Jump ConsiderationsLeaping to the independence of being one's own boss takes a lot more consideration than just what kind of work you will be doing. While that is certainly an important factor, unless you are independently wealthy, there are many other factors to strategize before committing full time.
Here are some considerations about self-employment you need to mull over before making the jump to entrepreneurialism:
Viable IdeasIf you plan to start out on your own as something like a consultant for a cookware company, you need to ensure that the market in your area is not already saturated or that there is a need for such services and products in your vicinity. This is true for any type of self-employment you are considering.
Having a viable business idea may take some trial and error, but overall you need to start out with a workable idea that can be planned out through a business plan. For potential entrepreneurs, a solid business plan is a necessity and if you feel the plan's concept overwhelms you, consider the operation of the actual business will be far more overwhelming.
Bootstrapping FinancialsIf you are planning to go full time right out of the gate, you better be sure your finances are in order to support your endeavors. You'll need to have enough cash in the bank to not only cover necessary business expenses but also to accommodate living expenses for several months, likely years, until your business pulls in a profit. Don't forget as an entrepreneur you'll be responsible for paying relevant taxes in addition to other expenses. You need to pre-plan how much you'll need to have on hand to survive and grow the business until it becomes profitable. Then you'll need a back up plan in case success does not come in a timely manner. Many business models do not generate actual profits for the first few years of business, and is exactly why many people start a business while working part time to keep a steady income coming in.
Planning for the FutureIdeally, you'll want to create a business plan that somewhat determines where the business should be headed and how money factors into that plan. Even if you are young when you start out on your own, you'll need to consider how you'll save for the immediate future's needs, like health insurance, and for long-term needs, like retirement. Married couples may be able to organize a plan using the employment benefits of those still in a 9-5 job, but it is essential to see the big picture when planning to start your journey of self-employment.
Coordinate a Starting PointBecause the financial ramifications of a failure can be too costly to consider, you may want to consider attempting a solo venture on a part-time basis. While you still receive a steady income from your employment, you can experiment with different business concepts until you feel secure enough to let go of the reliable job and its income. If part time is your choice, be sure to remain discreet as some employers may not be appreciative of your perceived moonlighting and may be apt to terminate your reliable income.
Weigh the Pros/ConsIf you do plan on going part-time, make sure you consider that investment of time away from other things in your life (ie: family) as you work to manage two jobs. If you choose full time over a trial run, you will still be deeply involved in the start up process which may require significant sacrifices of your 'normal' life. Weigh the pros and cons of handling all aspects of the business and the entrepreneurial life before making the commitment.
Self-employment takes dedication and effort if you plan for success. There are many more opportunities today for those who want to work independently and earn a living doing something they genuinely enjoy. With the right amount of planning and attention to details, especially the financial ones, you can find a new career and a new way of life.