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    13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 3, 2008 12:48 AM by azmico

    A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....

    azmico Newbie

      Hello folks!
      I just joined the community after getting caught between my desire to start a business and the monthly bills I have to pay...phewww....its like what comes first..chicken, or the egg!!!

      I wanted to start a tourism business, but right now I have a responsible executive level job that pays around 60K a year..no problems with the job, but at times it gets frustrating and I wonder if my MBA in tourism and Cornell's Executive Training will ever be understood or utilized by my employers. Last year I filed a corporation and was ready to start from home while continue working, but then became victim of airline industry's lay off.
      Result...I just got panic of paying my bills, and landed up with a company where more than MBA, I guess a degree in Political Science was needed.

      Now again I am reviewing my options but just cant understand how to make the transition from paycheck job to something which might click, or might not click. Another concern is that I do get calls from few customers I have, but when they call, I am either in my office meetings, or attending business luncheon and cant just be prompt in returning calls, which puts me in a very odd position, obviously cant answer private business phone while sitting in my employer's office. Has anyone been in such situation, and got out of it without getting hurt? I mean how can one manage personal business, , continue to pay mortgage/rent/car payment etc , and above all , not be afraid of losing the job...

       

      Sorry, but I dont want to get distracted with the ideas on type of business etc, as I already have a business idea, small clientele etc.I just dont know how to manage it while continue working..so I need some genuine help from genuine entrepreneurs who have been there and done it.

      Thank you all...
        • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
          emeraldrose63 Adventurer
          Good Luck ! Have a great weekend!
          • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
            LUCKIEST Guide
            A Question..to those who have done it.

            You have started with the best of both worlds. A real job that gives you a salary and
            starting your business on the side. DO NOT PANIC.

            Work on a Business Plan. Contact SCORE. You do know about SCORE. SCORE is FREE
            and they will help you succeed.

            Maybe you need help or take a management course. SCORE has 26 FREE online courses
            including Developing a Business Plan, Promoting your Business and others

            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
              DomainDiva Ranger
              I am doing a technology start up AND working full time. I spend most of my lunch doing my start up stuff. Evenings and nights as well. Obviously your customers don't know what you are working, so you are going to have to address contact time(s) and returned calls isues.

              If you take your laptop and phone to an establishment that has wifi I would suggest making better use of your lunch hour than going to lunch. Bring a brown bag and get to work on that start up!!!!
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                t1luke Newbie
                To have a God Size Dream you must have strong Faith :-) The Lord said step out of your comfort zone and meet me and I will be there for you with all you need, that includes customers who will wait for you and wisdom to handle your delays.
                Just Ask and listen and see:-)
                I am proof, six years ago I started asking, I was working auto dealerships since 1982, I love building from wood, 2 years ago it took off I had orders waiting six months, August 2007 I steped out and quit my job, it did test my faith for some bills were paid late, But God did show up every time In His Time. God is not finished with my dream yet but we are on the way. check it out www.TLCW.US
                May the Lord Bless and Guide you:-)
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  I posted a story titled "Making the Leap to Self-Employment" that has a seven item checklist.

                   

                  http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.banko
                  famerica.com/docs/DOC-1812

                  Of those seven items, it sounds like your business plan, administrative processes, and personal responsibilities are the current challenges and the key things to focus on.

                  Have you made a business plan that is built on a part-time operational model? Most prospective owners either don't write a plan at all, or they write a plan based on the ideal business in a perfect world. Since you're working the business part-time now, develop an interim plan that reflects that reality -- and that defines a strategy for being full-time by a specific date.

                  Consider how you might better use "best practice" methodologies, new technology, or even a temporary or virtual assistant to do the things you can't while you're at your "day job." A healthy small business should be able to run without the owner having to be there 100 percent of the time -- so you can look at your current situation as a catalyst to get way ahead of the game in that regard. It will pay off later.

                  Finally, be honest with your clientele, employer, friends, and family. Don't try to make your customers think you're a giant conglomerate. Tell them you're a part-time start-up (for now) with a limited clientele, and as such, they are very important to you and will get the very best you have -- but they can't have you "on demand" 24 hours a day. Create a realistic expectation for them up front about how responsive you can be, and things will probably work out okay most of the time.

                  Do the same with your friends and family -- make them aware that building your business for the next two years (or whatever your plan dictates) takes priority over other activities that they might have normally expected you to be a part of. As Diva indicated, it's about making the best use of the time you have to achieve the goals that are most important to you.

                  Use your best judgment with your employer. In my case, when I shared my plan with my boss, he suddenly realized that I wasn't a threat to him, nor did he have a responsibility to "groom" me for a corporate role -- so he gave me a lot more freedom and autonomy, and kept me out of "developmental" kinds of training and activities (which gave me more time and energy for my emerging business).

