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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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self-employeed, bus. owners Q's

For those of you who have own businesses and are self-employed, what were the reasons for going on your own? What are the pros and cons of working for yourself. I would like to hear from you because I'm considering going on my own and would like to learn and find out as much as possible so I can make a sound decision. In addition to trying to prepare myself for any and all obstacles that will come up. And who's better to tell me that those who already have businesses. I would be leaving the corporate BS. Thanks for any and all info.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 10:53 PM
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Long answer that would take.

Lemme see if I can help get you started.

Freedom & Flexibility - That is the number one and number two reason I act as a consultant. I have four very active daughters, and since I control my own schedule, I have never missed an event of theirs in 19 years.

Popular Reasons -
People get fed up with corporate politics.
People get fed up with no potential promotions.
People get fed up with HR/jerk bosses.
People think that they can make more on their own.

Risks -
Getting started. When you make the jump, there will be cash flow issues that you need to be able to weather. If you are good at what you do, and can book your time, and your revenue well, then the longest cash flow gap you will have is when you first start out.

My Recommendation - Find a friend who has done this and been successful. Unless you already have a large bank account, start small on your own on the side, and as the income balances or out paces your current income, transition to it full time.

That is a small start. Recommended reading would be The E-Myth, and Visionary Business. I have given both of these to many folks who have started businesses.

Hope that helps get ya started. In order for folks to really help you, a lot more detail about what you do, and what you want to do would be helpful. I haven't had a real job since July 13th, 1993. Since then, I have started, built and sold various businesses, bought, fixed and sold other businesses, started and taken companies public, crashed and burned one of my companies, been a hired gun for a few companies, and become an outside board member and consultant to various industries. If you wanna work on your own, be prepared for some real reality checks, and for some good times and some bad times.

For me, I wouldn't have it any other way. But then, it isn't for the faint of heart, or those that like and prefer stability and security.

Hope that helps a little.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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What kind of business are you thinking of getting into?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 11:19 PM
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...what Wink said...

i enjoy being on my own...independence is wonderful

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:07 AM
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I do both, regular job and side business of my own... regular job for the stability and side business for extra income. But for me it's easier because my business model is fairly low risk and I don't have to worry about any overhead costs since everything is online and my house is a freaking warehouse . My business and my family's business are very related though so I had a good jump start since I've been in it since high school, and I'm considering leaving my current position to rejoin the family business.

So moral is, do it in something that you know very well, and in a field where you know the demand and the market. For example, if you are an IT guy and you open a bike dealership, it is probably gonna flop. Also, if you can start off doing it part time after work, you will have a major jump start, but that usually seems to only work with online businesses as brick and mortar businesses are damn near impossible to start up if you can't commit business hours to it.

Make damn sure you have enough money saved up if the business fails to last you long enough to find a stable job. Unless you can find investors or you are willing to default on some loans, don't go in over your head and spend a huge amount on your initial investment, and put it all on credit, because that will destroy you if you aren't instantly successful. And incorporate, if nothing else then to cover your ass.

Of course, this is a pretty conservative way to go about it, if you really are the next Michael Dell, then you won't get anywhere with my plan, you would need to take some much bigger risks.

Running your own business is definately worthwhile though, I feel a much greater sense of responsibility and self-worth because my contribution and work is directly porportional to the amount of $$$ I get or lose. Working for a big business is so different, my team hasn't given me shit to do for 4 weeks no matter who I ask and they won't place me on a different project, but I'm gonna get paid the exact same as someone who is busting their balls for the company and working 12 hour days.

But there are times when it sucks, like if you drop the ball on any of your customers, you lose money directly whereas if you fuck up in the corporate world, you just get a bad review and are told to try to improve next time. And you will work long hours, if you aren't then something is wrong.

Oh yeah, and I've been drinking, so ignore everything I just said, hell I don't even know what I just wrote

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:12 AM
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Oh yeah, and it is nerve wracking... for example the first time I placed an order for an amount greater than a year's salary at my current company, I nearly shit myself every day until I sold enough of it to see profit... when you are sitting on your ass with no source of income and you don't know when your next sale or client is going to come through, it's the worst feeling

Yeah, and I've only worked in the corporate world for 4 months, and I'm only 22, so WTF do I know...

Oh yeah... do you need computers?

