When to quit your day job

You hate your job. You’ve got a fantastic idea for a business. There’s no way it can fail, so you ‘stick it to the man’ and quit your day job!

What’s to worry about? Your business will be up and running in no time and the money will start rolling in. Right?


We can’t definitively say it won’t happen. Who knows, you could catch the market at just the right time. You might be a marketing whizz and build up a following quickly. Truth is, in business, there are no certainties, except to expect the unexpected.

When to quit your day job

Look before you leap

If you can’t 110% guarantee your business will work, then you’re basically stepping off a cliff with no safety rope. What will you fall back on?


Everyone’s got to eat and pay their rent or mortgage

What if something falls through and it takes longer than expected to make money? Can you take the financial risk? No one wants to end up homeless in pursuit of their dreams.

Your current working relationships could prove useful

You never know, your colleagues may know ‘just the right person’, or could provide the missing link. Talking to the people you work with about your idea could lead to a break-through. Not to mention, you’ll need the moral support.

Sometimes you just need a break

Yes, it sounds strange but thinking about your business idea and logistics all day long can get tiresome. Focusing on something else can be a welcome relief. Even if that means going to work!

Our recommendations

The Academy of Management Journal recently published a study that stated entrepreneurs who work part-time whilst setting up their businesses cut their risk of failure by a third. Staying in your day job part-time ensures you don’t run out of cash and it may just keep you on track.

As a guide, do not leave your day job until you have the following in place:

  • A working product or service. No prototypes. You must have an actual product that is selling (well); or a service that is being paid for.
  • Real customers. Friends and family members do not count. Neither do heavily discounted or promotional customers.
  • You are making a profit that you can live off. Once you’re earning enough to house and feed yourself you can think about letting go of your regular income.
  • Failing that, once you have a substantial ‘emergency fund’. This is a set amount of cash that will see you through a prolonged period of low sales.

Need a helping hand getting started? The My New Venture platform will save you time, money and energy, providing everything you need to know to set up a business.

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