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Too many working professionals have entrepreneurial ideas that they would one day like to fulfill. Unfortunately most of these professionals would not be able to do them, simply because they failed to make concrete plans to make them happen.

When moving through the ranks of paid employment, it is easy to get one’s eyes off the ball and lose sight of this vision. A paid employment that was initially supposed to be temporary could turn out to be a permanent situation. This is indeed the story of many still in paid employment.

The question then begs to be asked, what are some of the practical steps one can take in managing this transition? We provide a few practical steps below;

  1. Build a capital base. Set aside an amount of your monthly remuneration to form the capital you will use in starting a business. This ensures you don’t get stranded financially when you are eventually ready to start.
  2. Set a date. Someday is not a day. If there is no planned date, you just might not realize that dream. A planned date keeps you motivated and actively working towards your goal.
  3. Build the necessary entrepreneurial skills. It is understandable that your job takes most of your time. However, in order to realize the dream of one day owning a business, you will need to develop certain business skills that make you fit for the job. Read business books, attend business related events and trainings.
  4. Network, Network, Network. This cannot be overemphasized. Your first set of customers will come from your network base. And so it is critical that you build a comprehensive one. Attend a variety of events whether they seem related to you or not as long as they give you the opportunity to network.
  5. Continuously hone the idea. The idea development process never stops, it is an iterative process. This is because the market place is constantly changing and so are the needs of the consumers.

This article is part of a series of conversations around helping professionals in Nigeria make a seamless transition from paid employment to entrepreneurship. This subject will be discussed more extensively at the May 2017 Startit Academy, themed, Plot your Exit Strategy from Paid Employment. For more information about the event and registration, please click here.

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