OK, I'm gonna get away from this thread now before I say any more stupid things

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Last edited by JonGu; 10-26-2005 at 12:18 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimkgt

Oh yeah, and I've been drinking, so ignore everything I just said, hell I don't even know what I just wrote

Than go post in the DRUNK thread

Ride smart... stupid hurts.

Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't...

Godspeed 788!!! We miss you!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimkgt
Oh yeah, and it is nerve wracking... for example the first time I placed an order for an amount greater than a year's salary at my current company, I nearly shit myself every day until I sold enough of it to see profit... when you are sitting on your ass with no source of income and you don't know when your next sale or client is going to come through, it's the worst feeling

Yeah, and I've only worked in the corporate world for 4 months, and I'm only 22, so WTF do I know...

Oh yeah... do you need computers?

OK, I'm gonna get away from this thread now before I say any more stupid things

22 and your own business???? You're doing AWESOME and taking more risk than most people take in a lifetime.

Ride smart... stupid hurts.

Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't...

Godspeed 788!!! We miss you!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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I don't want to give out too much detail about the kind of bus. I'm thinking of. Actually it is my P/T weekend job that I've been doing for a while and now I think I'm ready to pursue F/T on my own. I've developed a reasonable network of people in related fields who agreed to work with me. Cash flow should be OK at the beginning, additionally my wife makes a decenet $$ and if anything she would be able to hold us over, although I don't think this will be necessary.

What insurance do you have for your medical, after doing a little reasearch BC&BS seems to be the most reasonable for my situation.

I think Wink & vimkgt gave me some ideas what's ahead of me, this is what I thought but never hurts to ask.
Thanks for info, as this is very important decision that I'm about to make.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 11:13 AM
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I've used BC&BS for my own insurance while I was "ahem" freelancing from 2002-2004 and while it IS expensive, its nothing compared to a two day stay in any Chicago area hospital.

Anyhow, I work full time as a webmaster and have side company with best friend designing/developing websites. Until I'm making more money in the side job than the full time job, I do both for the income and the freedom to play that I can't get in my day job.

There are no obstacles that you can't overcome, but there are a few that can be cleared early on: good lawyer, good accountant and a clear business plan will eliminate many common pitfalls. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. There's a lot of people there who can give you 'metro specific' details for your local area that can be a HUGE help. Find a mentor inf your field of interest, ply with food and drink, take mental notes. Repeat as necessary.

Good luck!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 11:23 AM
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Related to insurance, self-employed or small biz insurance is expensive and you can get "rated" based on the people that work for you. That can drive prices sky-high.

What we do is my wife works full-time for another company. We buy our insurance through them for the whole family. Since your wife makes a decent income, my guess would be that is available through her company as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Wink

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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I've been self-employed as an engineer/consultant for the last 2 years. It has its perks but you'll more than likely find yourself working a lot more than you want to. I decided to go into it right out of college because I had already had several clients and knew that cash flow wouldn't be a problem. I had enough experience that I had very few problems developing new clients.

That said, I'm getting out of it. Although I make more than any of my friends who have gone the corporate route, I also work much harder. Insurance costs suck. That extra 7.5% of taxes that your employer would normally pay is suddenly on your back. Granted, I have done pretty well with taxes because I've been able to deduct a lot of my startup expenses.

Keep this in mind....
You know that saying about how you shouldn't live with people in college that you consider your friends because you'll end up hating them?
It's also applicable to business. If you have an annoying business partner from the start you will want to kill them in the end.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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I think Ins. would be covered by my wife's co.
No partners, I'm going solo.
Thanks again, this REALLY HELPS
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimkgt
I do both, regular job and side business of my own... regular job for the stability and side business for extra income. But for me it's easier because my business model is fairly low risk and I don't have to worry about any overhead costs since everything is online and my house is a freaking warehouse . My business and my family's business are very related though so I had a good jump start since I've been in it since high school, and I'm considering leaving my current position to rejoin the family business.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vimkgt
Oh yeah... do you need computers?
what are you selling, vimkgt, and what the web address?

2003 Honda VTX 1800C

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuces
22 and your own business???? You're doing AWESOME and taking more risk than most people take in a lifetime.
I'm 20, have a full time job and a company of my own. And couple ideas for some more.

Need any marketing / advertising work done?

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 01:15 PM
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I can vouch for the marketing product quality and the web design that AdrenalinJunkie does. I have used him for 4 of my clients and he has done excellent work, quickly and at a fair price.

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