When Employees Start a Business
What changes in mindset are essential when you decide to go to work for yourself?
David Cox | March 19, 2019
You often dream of working for yourself. You picture quitting your job and building a successful business where you make the decisions, set your schedule, and determine your priorities. You’ve known others who’ve “taken the plunge” and started a business. Some succeeded, and some failed, but you’re confident that you would be among the success stories.
A new mindset
There are some significant shifts in your thinking that need to happen before you leave your employment to become an entrepreneur. The following are a few transitions in “mindset” you’ll need to make as you prepare to launch your new business.
You’re a business owner
You need to stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like a business owner. You’re not a web content writer; you own a web content business that helps clients gain more traffic, leads, and sales. You’re not a graphic designer; you own a design firm that creates well-optimized websites that your clients love and search engines favor. To shift your mindset from an employee to a business owner, you have to change the image in your mind of who you are and what you do.
Your clients are not your employers
You’re not trying to “get hired,” you’re trying to develop new business. You’re not looking for a job, you’re offering specific services, and you’re seeking clients who can benefit by working with you. Start by creating a profile that describes your ideal client and then focus your marketing and networking efforts in that direction (the subject of another article).
Understand and communicate your value
Stop worrying about what you’re going to charge and start focusing on the value you can provide for your clients. As an employee, you work on a salary or hourly rate, and it’s common to overlook the value you bring to your employer’s customers.
As a business owner, you’ll price your services based on your level of expertise, the time it takes to complete the project, and the value you bring to the client. Yes, you should consider what others are charging, but salary and fee surveys shouldn’t be the only determining factor in what you charge.
Once you understand your value (experience, skill, expertise, etc.) and can communicate that to potential clients, you won’t have to be as self-conscious about whether your rates are too high or be concerned about competitors who charge less.
Like it or not, it’s still your responsibility
How do you feel about sales calls, networking events, or sending out invoices? You either need to figure out how to get good at these things or determine how you’re going to get them done. If you don’t like promoting yourself or your services to prospective clients, how are you going to develop new business?
You’re responsible for figuring out how your essential tasks are going to get done. As a small business owner, you’re not only responsible for a few essential functions; you’re responsible for all of them.
Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur involves more than just quitting your job, filing some legal documents, and setting up a website. The most significant challenge for the aspiring entrepreneur may be the change in mindset necessary for you to go from being an employee to launching a startup that eventually becomes a profitable, sustainable business.