How do you go from being a salary earner to becoming a highly successful entrepreneur?
When you shut your eyes and consider your current job, which vocabulary conjures itself up?
Do terms like ‘taken for granted’, ‘stressful’, ‘thankless’ and ‘dead-end’ drown out sentiments like ‘satisfying’, ‘fulfilling’ and ‘caring’?
If so, it’s possibly time to consider moving on. But if you’ve been in employment for a long time, tried different industries and encountered the same cultural problems, the danger is that in your next role you’ll have escaped the frying pan to end up in the fire.
So maybe working for yourself is a better option, because although it has its challenges, office politics and poor leadership aren’t amongst them.
With that in mind, here are five ways to switch from salaried employment to entrepreneurship.
1. Creative crowdfunding
If you’re a creative with financial and family responsibilities, you possibly don’t have the wherewithal to ditch your day job and start immediately making a living selling your books, paintings or customised clothes.
However, with crowdfunding app Patreon, you can connect with supporters who can regularly chip in to support your endeavours – and reward them with regular special product offers and sneak peeks on works in progress.
2. Government funding
When you’re starting a more mainstream business, chances are that you might need to access a significant amount of capital in order to break through into crowded marketplaces.
Various funds are available in regions throughout the UK for sectors like agriculture, bio-renewables, civic improvement and much more – check the gov.uk pages of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for more details on applications and eligibility criteria.
3. Equity crowdfunding
Looking for private equity and the opportunity to connect in a novel way with a mass of small and medium as well as larger investors?
Then equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs is the biggest of its kind in Europe and has provided a forum for businesses with slightly novel or alternative propositions, which might have struggled to secure backing by traditional means, to find footholds and flourish.
4. Social media
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might be worthwhile for extending the reach of businesses and enhancing digital presence, but the evidence that they can be used directly to sell, grow and scale is limited.
However, business-focused site LinkedIn is different – it’s the world’s biggest networking site and if you observe the correct conversational conventions, it’s relatively simple to connect with stakeholders of different types who can help bring your business dreams to fruition.
5. Distance learning
When you’ve got an entrepreneurial vision but perhaps lack the solid business savvy to set up an enterprise, hire staff, ensure registration is in order, keep books up to date and define and embed culture from the beginning, studying online for a formal qualification like an MBA can be beneficial.
And educator Anglia Ruskin University Distance Learning offers several such business-related courses which you can study online in your own time, applying the practical knowledge as you progress and culminating with a formal qualification that’s a solid foundation for starting a full-time business.