According to the Census Bureau, more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. during 2020 — the highest total on record. For reference, that’s a 24.3% increase from 2019 and 51.0% higher than the 2010-19 average. Half a million new businesses were started in January 2021, alone.*
What does that mean for you if you’re thinking of making the leap? It’ll mean you’re not alone, you’re not crazy and that the time has finally come for you to oversee your own schedule and destiny.
Will it be easy? NO.
But is it possible? YES.
Here are some things to consider if you’re contemplating your corporate exit:
Will you create a side-hustle or leap in full time? It can take one to three years to build a sustainable service business depending on your network and propensity for hustle.
It’s not out of the question to be able to start a service-based business with a few thousand dollars if equipment is not needed, but it’s all about how fast you can get cash coming in.
Figure out if you’ll be funding this yourself and how long you can go without an income as you build. If you are going to try to secure funding from family and friends, make very clear agreement and discuss each other’s expectations.
What are you selling?
Where your original idea can change over time, it’s important to know what you are offering and for how much. How will the marketplace value your service? Does it match what you hope for? Do some informal market research speaking to several people you feel might be potential customers down the road. Find competitors and get a sense of what is working out there.
(Note: If you test this with friend, they will not be a good gauge of your worth in the marketplace. They are not likely to offer up big numbers that they wouldn’t pay themselves but remember others might)
Gaps in strengths and knowledge
You have to be honest with yourself. What is the skill you can’t wait to charge for? The result you can’t wait to create? Then, ask yourself what could get in the way of you being paid to use/create that? Are you afraid to talk to people? Are you unclear about how to market your service or even how to have a sales conversation? Do you have a hurdle to climb when it comes to understanding the technology, you’ll need to be all things as a solopreneur?
It is critical that you do an honest assessment and start upgrading your skills to fill the gaps or identify a partner or help that could be a part of the business to make it succeed.
Just like adding kids to your life, or buying a home, you can’t wait for the perfect timing because there is no such thing. However, the trend is here and it’s a favorable time. Remember though, that according to JP Morgan Chase statistics, roughly a third of new businesses exit within their first two years, and half exit within their first five years. The survival rate of new businesses has been remarkably consistent over time.
All that means for you is to do your homework and prepare. Consistency of action, some planning, and a tremendous amount of gumption (fear is a good motivator!) are what will put you over the top.