Mary Sullivan points us to a CNN Money article on what to do when you are planning to go solo while you work for someone else. The seven tips are:
1. Scour your finances.
You want to be certain you will be attractive to future lenders and investors, so now's the time to pay down credit-card debt and shore up your credit rating. Once you're on your own and no longer drawing a salary, banks or investors will scrutinize your numbers more closely.
2. Wring the most out of your current employer.
Hidden in many corporate benefits packages are valuable perks that can help you reach your goals. Think workshops, training, networking forums and tuition reimbursement.
3. Hitch your wagon to another star.
Finding an enthusiastic mentor can be difficult. But many people never find one because they never bother to ask. Choose experienced people you admire and ask them to show you the ropes or make themselves available for questions or feedback.
4. Go out with style.
Stay committed to the task at hand while you're on the job. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it's particularly smart if you expect to do business with the same company or in the same industry. Ideally, you'll find your first customers where people already know you.
5. Line up a support team.
The day-to-day aspects of running a fledgling enterprise are commonly overlooked by new business owners. As a solo player, everything from billing and bookkeeping to taxes and legal concerns is now your problem.
6. Give yourself away...
Building a client base? Consider freebies, discounts and barter to pad your portfolio with evidence of your ability -- especially while you're still earning a paycheck.
In addition to providing material for marketing yourself, it can also be a way to build a paying client base from scratch. See the next step.
7. ...and then get paid what you're worth.
Learning to value yourself in the marketplace is a tough skill to master.
Start by talking to other people in your industry -- providers and customers. What's the going rate? Are there new services or trends? Are certain skills and credentials more valuable than others?
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