Start a business while doing a job?

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Small to Feds

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This is the safest approach to starting an enterprise. It generally occurs slower and you must plan and execute benchmarks for transition. Insure you do not have any non-compete or non-disclosure agreements with your regular job that would keep you out of the market.

Many of my clients take the "Work for Someone Else" path for stability and gradually cut over after carefully developing a business plan consisting of market research, competitive analysis and revenue and cost forecasting.

It is possible to make test runs, phase in gradually and then phase out of your existing job as the startup matures, but it is a fairly lengthy process and the conflict of interest must be astutely managed.

Starting my enterprise was a logical extension of the work I had been doing as an individual contractor, so the transition seemed easy enough.

What I had to learn very quickly was the business planning, marketing and competitive analysis aspects of operating an enterprise, as opposed to negotiating single person efforts. Industry teaming, having others work for me and dealing as a company instead of a person were all challenges.

I worked with an established accounting firm who became a part owner and investor in my company. They showed me the ropes and I later moved off on my own.
 
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#2
Starting a business is never easy if you don't have enough funds to cover your expenses. If you're not rich, you won't have anything to capitalize on. But if you do have a steady earning income from a job, then you can capitalize a part of your income to start your own business. Yes, it will be slow but you can't continue to grow your business if you don't have something to fall back on like a steady income from a job when your business expenses gets a little bit tight. My work at Onlinejobs has definitely helped me start a small scale business on baked goods. I'm enjoying my job plus I'm earning a little something extra on top of it.
 

Edvin

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#3
I am exercising this approach right non; that is, while I'm working I have begun my entrepreneurship endeavor. The question that I contemplate frequently is when/if I should resign from my day-to-day job.
This has implication on people that I hire for a role that I would normally be fulfilling myself.

My day-to-day job allows me to work remotely. So, quantitatively it seems to make sense for me to keep my day job while maintaining my presence and watchful eye in the facility. I must admit, I'm anxious to cut my employment umbilical cord; but, I have to evaluate my opportunity cost closer.

I also wanted to comment on the
...Insure you do not have any non-compete...
Last I checked, California employers cannot enforce non-compete clause unless you have explicitly been compensated for not engaging in any competitive activity; otherwise, it is a legal jargon that is thrown in the employment contract - because they can. However, if you want to open a competing business while working for a company; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you will be terminated upon discovery.

In some states, the non-compete clause is enforceable (even after you leave the company); so, you'll want to research that for your municipality.
 
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Small to Feds

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Edvin,

Better safe than sorry on the non-compete agreements. I have seen many heartbreak experiences across several states. The little guy does not have deep pockets to wage legal battles and in many cases a simple modification to product or services strategy and presentation can avoid costly issues.
 
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Great insights on this. I like how you use the term "enterprise" because it implies that you are building a fully functioning company instead of just a job for yourself under a company name. I am currently in this situation as well, except that my enterprise will not be in the same industry as my day-to-day job so the non-compete thing wont be an issue.

I also like how you talked about going slow and phasing it in and taking your time to do it right. To me this reaffirms my belief that if you do the work on the front end you will be better prepared to handle the growth when it occurs.

Lastly I like this:
Industry teaming, having others work for me and dealing as a company instead of a person were all challenges.
This is important because unless you really love doing the "actual work" (building the product or conducting the service), it is better to build a team and the systems that can do it for you. Your job at that point is to lead them in a way that supports your vision.


Steve
 

Edvin

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Better safe than sorry on the non-compete agreements.
If the change is simple enough...okay; but, I wouldn't lose sleep over it for California based small business.
This topic was throughly discussed in my employment law studies for California.
The little guy can practically go alone to court; but, with a lawyer can counter sue for punitive damages (time away from managing his business) as well as pain and suffering (business stress).

California has a long and strong stance for voiding non-compete clause.

There are very few exceptions (i.e. such as moonlighting for competitor while employed, "partner" in company leaving to compete).

Easier to reference California lawyer blogs (below), than supporting formal case laws ...
Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code, makes unlawful contracts “by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind.”

Again, this is for California only and I don't know rulings for other regions.

---- EDIT ----

Incidently, I contemplated going with a franchise to start and learn a system, and then break-off to form my own competing business to avoid continued franchise fees. But, the partnership non-compete clause would be in effect and I would not be able to start competing business; nor would I be able to solicit previous customers for five years. So, careful evaluation of short & long term options as well as my expansion possibilities lead me to exclude franching endeavor.
 
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#7
If you want to start a business while doing, let me tell you it's not an easy task. But if you still want to give it a try, then you will have to be prepared for all ups and downs. Just make sure that you have all the knowledge of your business before starting it, and it should not be an issue for your current job.
 
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#8
Think twice about starting a business while you have your current job because a new business needs focus. Your job might be affected by it.
 
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