Copyright (c) 2012 Fabienne Fredrickson
Today’s article is about how to transition into a new business. Whether you’re transitioning from a corporate job into a new business or if you are transitioning from one business to another, it can feel like a bit of an identity crisis. I know because I’ve done this twice.
The identity crisis and the angst comes from the fact that you don’t want to lose income from the first business or job, but you also need to let others know about what you’re doing. I have several tips for you today about how to transition from one into the other.
The very first thing I want to share with you is do not quit your day job just yet! For many years, I worked with clients who would let me know after the fact that they quit their day job, and they said, “Oh, I’m free and now I have all this time to spend on my new business.” But they took their eye off the ball, if you will, in terms of what their bread and butter was. After a while, their income very quickly spiraled, which puts people into a fear place. I do not want that for you. Do not quit your day job. Instead, focus your attention on what is bringing in the money. Even if you’re transitioning from one business to another, you don’t want to put your full attention into the second business and forget what’s bringing in the money.
Continue to give attention to job #1 or business #1, and then create extra time for your second venture. Perhaps you start working on your second business during the evenings and weekends. This is what I did in my transitions, both from corporate to my first business and from my first business to my second business.
The idea is that while you’re still collecting a paycheck from either your first business or corporate, you create all of the marketing you need. This is where you start focusing on who is your ideal client, what is it that they need most, what is it that they are struggling with the most? Create a compelling message around this new business. Create your marketing materials. Create a marketing plan and decide how you will get out there in a big way while you’re still collecting a paycheck.
Once you have those things in place, then it’s time to begin networking your new business in a new group. Here’s what I did in the beginning. I would go to a networking group at 7:30 in the morning, even though I was still working in corporate. I would market my new business and be at work by 9:00. If you’re in your existing business, you keep networking for your existing business and then you find a different networking group and market your second business.
The idea is that you’re riding two horses at the same time. That can be tiring, but it’s less confusing and again, you want to continue getting that paycheck. Sometimes people ask me, “I’m carrying around two different business cards. Do I hand out two business cards or just one?” I believe that you hand out just one business card–whichever is more appropriate for that person. You don’t want to confuse people.
Then once you’re making enough income from your second business, that is the one that you start marketing full-time. Once you get at least enough to cover your basic expenses, then you shift your entire focus onto that one. Don’t stop taking clients from the first one if you don’t have to and then build the second one. That is how I’ve been able to transition twice and my clients have been able to do the same without losing any income and without sleepless nights.
Make the transition peacefully and easily.
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If you’re thinking of transitioning into a new business, take these tips into consideration. Continue to get clients, continue to make money, and to be able to transition peacefully and easily.