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    4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 29, 2008 5:14 PM by designer

    Knowing When to Leap

    frazzle Wayfarer
      I have been moonlighting my business for three years. It is growing, and until now there has been no conflict with my day job. But now there is, and between the two, of course I'd choose my business.
      But my question is, what are the indicators of when to leave the full time cubicle for full time entreprenuership? Is it when you've had enough of your job? Is it when the income from the business matches or exceeds the cube job? Is it when your business is stable? Or when, as in my case, the business begins to demand time that was previously dedicated to the cube? Mind you, I do not work in a cube, I only use that as a metaphore.
      So, for those who left the cube for the biz, how did you handle it?
        • Re: Knowing When to Leap
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Knowing When to Leap. It is the American Dream to go into one own business.
          What kind of business?? and Where?? Do you have a Business Name??
          Go to Members page and add a few words about you and your business.
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          SCORE will help you develop a Business and Marketing Plan and MORE FREE.
          • Re: Knowing When to Leap
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            This is a really great question, and probably one that most members have asked themselves (or will ask eventually). Making the leap from a "side" business to a full-time enterprise is a first stage business growth investment decision. In many ways, it's the same type of decision as an IPO, a VC investment, an angel infusion, or a loan from friends -- only instead of risking a large amount of money (and someone else's money at that), you're betting a huge part of who you are and everything you might potentially become.

            You are probably getting a wide range of advice from the people you know -- from "just do it" to "you'd be crazy to walk away from a good job now." So try to examine the decision objectively. Ask yourself the following questions, and ask them in the same direct and "tough" way that an outside investor would:

            Is the current staff (you) competent at running this business and performing the work?

            Do you have a fallback position (would you be able to quickly find a job somewhere else if this didn't work out full-time)?

            Is your business growth plan (especially your marketing plan and cash flow projection) realistic, or are you just assuming/hoping that spending more time on the business will increase revenues?

            Has your part-time business found a distinctive niche or competitive advantage that you can really leverage with a full-time investment?

            Do you already have the necessary management and administrative systems in place (i.e., computers, financial software, accounting procedures, etc.), or will going from a side business to a full-time enterprise require you to make significant investments in technology, tools, or outsourcing in order to grow.

            Is the timing good for the business to expand (as you look ahead, is your business poised to literally explode if you can be there full-time -- and is the clock ticking on that growth opportunity)?

            Is making the leap now the "right" thing for you (given whatever other obligations and responsibilities you have)?

            When all seven answers are "yes," you can't NOT do it -- you KNOW it's a good decision. If there is a "no" answer, it tells you exactly what to focus on in order to make it a good decision. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
            • Re: Knowing When to Leap
              designer Tracker
              Hi, Frazzle-

              I have a corporate day job and moon-light with my own side-business, like you do. My business just completed 3 full years. I can handle both well at this time. I never had any formal projections or plans in writing, but I always told myself that when my moon-lighting job made as much or more money than my day job, I would consider leaping. In reality, it is easier said than done, though. I just think (and many people have told me this), that YOU are going to know in your heart when it is the perfect time to make the leap. You will be totally comfortable with your decision and have absolutely no regrets. For me, I had to question if I was at home 100% would the extra time really benefit me. Then I decided there were some really great things I liked about my day job and they made me a better person, overall. I think If you are still on the fence, then you know subconciously that the timing is not right. Have will know, like second-nature!