Should You Quit Your Job To Start an Agency? Here’s How To Find Out…
Starting your own agency can be a dream come true, but there are plenty of pitfalls to watch out for.
Before you pack your bags and start telling everyone about your new business, think carefully about whether you’re ready to take the plunge.
If you aren’t careful, that dream can quickly become a nightmare.
Read on for some practical tips and helpful questions to ask yourself before you make the jump.
25 Questions To Know If You’re Ready To Quit Your Job
The following questions will bring clarity about whether it’s time for you to leave your job and start an agency.
Grab a sheet of paper, find a quiet spot, and ask yourself:
1. What’s Your Motivation?
- Do you have a burning desire to strike out on your own, or are you feeling pressure from friends and family?
- Are you chasing a dream or running from a nightmare?
- Why do you want to start an agency?
- Are you motivated by money, freedom, or prestige?
It’s possible to crave all three, but it’s especially important to know what you’re after before you start your own company.
Knowing your true motivation will get you headed in the right direction.
Many people get sucked into the agency game by the stories of overnight successes. It’s easy to get caught up in this fantasy, but don’t forget that most successful agencies take years to develop.
Getting clients is tough, especially at the beginning. If you’re chasing a quick win, it’s likely to be short-lived. Focus on your long-term vision and avoid getting distracted.
2. Do You Have Enough Savings?
Starting an agency can eat up your savings quickly.
Most businesses fail, so it’s important to have a healthy safety net before you hang out your shingle. And this isn’t about thinking negatively; it’s simply a risk/reward calculation.
If things go well, you’ll be glad you had the cash reserves. And if they don’t, at least you won’t be left with nothing.
Some people suggest you have, at the very least, 6 months’ worth of living expenses in the bank.
That might be a bit extreme, but it’s a good idea to have some cash flow before you jump off the deep end.
3. Is Your Job Sucking Up Your Life?
Work is necessary to live, but it should also leave you with plenty of time for other things.
Be honest with yourself:
How many hours a day are you spending at work?
Do you have time for your family, hobbies, and other pursuits?
If you’re constantly bogged down with work, it’s time to make a change.
This doesn’t necessarily mean quitting right away, but it’s a sign that you’re not in the right job.
For example, if you’re a designer and you never have time to design, it’s a big red flag that something needs to change.
4. Do You Have a Rock-Solid Work Ethic?
A strong work ethic is essential to running a successful agency.
If you’re the kind of person that fizzles out after a few hours, or you can’t stand working on weekends, it’s time to ask why.
Starting your own agency takes tremendous dedication, discipline, and time management skills.
If you don’t have them yet, you should work on developing the first. Otherwise, you might be in for a rude awakening.
5. Do You Have a Clear Action Plan?
Before you quit, take a step back and think about your next steps.
- Do you have a plan for how you’ll run the business?
- Do you have a plan for getting clients?
- Do you have a plan for bringing in revenue?
- Where will the money come from to pay your bills?
It’s easy to get excited about the idea of starting your own agency, but it’s important to take a deep breath and lay out some concrete action steps.
For instance, if you want to launch a design agency, do some research about what it takes. Then break those things down into individual steps and set a deadline for each one.
Having a plan gives you a greater sense of confidence that your agency will succeed. And it might even help you decide whether launching a business is the right move for you.
6. Does Your Family Support Your Decision?
While it should go without saying, you need to make sure your family understands the consequences of starting a business.
It’s tough to take risks when you have a family to think about.
They may be willing to support your decision, but only if they understand the costs and benefits.
Before quitting your job, make sure you’ve had a frank discussion with them about the commitment it takes to start an agency.
There’s no point quitting your day job if they’re not on board.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should change your mind just to appease them.
You should always follow your heart and do what feels right for you, regardless of the opinions of those around you.
But it’s good to be well-informed about the impact on those closest to you before you decide to quit your job.
7. Do You Have the Right Mindset?
Starting any business is challenging, but it’s especially so if you don’t enjoy working with clients.
You need to be ready for a rollercoaster ride, filled with long days and sleepless nights.
