Becoming a business owner is an exciting adventure, but it isn’t something you should rush into. In order to make the most of this experience, you need to know the right way to transition to self-employment. This guide will help you make the switch with minimal risk and maximum rewards.
Jumping into a new business is no small task. It requires extensive research and preparation. Before you decide this is what you want to do with your life, do your homework. Learn what your expenses will be upfront and how strong the demand for that service or product is in your area. Thankfully, window cleaning is a low-cost business startup that is in high demand throughout the country. As long as you follow the detailed, step-by-step guide we provide at Window Academy, you can avoid common business mistakes.
Don’t quit your current job until you know for sure that you will make a living from your new business. Most business owners lose money or break even during their first few months of operation because of the cost of marketing, work equipment, brand development, and gaining new clients. Window cleaning work picks up quickly, so you’ll be able to tell how much money you can earn shortly after you launch your business. Keep in mind that you will have a slow period in the winter that will cut into your profits. Avoid making the complete full-time transition until you are 100% confident about being self-employed.
This sounds harsh, we know, but it’s the truth. Starting a new business is a stressful task, especially at the very beginning. Try to eliminate as much stress from your personal life as possible before committing to your new business. For example, if you just went through a divorce, you should probably wait a few months before getting into your own business. That way your mind can be clear to handle the pressure of being an entrepreneur.
If you’re used to working a “regular job,” you probably have tax money taken out of your paychecks. This won’t happen automatically when you’re self-employed. You need to set aside money for taxes so you don’t end up with a big bill at the end of the year. As a general rule of thumb, save 20% of your income for taxes. The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3%, but that won’t cover your state taxes or other fees you may have to pay. You can use the IRS Tax Withholding Calculator to estimate what your taxes will be. You can also pay estimated quarterly taxes so you don’t have one massive payment to make during tax season.
If you start running a business from home, you may find your personal life and business life bleeding into each other. Do what you can to keep these two areas separate. This will reduce your stress levels and allow you to focus your full attention on your family or your business, depending on the situation. If possible, set up a home office in an area that you can close off at the end of the day. A simple room dividing screen would be sufficient to get your mind off entrepreneurship for the night.
If you make mistakes while starting a new business, that’s OK. In fact, it’s to be expected. Don’t let those mistakes stand in the way of your mistakes. Learn from them and use them to make improvements to your business in the future.