People are quitting their jobs to start a business. Should you join them?

Category: Entrepreneur

People are quitting their jobs to start a business. Should you join them?


In 2021, a record-smashing 47.4 million people quit their jobs in the Great Resignation. According to a poll by, almost a quarter of people who are still employed are looking for new jobs in 2022.

Companies are scrambling to keep their employees, offering higher salaries and other perks. But to a large extent, workers aren’t biting. We’re experiencing a cultural shift experts are calling the YOLO economy. Embracing the idea that “you only live once,” people are pushing back against burnout and corporate demands. They want work-life balance, flexibility, and jobs they enjoy.

By some estimates, about one-third of the people participating in the Great Resignation plan to start their own business. If you fantasize about turning in your notice, here are some things you should consider first.


Why do you want to quit your job?

A few years ago, people usually quit their jobs for more money or faster advancement. Today, people quit for more personal reasons, like wanting greater flexibility or a sense of purpose.

Before you quit your job, take some time to figure out why you’re unhappy. Otherwise, you risk taking a new job that’s different on the surface but has the same underlying problems.

There may be things you can address without leaving your current employer. Companies are desperate to hang on to good workers. If you’re frustrated by a lack of professional development, you need more paid time off, or you feel you’re underpaid, schedule a meeting with your supervisor. Make an argument to back up why you think your job should offer more. Your employer may be happy to give you what you need to stay.

If you’re unhappy where you are now but you don’t know what you want next, stay put until you figure it out. Your chances of finding a job you love are far greater when you know what you want.


Should you start a business?

If you’re dreaming of dipping your toe in the entrepreneur life, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Know why you want to start a business. Be honest with yourself about why you want to leave your job and why you think starting a business is the best step.

If you want to escape a toxic environment or a job you don’t feel cut out for, starting a business might be the solution – or it might not. You may be happier looking for a job with a different employer.

Being the boss is not a cure-all, and working for yourself might involve trade-offs you’re not ready to make.

Make sure you’re financially stable enough to start a business. Whether you buy a franchise, buy an independent business, or start a business from scratch, there are expenses involved. And in the vast majority of cases, the cash doesn’t start flowing immediately. It will take a while before your business is breaking even and even longer before it’s profitable.

Make a list of your nonnegotiable monthly expenses – food, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, etc. Make sure you have enough in savings to cover those expenses for at least a year. We recommend investing no more than 50 percent of your total net worth into starting a business. If you can’t find an opportunity in that price range, you’re not financially ready to make the leap.

Know what you want in a business. Before investing in a business of your own, identify what’s important to you.

If you want a source of side income but you don’t want to be on site every day, a semi-absentee franchise might be a good fit. If you want lots of flexibility around when you work, you probably won’t be happy with a retail business that has to maintain standard hours of operation.

When deciding what kind of business is right for you, it’s critical you know how to read the market. How competitive is the landscape for the type of business you’re considering? Is there enough local demand to go around? This is where the services of a professional business broker or franchise consultant are invaluable.

Too many people invest in a fast food restaurant or convenience store thinking it will be a sure thing, without considering how many nearly identical businesses are already operating in the same neighborhood.


Low-risk business ideas

Once you’ve decided to join the Great Resignation and strike out on your own, it’s time to decide just how to do that. Starting your own business can be scary, especially if you haven’t had experience with entrepreneurship. The learning curve is steep and the statistics can be frightening.

A franchise concept reduces some of that risk. While it’s not a guarantee of success, buying into a franchise gives you a support network of people who have already started successful businesses. It also gives you a prebuilt business model that’s already proven to succeed.

As a franchisee, you own your business and call the shots but the learning curve is drastically reduced. The franchisor has already learned many of the hard lessons and you can benefit from their experience.

You may be overwhelmed by your franchise options. There are hundreds of opportunities to choose from. Both the success of your business and the enjoyment you get from running it hinge on finding an opportunity that matches your values and fits your market.

A franchise consultant is a zero-risk investment to help you find the right opportunity. It’s zero risk because it doesn’t cost you anything. The consultant will counsel you on which franchise companies fit what you’re looking for and which will leave you disappointed. They’ll help you understand the complexities of buying a business and give you advice you can’t get from franchisors.

All of that advice and expertise comes at no cost to you. Should you invest in a franchise with the consultant’s help, the consultant will receive a portion of the franchise fee.

And if starting a business is not a good move for you, your franchise consultant will deliver that news, too. Their reputation is based on their ability to help people launch successful franchises. If you don’t have great odds of success, they’ll point you to a better option.

This year, the International Franchise Association expects the franchise industry to add 17,000 new businesses and more than a quarter million new jobs to the U.S. economy. If you’re one of the many people being tempted to quit your job and start a business, there may be no better time than now to become your own boss.

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