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The Women Business Owners of Reddit Give their Hacks on Easing the Transition into Full-Time Self Employment

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Making the leap from full-time, traditional employment into the realm of self-employment can be a dream come true, but it can also be daunting and filled with uncertainty. Reddit user mohagan002 asked the question on the Ladybusiness subreddit, “What is something practical you wish you’d known or done before you quit your full-time job and started your own business?” By “practical,” she said she wasn’t looking for business recommendations, such as “write a business plan” or “create user personas,” but instead, real-world advice that could ease the transition. Here’s a round-up of comments offered by business owners who’ve been there:

  1. If you’re planning on refinancing your home, do it before leaving your full-time employment.

“One of my friends, a business owner, told me that she had trouble refinancing her home –  even though her business was beyond successful – because her bank needed two full years of income from her current job before it would even consider a refi. She wished she’d done the refi before she started her own company.” – mohagan002

  1. Make sure your home office door closes, both to stay in the office and work undistracted and to close the door behind you. That way you can close the door, leave your work day behind and focus on your personal life.

“I know this is minor, but have an office with a door that closes. And remember that there is always, always, always going to be more work to do, so sometimes you just have to close that door and give your attention to your kids/partner/family/friends/hobbies. Try to keep even a little balance in your life; it will pay off in the long term!” – tallgirl32

  1. Set aside time to crunch the numbers to figure out how much savings you need to make the transition possible, and use that as a goal to work toward.

“I’m contemplating the same leap myself. I felt like I was spending too long wondering if I could make the leap, and I needed a way to make progress on making that determination. So I took about 10 hours of my time and crunched the numbers – income versus expenses for the past year – to see how much savings it would take for me to be able to quit my job. Now, I have a goal I am tracking towards … and I feel a lot more confident about the future, at least the financial aspect, ha!” – 1fish2fishreddit

  1. Buy the clothes you’ll need for your new career while you still have full-time employment and can better afford it.

“This feels silly to say, but I went from a professional job that required nice business clothes to owning a retail store where I can wear whatever I want. I wish I would have stocked up on everyday casual clothes while I still had the income to afford it.” – cupcakeknuckles

  1. Take steps to keep your business and personal communication systems separate.

“…get a PO box, email address and separate phone line for your business now! If your business and personal communication lines get mixed up, it can get really confusing and annoying.” – cupcakeknuckles

  1. Automate everything you can and consider hiring a virtual assistant.

“Automation. Automation. Automation. Seriously. I am currently in school full-time, run a five-figure monthly income biz, and also have time to travel and have a life. How? Because robots and computers run half my stuff, and VAs run the other half.” VAatelier

Are you making plans to go from full-time employment to a small business owner? Share your hacks with us on how to make that jump a bit easier in the comments below. If you’re interested in learning more about Kabbage, visit our business loans for women page. 

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