Shams Juma is the founder and CEO of Quantifye, a freelance marketplace that connects business experts with businesses. He shares his insight on when to make the jump into entrepreneurship.
(Photo courtesy of Shams Juma)
When is the right time to go from working in a corporation to launching a technology startup?
There are many factors that need to be considered. Assuming that you know the why question first, why do you want to start your own business, my advice would be to taking inventory of the three capitals. The capitals being social, technical and financial. I’ll take a moment to talk about three for a moment.
Social: How broad and deep is your network?
Take a moment to consider how many people you know that not only go across industries but also run deep, such as healthcare, IT, financial services, etc.
Why is this important? As you launch your business, there comes an inevitable time where you are going to partner with others to help you with your business. Whether that is in the form of adding investors, adding co-founders to your team or even strategic partnerships. In the day and age of digital relationships, having meaningful and offline relationships with others within and outside your industry may turn out to be instrumental for your business.
Technical: How knowledgeable are you about your industry?
Are you a subject matter expert in the industry that you’re looking to disrupt? If not, what sort of technical knowledge do you need to acquire before you do? What sort of partnerships will you need to build to be collectively the experts in your industry? These are some of the questions that I would encourage you ask yourself.
Why is this important? When you take an idea to market, in order for you to have a sustainable competitive advantage, it becomes critically important that you have a vision, or intellectual property, that seldom others can replicate, especially if you’re looking to bring on any investors.
Financial: How deep are your pockets to fund your idea?
When you look to launch your business, you want to ensure that not only can you support yourself by having 6 to 18 months of living expenses, but also have the financial capital to launch your business in some cases.
Why is this important? It is vital that while you focus on your dream full-time, you can support yourself financially throughout that time. Building and sustaining a business is very challenging and comes with its own stress; you don’t want to add to that stress by any undue financial challenges. Leading up to your launch, I highly recommend minimizing your monthly recurring living expenses and paying off your debt as much as possible. You’ll be very thankful you did.
Once you decide to take the leap, follow your heart and never look back.
This article was written by Robin D. Everson of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.