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      07-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
mowflow
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Becoming your own boss

I'm currently in the very, very early stages of planning an escape. Myself and another employee have been discussing it for some time now but due to one thing or another (weddings, children being born etc etc) it's never went beyond the verbal expression of us both wishing to do it.

In the not too distant future, life is set to get a little less hectic for both of us and with the current situation at work getting worse by the day we have decided we really need to stop moaning and do something about our situation.

I believe quite a few of you lot work for yourselves or have been running your own businesses for years so was just wondering if anyone could offer advice on where to start with doing this sort of thing.
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      07-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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So, what are you good at? First rule to become an entrepreneur is to know a lot about whatever you are going to sell or provide.
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      07-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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I don't know what you do Mowflow, so the advice can only be from my own perspective.
And that is, do it, you wont regret it. If your thinking about it, then I would say you have the confidence to make it work.

To summarise:
About 8 years ago I was working for a complete monster of a man (recruiting Architects in London) and one day got so fed up that I felt I could do a better job on my own without the Monster on my back. So I quit, and had no plan whatsoever, but just had the determination to out smart that idiot.
So I started in my bedroom, I had 4 or 5 clients that I was able to take with me (and by doing so broke all the laws of engagement etc) but they were quite happy to go wherever I went.
From there I met another guy in a similar field at a networking event, hit if off and we went from there. Inside 3 years we went from 2 people to 15 people, moved away from factoring to be self sufficient and where even offered a purchase, to which we said no.
Then came the credit crunch, and we went back to square one in the space of 6months. We fell out over money, and I decided I wanted a clean start with what I had going on in my personal life, but he kept himself afloat and they are back on their feet again now.
I do wish Id stuck it out and made it work again. A big regret of mine.

I'm now a Director of another recruitment business, BUT its not the same for various reasons and not just the financial gains.

There's never a right time to do it, something is always in the way, or saying wait another month, but the sooner you get going the sooner you will see the reward, and again I don't just mean the financial reward.

I think a lot of people think that doing your own thing is a sure fire way to be rich and have plenty of spare time, its not (well not in my experience anyway) its hard work, and its the pressure you put on yourself to support your family that keeps you motivated/awake at night. Playing golf 3 times a week is not the answer, not unless its with clients that pay your invoices anyway.

Do I get itchy feet, yes. regularly.
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      07-01-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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Could you go it alone without the other guy? Partnerships so often lead to issues as people disagree or one feels he is working harder than the other. If you could break loose and run the idea on your own I would do it that way.
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      07-01-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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Not really. I'm a designer with an art school education so know little about running a business and don't relish the idea of being fully reliant on my own efforts to attract clients as I'm not really a people person.

The other person is the business director at my current company with a good relationship with clients and lots of contacts. I've worked with the person for 7 years and we have the same work ethic. Irrelevant, but she's a she. Funny how most assume it would be a bloke.
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      07-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #6
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I agree with DavyK, it's nice to have security of a partner but long term it can cause issues.
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      07-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Oh and GOODLUCK mate!
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      07-01-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Is she attractive?????
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      07-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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She will go on maternity leave,
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      07-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Babies are highly unlikely.
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      07-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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Whatever route you go mate, I wish you the best of luck!
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      07-01-2013, 03:36 PM   #12
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Cheers Carl.
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      07-01-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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Tbh from what you have said it seems you need her more than she needs you. Please don't think I'm trying to knock you but keep in mind that if you get established and she has / getting all the contacts then in my mind once you are up and running could she get rid of you ?
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      07-01-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
I'm not really a people person.
Don't really know what to type now I've quoted that. I think I'll just leave it hanging there...

Go for it. Go into it with your eyes open though. The relationship with a partner is quite different from that of an employer or employee.
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      07-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
Babies are highly unlikely.
Lesbian? Even better
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      07-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #16
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Good luck.
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      07-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot View Post
Tbh from what you have said it seems you need her more than she needs you. Please don't think I'm trying to knock you but keep in mind that if you get established and she has / getting all the contacts then in my mind once you are up and running could she get rid of you ?
No offence taken (I think). It's true that she could set up on her own and get a shit load of work and employ someone else to do it. However, in this game you are essentially renting out the mind of the designer and finding designers that are suitably capable isn't that easy up here. Historically we have really struggled to get good designers at my current employer.

