Starting a home-based business is nothing new for many entrepreneurs, but deciding when to take it full-time without the safety net of a full-time job can be quite scary for most first-time entrepreneurs. That home-based business is great way to supplement your income and can be done for years. But there may come a point where you need to cut the ties and make the business your-full time job.

Before we discuss the reasons you should finally cut the “umbilical cord” and quit your full-time job, lets discuss some of the steps you can take leading up to making your business a full-time commitment.

The legitimacy of you business and the professional image your business needs to have is important to its success. Having your home address or a P.O. Box address for your business just does not cut it in today’s economy of skeptical customers. People have a tendency not to take home-based businesses seriously and become even more skeptical of a business that has a P.O. Box as its primary address (because of the fly-by-night nature that implies). Therefore, new customer acquisition becomes more difficult.

The costs of renting and setting up a physical office space can be a challenge for many businesses, but even harder and more financially straining on a start-up or a business that has previously been run from home. The answer is a virtual office business address at a professional business centre that has a reputable business address compared to a P.O. Box. Virtual office solutions can not only help go towards giving a small business legitimacy, they can also offer other products that can support its businesses activities – such as offering meeting spaces and a-la-carte secretarial services.

Let us get back to knowing when it is time to actually quit your full-time job and financial “parachute.”

1) The first indicator that you may be able to quit your job and work full time on your small business, is when the income from the business is enough to cover both your personal and business expenses for a minimum period of six to eight months consistently. This should also cover the additional benefits that you get as an employee, such as healthcare plans and retirement savings contributions. Additionally, you have been able to save enough money to cover your income and expenses for six months of what your day-job would have covered.

2) For the most part, your trial-and-error period has pretty much ended and you have most of the potential problems with your business model worked out, meaning that the biggest risks are behind you or prepared for. This also means knowing which of your offerings will bring you the most profitable returns, so that you are able to concentrate on those products or services.

3) That point when you realize that you are not only mentally, but physically prepared to take your business to the next level. You have come to that point where you now realize that your work from home is no longer a side project, but a full-time commitment that is just like having a full-time job (only longer hours). There is no set working hours and no safety net of a job – this is now your “job.” By being physically prepared, you are ready to commit to a separating of home and office, meaning that you have set physical boundaries and times when family and friends can enter or interact with the “work zone” or the types of interactions that can take place in that zone that are not business-oriented. While this is not truly a physical boundary and more of a rules boundary, you have to treat it as such. You would be surprised how easy it is to get distracted by non-business activities when you are working from home. You must keep focus on building and growing your small business.

4) Family and friends as a support network is great to have and can be mission critical, but you also need a support network of peers, mentors and business coaches that have your best interests at heart. If you have established a strong support network that is also encouraging, this is a sign that you might be ready to go all-in and quit your day job.

So what about the growth of your business? Earlier we mentioned the benefit of having a professional business address at a virtual-office-solution provider – the right one that can also offer you office space when you need to get a physical office. Finally, when you lease office space at the business centre that has provided you with a virtual address, you do not need to change your business address.