Many people with an idea for a business or dream of their own often find themselves in a bind of wanting to proceed with their idea without losing the security of their current job. This fear has killed many dreams, but you may be giving up too quickly if this is giving you pause. A recent article from The Network Journal has compiled some ideas and techniques that let you develop, sell, and test a product, without having to leave the job that pays the bills.
One of the best things you can do that only costs you time is simply testing the waters. People can have the passion for putting their product or service out, but there still needs to be a market fit in order for it to be successful. Ask around and see if your coworkers would use such an item. Don’t worry about someone stealing your idea. Only the biggest companies have the resources to do this, and they will still need to do the same thing—seeing if there is interest on a much larger scale.
Once you’ve put together the basic prototype or product, it’s time to launch. At this point, it’s best to try and treat this like a hobby that pays. At first, your profits will mainly amount to beer money, but with the security of your day job, this isn’t a massive issue. What you really want to do at this point is use the feedback and insights customers give you to improve your business. Third-party resources will be invaluable to get the ball rolling with a small budget.
When you start seeing that first success, be it that first sale or by some other measure, it is easy to be overcome by your success and feel that now is the time to make that leap of leaving your job. Don’t move so fast. Success is not an overnight item. Try to hold off until you can make half your salary from your business and half from side consulting before deciding it is time to move forward. Also, a one-time sale is a tough way to live at first. Keep an eye out and look for opportunities like subscriptions, contracts, supplies and refunds to generate repeat business from clients.