Taking The Plunge – Find Out If You Are Ready

Dec 21, 2011 | Starting Up, Brainstorm

The best employees don’t always make the best business owners. Take the example of the person who had worked in the computer programming industry for many years. They saw that the industry was growing at a rapid pace and decided to leave their employer to open up their own company. The programmer was excellent at writing code, but not experienced when it came to sales, marketing, project planning and business administration.

Get Experience First

Getting experience while being employed is the best situation. Transfer to a management position where you can learn firsthand about managing employees, budgets and cash flow. You’ll want to find out if this type of position makes sense given your personality type and work style. If you are like the programmer who liked to work late into the night on a project you might not be up in the morning to open the office on time and answer phones. If you don’t answer the phones during normal business hours, potential clients will think you are not easy to reach.

Deciding When to Jump

If you think you have the skills to manage your own business, how do you know when you should take that giant step and leave your paid position? I recommend looking at your personal finances first. How long can you go without making any income? If your nest egg cannot support your personal finances and the corporate expenditures for longer than a couple of months, wait until it can or partner with someone with more in the bank. Another option is to try your business on the weekends and evening to give yourself more of a cushion before jumping out of your career. This option works well for some internet businesses, but many traditional businesses will need your full time attention.

Working As A Freelancer

Do you think you would make a good graphic designer, programmer, typist, or writer? These jobs have taken advantage of the freelance market for years. New opportunities are developing for individuals to work in their specialty area without the planning and headaches of starting a small business. Becoming a freelance worker still has some aspects of small business life, but you won’t need to focus on the employee issues or growth dilemmas. There are a number of web sites that help bring the talents of freelancers and employers together – check out http://www.freelance.com for starters.