                  Hope some of these suggestions help. Welcome to the community and best wishes!
                  • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                    EL_DollarShop Adventurer
                    Just a suggestion to think about.
                    I had a dear friend(now deceased) that started working at a major pharmacuetical company doing a job that involved nothing more than being an executive assistant to an exectutive that did nothing more than planning meetings for others within the company. This involved choosing where a meeting would be held, booking the meeting room or hall, purchasing the flights if needed, and providing other needs that might be required, then being there to make sure it all went smoothly.

                    • My point being this. My freind Chris started to write down how she could do the same as her boss, but on her own? She eventullay got it going, though as small as she was she continued to work for the same company while starting her own business. The one thing she had going for her was the contacts she had met along the way, and established herself independetly. Her contacts involved hotel managers, airline agents, as well as restruant owners, and managers. Within one year she had to quit her present job to take care of her growing business. Her primary clients were mostly pharmacuetical companies, due to her past knowledge and contacts she had met through out the pharmacuetical world.*
                    Even after her untimely death her legacy still continues to grow under the name of "Chris Pentz Group".

                    • Use what you know, who you know, and the experience of others. Try google "Meeting Planers", or "Meeting Planners International" and instead of worrying about airline failures, and flight problems, and then going where there are companies, and organazations needing your help? Tourisim may fluctuate but their are always planning meetings!*

                    Think about it?
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                      Bridge Navigator
                      At some point you just need to take the plunge! Your business will never be successful unless you commit to it.

                      Every entrepreneur goes through anxiety.

                      I left a six-figure executive job to start my business. With three kids, a mortgage, and 2 car payments, it was a "risk" but my wife and I decided that worse case was it did not work, we would sell the house pay off the two mortgage and start over.

                      As you have seen, companies can fire you, have layoffs, downsize, etc. You are not in control. And, they will never fully value you - they have to make a profit off of you.

                      Best of Luck.
                        • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                          azmico Newbie
                          Thank you Bridge, appreciate your great input and advice.
                          I absolutely agree that business without commitment will never take off.
                          The biggest challenge for me is to find a sort of 'balance' between family and personal commitments and the desire to get into my own business.When I say family/personal commitment, what I am refering to is the needs of the family, as well as those 'promise to pay' kind a 'Bills'...:-)
                          I honestly want to commit 100% to my own business, as I have learned that there is a huge difference between the business ethics and modern management techniques taught in business schools and what is practiced in the organizations, mostly at the leadership/management level.

                          I do have a very clear vision of what I want to do, and there is no fear factor as far as failure of business is concerned,Im ready to face it as well. The FIRST step is what, I am only concerned with. Things like:

                          AA) Would it be practical to start off from ground zero? (
                          BB) Is it true that a business cannot be done without having 'considerable' investment?
                          CC) How do I plug in the 'Cost of lost opportunity' somewhere here? If I am working then I am losing on business opportunities and if I am working on establishing business, I am losing on regular income, benefits etc.

                          I do make decent money at my executive level job, but still not yet in 'six' figure, AND above all, living in L.A is getting tougher... otherwise I might have saved some bucks as a 'cushion' for startup.

                          Regards
                        • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                          djcmilton Newbie
                          Continuous mentoring is critical. You may want to take a look at www.mentoringforfree.com.
                          • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                            RickFelten Adventurer
                            Azmico, I started 3 companies & totally understand your situation.

                            Customer contact is critical and you should take time to figure out how to best manage it. One thing that you should consider is creating a website with the ability to have prospects/clients contact you electronically. For example, check your web mail at lunch time and return all the calls during your lunch break. In the evening check it again and return all of the afternoon calls before dinner. People are generally 'OK' with a return call in those time-frames.

                            Walking the line between entrepreneur and employee is tough. At some point you will need to decide if you want to be an employ*ee* or an employ*er*.
                            After experiencing a layoff (due to your companies bad economic condition), that would be enough for me to go totally on my own (assuming of course that your ideas & eventual business plan make sense)!

                            One of the 3 top causes of early-stage business failure is FEAR. Fear of 'cutting the cord' from a job; fear of investing in the business; fear of any number of challenges. Remember, life is all about uncertainty and being able to manage it.

                            If your heart is really in your idea for a tourism business, then your steps are crystal clear:

                            1. Get a plan.

                            2. Get funding.

                            3. Get going!

                            Best of luck,

                            Rick...
                              • Re: A Question..to those who have done it, and been there....
                                azmico Newbie
                                Thank You, Rick. This was among few of the most motivating responses. Wow..! You started 3 companies after experiencing layoff...??
                                Mine is the other way round...every time I get a good job, I plan that I will spend some time and build my business, but then the industry I am in, is all about 'Lay Offs', so whenever I experienced lay off, I end up in getting a job with companies where I could only utilize my 'stress management' training, but for sure not a business school education.

                                I think, only if I can figure out a way of handling customer calls and queries while at work, my business can take off.
                                You are absolutely right..I guess I need to learn to believe that there are lots of better ways to live, than to live paycheck to paycheck.
                                Thanks for your advice and guidance.

                                Regards,