Leaving your job and starting your dream business

By Randell Tiongson on February 14th, 2024

Hi Randell, I saw that you just opened Mano Coffee and Bistro and it seems to be a thriving café and restaurant which is why I wanted to reach out to you. I am currently an employee with a stable job and I actually enjoy what I am doing and I life the company I am working for. However, I have always dream of putting up a restaurant and a café like yours. Should I pursue this childhood dream of mine and if I do, when is the right time to do so? – Name withheld by request

Embarking on the journey of opening a restaurant is a dream that many harbor, but the decision to transition from a stable job to entrepreneurship is a complex one. As an employee with a good and stable job, the prospect of venturing into the restaurant business brings with it a mix of excitement and apprehension. Let’s explore the factors that can help you determine the right time to pursue your dream of opening a restaurant while maintaining stability in your current employment.

Financial Readiness

One of the primary considerations when contemplating the leap into entrepreneurship is financial readiness. Establishing and running a restaurant requires a significant investment of both time and money. Before taking the plunge, it’s crucial to assess your financial situation. Consider your current savings, outstanding debts, and the financial obligations you have. Ideally, you should have a robust financial safety net to cover both personal and business expenses for at least the initial months or years of your restaurant venture.

Business Plan and Research

A well-thought-out business plan is a roadmap to success in the restaurant industry. Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for your concept, identify your target audience, and analyze your competitors. Your business plan should encompass details such as location, menu, pricing strategy, and marketing approach. Utilize your current job as an opportunity to refine and finalize your business plan, ensuring that it aligns with your vision and the needs of the market.

Test the Waters: Start Small

While still employed, consider starting small to test the waters and gain valuable insights into the restaurant industry. This could involve hosting pop-up events, catering small gatherings, or even setting up a food stall at local markets. This allows you to gauge the response to your culinary offerings, gather feedback, and refine your concept. Starting small also allows you to assess the practical aspects of running a food business without jeopardizing your stable income. I started with tray orders and was doing that for 2 years before venturing out with my first coffee shop.

Building a Support Network

Launching and managing a restaurant requires a robust support network. This includes mentors, advisors, suppliers, and a reliable team. While still employed, take the time to network within the culinary and entrepreneurial communities. Attend industry events, join online forums, and seek guidance from experienced restaurateurs. Building these connections will not only provide valuable insights but also a support system that can be crucial during the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital, especially when juggling a stable job and entrepreneurial aspirations. The demands of opening and running a restaurant can be intense, and it’s essential to assess your ability to handle the increased workload. Consider how well you manage stress, your willingness to put in long hours, and your overall resilience. Striking a balance between your current job and your restaurant venture will be crucial to avoid burnout.

Passion and Commitment

Passion is the driving force behind any successful business, especially in the competitive and demanding restaurant industry. Assess your level of passion for the culinary arts and your commitment to making your restaurant venture a success. If your passion is unwavering and you are ready to commit the time and effort required, it may be a sign that you are ready to take the next step towards pursuing your dream.

Evaluate Job Flexibility

Examine the flexibility of your current job and the possibility of transitioning gradually. Some employers may be open to reduced hours or flexible schedules, allowing you to allocate time to your restaurant venture. Discuss your plans with your employer, exploring potential arrangements that can facilitate a smoother transition. However, ensure that your commitment to your current job remains intact during this period.

Deciding when to pursue your dream of opening a restaurant while maintaining a stable job is a highly personal choice. Balancing financial stability, meticulous planning, testing the waters, building a support network, managing work-life balance, evaluating passion and commitment, and exploring job flexibility are all integral aspects of making this decision. By methodically assessing these factors, you can create a strategic plan that aligns with your aspirations and ensures a smoother transition into the dynamic world of entrepreneurship. Remember, timing is crucial, and the right balance between stability and pursuing your dream will ultimately determine the success of your restaurant venture.

Hope this helps you and do drop by Mano soon!


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Leaving your job and starting your dream business