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A guide to being your own boss

If you are considering leaving your 9 to 5 business to work for yourself, it's possible that you are unsure about the best way to go about it. Leaving the safety of a permanent job to start your own business doesn't need to be a risky gamble if you prepare for it and plan accordingly.

Before becoming an entrepreneur

Decide if you are ready
Before leaving your existing job, you need to be sure about what you are doing next. Many people opt for freelancing in a similar niche. However, you can opt for a new business idea, such as a franchise or an Internet business.It important to know if you personally are ready to become an entrepreneur. Many business centres offer services such as a "run your own business" game, where you are faced with common small business problems and risks and can see how would you reach to them. Being your own boss is a big commitment, so make sure you are ready. Plan ahead of time
Handing in your notice before getting your small business started may sound like a radical change and a great start, but truth is, burning ships is often not the best strategy. Cash-flow is usually slow over the first months, and clients may be harder to find than you thought. It's better to plan ahead, and to keep your day job running alongside your small business until you are established. Alternatively, you can try and save enough money to support yourself for six months, but that often means several months delay on your plans.

Starting your new business

Register your business
It's important to do things right from the start, and starting your business is no different. Inform yourself about the regulations for your trade and form your new company before starting to earn money from it to avoid tax penalties. You will probably need to register a business bank account, a process that can take several weeks, and start finding your new customers. At this point, it may be worth it creating a website and other promotional material and finding an accountant if you don't want to do the accounting yourself. Hand in your notice
The day has come to become your own boss and tell your old one it's over… but don't burn any bridges. If you have managed your small business well and your boss is still happy about your work performance, being rude about giving your notice can make you lose a potential client or business partner, or just give you a bad reputation. Be clear about why you are leaving, and try to leave a good taste in the mouth of your former employee.

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