devote more of your time and energy to your personal project. You may find it beneficial to maintain two roles at the same time, as it can allow you to have financial stability and take you time as you perform market research or develop prototypes. Alternatively, some professionals may become overwhelmed with two careers, so it's important to be honest with yourself about your goals and professional habits.

There are several factors you can consider, and your situation may depend on the industry you're in and the field that you plan to enter. For example, if you're a graphic designer interested in pursing freelance copywriting, your new business may not violate your company's policies regarding conflict of interest, so you can pursue both roles simultaneously. Alternatively, if you're a software engineer creating your own tech startup, consider reviewing your current corporate guidelines to understand whether you can take part in both roles at the same time.

Related: 14 Entrepreneur Resources for Starting a Successful Business

Questions to ask yourself before quitting

If you're considering leaving your current position to start your own business, consider these questions before you quit:

Are others relying on you and the success of your business?

If you're considering leaving your current role to pursue a project you're passionate about, you may benefit from assessing your personal situation and evaluating whether others, including children, pets or a spouse, rely on you and the success of your business. If you're not financially or socially responsible for other individuals, you may consider leaving your position because you're confident you can rely on your savings or loans to support yourself. Alternatively, if you contribute to rent or other funds that support people in your life, you can consider keeping your job until your business becomes profitable and stable.

Are you motivated to make this new business develop quickly?

Resigning from your current position may depend on your motivation and commitment to your new business. Consider reflecting on your habits and work ethic to determine whether you feel capable of starting your business off with momentum and enthusiasm. If you're prepared to confidently execute your business plan in a timely manner, you may decide to leave your job. Alternatively, if you're apprehensive about starting a new business and still require additional planning or feedback, consider staying in your current role while launching your new business.

How important is it you immediately leave your current role or industry?

If you're eager to leave the industry you're in or you've held the same position for several years and feel ready for a change, you may consider quitting your profession before starting your independent business. If your company is within the same field as your current role, you may benefit from keeping your job and continuing to learn about industry trends or patterns within the market, because you may be able to use this information to help your independent business thrive.

How well can you perform if you have a variety of tasks and responsibilities?

Some professionals thrive if they have a variety of tasks they're responsible for, and may prefer to have multiple jobs or responsibilities at the same time. If you're one of these individuals, you may prefer to handle your current role in addition to the launch of your business, and may notice that you perform well with several different job duties. Alternatively, if you enjoy focusing on one task at a time and feel overwhelmed with multiple projects to complete, consider quitting your current position while as you pursue a new endeavor.

How may this impact your social and emotional availability?

Running a business while having an additional full-time or part-time role may limit the amount of time and energy you have available for social events. Consider reflecting on your current social or emotional obligations, and consider whether maintaining a day job and starting a new business would allow you to fulfill your personal commitments. If you notice that you have a substantial amount of free time, you may not find it challenging to continue with your position and develop your business when you have time off.

Is the creation of your new business urgent or do you have a lot of time to develop it?

If you're developing a product or service that meets an immediate consumer desire, you may feel like the creation of your business is time-sensitive and requires urgent attention. You may enter a market where it's vital that your item is the first of its kind, so you plan to release it as soon as possible.

In this instance, you may decide to leave your current position and devote all of your attention to the creation of your company. Alternatively, if you can take several months or years to slowly build your business without it impacting your profit or success within the market, you may keep your profession while creating your independent product.

What are your long-term goals?

As you prepare to launch your business, you may benefit from outlining your long-term professional goals and reviewing the aspirations you have for your company. Consider whether you're ready to commit to the completion of these goals, and assess the steps you can take to accomplish them. Think about whether the execution of important tasks involves a substantial time commitment, or if it's a process you can start with little research or preparation. You may be able to balance your current role and the development of your business if you can efficiently execute your independent project, allowing you to pursue multiple professional roles at once.

Related: What To Do When You Quit Your Job: 15 Steps

How may starting a business affect your overall happiness?

Taking your personal happiness and fulfillment into account may influence your decision to keep your current position or resign. If launching your own business has been a lifelong goal, you may find that dedicating all of your time and energy to your personal project boosts your mood and your level of professional satisfaction. If you're passionate about the industry you work in but are also interested in starting your own business, you may decide not to quit, and manage both positions to feel fulfilled and content.

Do you have savings you can use to support yourself after you quit?

If you're debating whether to leave your current role, consider whether you can support yourself for several months while your new business begins to develop. Think about the amount of start-up capital your new business venture requires, and how much money you may have in savings after investing in your independent company. You may feel more comfortable leaving your current position if you know that you have a forecasted budget and enough funding to support yourself for the first year of your new business.

How do you define success?

If you're interested in developing a startup, you may notice other small businesses that appear to be successful for different reasons, and some may excel within their industry regarding profitability, whereas others may have a team of passionate and dedicated employees. Before deciding to leave your current role in order to launch your own company, evaluate how you define success.

This can help you understand whether to maintain your current role because it allows you to have a stable income as your new business launches, or to resign so you can devote all of your time to a product you're passionate about.

Related: How To Start Your Own Business in 9 Steps

Reasons to keep your job when starting a new business

Here are some reasons you may consider keeping your job when starting a new business:

Funding your professional development

You may decide to keep your current position while you start a new business to have additional funds that you can use towards your professional development and training. Even if your startup is successful, having a second income may allow you to sign up for industry-related courses. This may allow you to stay informed about the latest skills, techniques or trends that can help you grow your independent business.

Accepting higher-quality gigs and opportunities

If you're relying solely on the income your small business generates, you may take lower-paying gigs or mediocre opportunities in order to gain exposure and ensure that you have a reliable income. Maintaining a job in addition to owning your own business may ease the pressure to create a successful brand within a short period, which can allow you to leave your schedule open for higher quality gigs or events. This means that you're able to seek opportunities that may benefit you and your startup, and choose to take part in unpaid engagements such as lectures or guest appearances, that may grow your brand recognition and improve your business' reputation.

Operating in various professional environments

If you're looking to add excitement to your current routine, you may decide to launch your own business and still maintain your current position. This can help you take part in various professional environments and industries. If you keep your position when creating a start-up, it may allow you remain creative and help you to find inspiration from your different roles and colleagues.

Increasing the amount of time you have to grow and develop your business

If you're creating a prototype or developing a new service, you may spend time finding your target audience and performing research to learn about market trends and client preferences. This process may take several weeks or months, and keeping your job while starting your own business can help you have more time to understand your customer base and develop a successful product. Waiting to depart from your current position as you navigate your new entrepreneurial role may allow you to create a stable and profitable business plan that may benefit you long term.

How can I manage my time when starting a new business?

When starting a new business, you may benefit from having effective time management strategies, such as:

  • Creating a schedule: Outlining your daily tasks and responsibilities can help you forecast your day and plan your time accordingly. Consider creating a schedule for the upcoming week every Monday to review what you plan to complete and track your daily progress to ensure that you meet any deadlines or time-sensitive requirements.
  • Prioritizing your to-do list: If you're launching a new business, you may be responsible for a variety of duties, so consider prioritizing the items on your to-do list to make sure that you complete them according to level of importance. This can help you manage several tasks without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Grouping tasks according to project: Consider arranging the tasks you plan to execute according to project and handling one group at a time. This can allow you to remain focused on particular goals before moving on to the next topic, and may help you ensure that you execute an entire set of related tasks before beginning a new project.

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