It’s not glamorous at all.
If you’re not willing to sacrifice your free time and put your heart and soul into the company, it might be a better idea just to keep your day job.
Business requires sacrifice and hard work.
If you’re not ready for that, your agency probably won’t succeed.
8. Do You Have Debt?
If you have debt, it’s probably not the best time to start an agency.
You should pay off your debt before making any major decisions.
Debt not only takes a chunk of your earnings in monthly interest payments, it also distracts you from tending to business.
You won’t be able to focus on building a sustainable business if you’re constantly concerned about debt.
If you have a lot of it, it’s better to get rid of it first.
You’ll be able to make smarter decisions about your business when you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay it off.
Once you’ve got your debt under control, then it might be time to start thinking about quitting your job.
9. Are You Willing to Fail…a Lot?
That’s how it is.
It’s important to go into business with your eyes wide open.
If you really want to succeed, you have to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices and learn from your mistakes.
That’s part of the process of starting a business.
In fact, it might be more accurate to say that failure is the most important part of starting a business.
Without it, you don’t learn what works and what doesn’t.
Think about it: If you want to learn how to ride a bicycle, you probably will fall once or twice.
You’ve got to find that balance and then keep practicing.
So be prepared for failure and focus on what you can learn from it instead of what you’ll miss out on.
Failure will only discourage you if you let it.
10. Are You Prepared to Deal With Uncertainty?
Starting an agency will affect every aspect of your life, including things that are completely out of your control.
There’s no way to know how much money you’ll make in a year or how many clients will want your services.
You’ll need the right business model to make it work.
You’ve got to be willing to keep an open mind, even if that means changing your plans along the way.
It’s important to know that you can deal with change and still be successful, even if the path isn’t always clear.
Are you ready to take on financial uncertainty?
Are you ready for a rollercoaster ride of an emotional journey?
If so, it might be time to quit your job and start an agency.
11. Do You Have a Mentor?
Starting an agency is a bit like going on a safari.
You’ll need a guide to help you find your way.
A mentor can teach you the ropes and keep you from making mistakes that may ruin your business.
Of course, it’s not always about avoiding mistakes as much as learning from them.
It’s important to remember that nobody knows everything and that even the obvious things take time to learn.
Having a mentor allows you to stay up-to-date with industry standards and can give you a fresh perspective when you’re stuck.
You’ll learn what will make your business successful and how to overcome challenges along the way.
It’s one thing to be prepared for uncertainty, but it’s another thing to actually deal with it.
Having a mentor will make all the difference when you’re going through a rough patch.
12. Do You Have a Long-Term Vision for Your Business?
Starting an agency is a lot like starting a garden.
You’re going to have to put in the time and effort before you see any results.
It’s not like you can plant a seed, come back next week and reap the benefits.
In fact, it might even take years before you see your first harvest.
That’s why it’s always important to have a long-term vision for your business, even before you start working on it.
You need to be able to look back on the work you’ve done and see how far your business has come.
Your long-term vision can help you trigger specific actions daily.
It’s those actions that will bring your business closer to where you want it.
13. Do You Have Strong Personal Reasons for Starting an Agency?
At the end of the day, starting an agency is a personal decision.
Again, there’s no right way to start a business and you’ll have to figure out the best way for you.
It’s important to consider why you want to start an agency.
- What about it makes your blood pump?
- Is it the control you have over your time?
- Is it being able to work on something you love?
Whatever it is, you need to be honest with yourself.
You won’t be able to maintain the motivation you need if it’s not something that truly matters to you.
Having strong personal reasons for starting an agency will help you keep focused and motivated.
It’ll keep you moving forward when things get tough.
There’s nothing more important than having the motivation to improve your business.
Quitting your job is a tough decision.
Don’t take it lightly.
It’s not like you can get up one morning, decide to quit your job, and then start an agency the next day.
It takes a lot of work and it’s going to be a long process.
However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it can be incredibly rewarding.
Hopefully, the questions outlined in this guide will help you make a more informed decision.