When can I make my daydream my day job? When can I make the leap from balancing my career and business to focusing 100% on my business? It’s a question we hear a lot at With Grace and Gold – and it’s one that I’m going to explore today!
In Summer 2014, I embarked on the coolest journey ever with my best friend Andra: we started our own business! As our business grew, finding balance became harder and harder to do; I found myself working all day and all night long. Although I have become much better at developing a system and schedule — it’s still tough! Over time, I have learned that the first steps of small business ownership require a lot of dedication — especially when it comes to making your daydream your day job!
Step 1: Build a Strong Foundation
I like to compare business ownership to sports! Without solidifying ‘the basics’ it’s hard to do any tricks! Likewise, without a strong foundation for your business, it’s hard to bring it to a place of sustainability and success. Building a strong foundation means: having a solid business plan, understanding your niche, identifying your Ideal Client, and having a professional brand and online presence. At With Grace and Gold, we have an opportunity to help businesswomen with these key steps! It’s so amazing to see how building – or re-building – a strong foundation can help business owners to approach their business with a renewed sense of confidence and purpose.
Step 2: Crunch the Numbers
You might be surprised to know that pricing is a tricky topic for many small businesses; business owners often determine pricing backwards. (Rather than deciding how much money they’d like to make each month or each year — they begin by deciding how much is “reasonable” to ask for.) Review your pricing and think about how much money you’d like to earn through your business. Compare your prices to similar businesses in your field. Finally, ensure your branding and design matches the prices you’ve decided upon. For example: Does your brand and online presence look high-end, and will it attract those high-end customers? Reviewing your pricing will help to better understand how feasible it is to replace your full-time job with your dream job.
Step 3: Set Goals and Track Sales
Set goals for your business and determine whether or not each goal is being met. With a 9 to 5 career, there is often stability. With a small business, there is often risk of varied income from month to month. When each goal you’ve set is met or exceeded in the long-term (6 Months – 1 Year) you can have the confidence you need to make your daydream your day job.
Step 4: Expect the Unexpected
With a small business (and even with a blog) tax season can be a big burden. As you prepare to make the leap from daydream to day job, plan for the unexpected: living expenses, bills, taxes, savings, and insurance. Keeping track of your finances is critical, and if you feel uncomfortable doing so independently, please feel free to hire an Accountant! (That’s what I have done!) Accuracy is very important!
Step 5: Believe in Yourself
If there is anything I have learned from serving women in business, it is that every person has something so unique and special to offer. You have a unique talent — and it’s worth sharing! Believe in yourself, and surround yourself with positive women who will encourage you and lift up your business and your goals! (Our Facebook community, Grace, Gold, and Gumption is a great place to begin!)
Are you a full-time business owner? What encouraged you to make the leap?