5 Keys to a Successful Transition to Self Employment

Dec 15, 2011 | Career Development

Guest blog by Sydni Craig-Hart, The VA Success Coach™

At what phase in your entrepreneurial journey do you find yourself now?  Are you researching the opportunity to become a Virtual Assistant?  Or, have you already fired your boss and are setting up your home based business?  Another phase that comes to mind is the phase where you are working in your business to replace and exceed the income that you once maintained as an employee.

Mental Preparation

If you have not left your place of employment, but yearn to do so, I want to help you make a smooth transition from employee to entrepreneur.  Likely, you have a million thoughts and questions running through your mind about how you can build a virtual assistant business from scratch.

No worries!  You should be asking questions AND getting the answers you need. But don’t ask just anyone! Get honest answers from someone who created a successful VA business and has already achieve the results you’re looking for. Then you can learn how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.  Also, understand that you are going to have to makeover your mindset. I talked about this extensively in a recent article on how to develop a mindset for success, but understand that you can NOT run your business the way you perform as an employee.

Getting your questions answered and being open to upgrading your mindset will prepare you for a safe, comfortable, less scary transition into entrepreneurship.  Another critical element is developing your transition plan.

Your Transition Plan

Here are a few things that you will want to include in your Transition Plan:

  1. Dates:  The first important date to focus on would be your resignation date.  What does your employer require when it comes to resigning from your position?  Does he require two, three or even four weeks’ notice?  What feels comfortable and fair to you? Another important date is your last day of employment.  This will determine the date of your last paycheck.  It will also determine when your employee benefits run out.  All of these dates have a bearing on how quickly you begin working full-time in your Virtual Assistant business.
  2. Money:  You’ll want to be diligent about gathering your financial reserves. You do NOT want to quit your job without having a financial cushion in place.  If you currently have a steady income, make sure that you can cover your necessary expenses between the time you leave your job and the time that you can create sufficient income in your business.  Have you research methods for you to get start-up funding.  Are there government grants for which you may qualify?  Do you have local organizations that support entrepreneurs? Do you have a well to do relative who would be more than happy to assist your business venture?  You can never be too creative when it comes to supporting your business financially.
  3. Schedule:  Will your current employer allow you to have a flexible schedule so that you can have more time to build your business?  It never hurts to ask.  Though I was terrified to do so, I mustered up the courage to ask to work from home and this was a key factor in both my learning how to work virtually AND having the time and space to setup my business.  Also, what days and time blocks will you dedicate to growing your business? Your business won’t create itself, so you’ll need to allocate specific time to business development over the next few months.
  4. Infrastructure:  A good portion of your time and energy during the transition phase will involve setting up the foundation of your company.  Review this recent article I wrote on developing your infrastructure that details some important matters that you should have in place before you transition full-time into Virtual Assistance.

If you are diligent about creating and following your transition plan, you will eliminate unnecessary stress and uncertainty as you build your new business.  If you would step by step instruction on how to launch your new career as a Virtual Assistant, I invite you to join my Successful VA Mentoring Program where I can lead you by the hand from your corporate job to your very own successful, profitable, home-based business. Visit me at www.SuccessfulVA.com. for details.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The VA Success Coach™, is Founder of Executive Assistant to Virtual Assistant!, a company dedicated to providing Administrative Professionals with the support, tools and resources they need to create a highly successful, profitable Virtual Assistant business.

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