I'm quite shocked by the number of people that have a cynical view of any kind of partnership (I asked the same question on another forum). I'm a cynic by nature but have never felt cynical about this potential partnership. Hope my spidey senses aren't broken.
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      07-02-2013, 04:53 AM   #18
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No-one goes into a partnership knowing it will fall apart so things must change and working together under the stress of running your own business is very different to being salaried colleagues.

Thats not to say that some partnerships do not work, but it does seem the majority sadly fall apart at some time.
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      07-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #19
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I used to be in strategy consulting for ~16yrs, before getting tired of it and venturing out on my own. Started an outdoor vacations company in 2009 alongwith a like-minded friend. We went back 20yrs and had been trekking/hiking buddies for years.
As someone said, it is not about playing golf, or in my case, about having a great time outdoors. Someone needs to do the hard work i.e. financing, sales, marketing, people management, networking etc etc and that someone is usually one or both of the partners. tbh, either of us had little time to actually go out on customer programs except in the early stages.
Recently, we fell out - issues over what we felt the other was contributing to the business. He pulled out and I have had to buy him out. This can happen anytime, yes, even with over 20yrs of friendship. We remain friends, but something is obviously lost.
My advice would be to make sure that you are both very very clear on what the other is bringing to the table to kick things off, and what you will continue to do going forward. Make sure both of you update the other regularly on what you have been upto and how it adds to the business - dont assume the other person knows. Ensure you have agreed the numbers and cash flows - a fallout is guaranteed if you think you are going to make money in 3 yrs, while your partner is looking at 5yrs. It will help if your personal circumstances are similar - if one of you has a 500K mortgage and 3 kids, while the other is single, it may not work out. Review the numbers frequently and jointly to assess and recalibrate where you are (every 3 months?) - they have a life of their own.
and even if you have agreed specialised areas of work, do make sure that you remain plugged into what is happening across the business. As an owner, you cannot afford to remain in your world.
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      07-02-2013, 06:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfatwork View Post
I used to be in strategy consulting for ~16yrs, before getting tired of it and venturing out on my own. Started an outdoor vacations company in 2009 alongwith a like-minded friend. We went back 20yrs and had been trekking/hiking buddies for years.
As someone said, it is not about playing golf, or in my case, about having a great time outdoors. Someone needs to do the hard work i.e. financing, sales, marketing, people management, networking etc etc and that someone is usually one or both of the partners. tbh, either of us had little time to actually go out on customer programs except in the early stages.
Recently, we fell out - issues over what we felt the other was contributing to the business. He pulled out and I have had to buy him out. This can happen anytime, yes, even with over 20yrs of friendship. We remain friends, but something is obviously lost.
My advice would be to make sure that you are both very very clear on what the other is bringing to the table to kick things off, and what you will continue to do going forward. Make sure both of you update the other regularly on what you have been upto and how it adds to the business - dont assume the other person knows. Ensure you have agreed the numbers and cash flows - a fallout is guaranteed if you think you are going to make money in 3 yrs, while your partner is looking at 5yrs. It will help if your personal circumstances are similar - if one of you has a 500K mortgage and 3 kids, while the other is single, it may not work out. Review the numbers frequently and jointly to assess and recalibrate where you are (every 3 months?) - they have a life of their own.
and even if you have agreed specialised areas of work, do make sure that you remain plugged into what is happening across the business. As an owner, you cannot afford to remain in your world.
Absolutely spot on. I had a couple of goes at replying but gave up because I couldn't put my thoughts on partnerships into words. This sums up exactly what I wanted to say.
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      07-02-2013, 06:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
I'm currently in the very, very early stages of planning an escape. Myself and another employee have been discussing it for some time now but due to one thing or another (weddings, children being born etc etc) it's never went beyond the verbal expression of us both wishing to do it.

In the not too distant future, life is set to get a little less hectic for both of us and with the current situation at work getting worse by the day we have decided we really need to stop moaning and do something about our situation.

I believe quite a few of you lot work for yourselves or have been running your own businesses for years so was just wondering if anyone could offer advice on where to start with doing this sort of thing.
Its a tough one, but my advice would be to plan, plan, plan. For pretty much every eventuality you can imagine. Consider the 'What is most likely' type scenarios. How much do you need to earn v how much do you want to earn. Start with the end in mind - i.e one day you will leave the potential business - so is that a sale, a buy out, etc....

My wife started her own business a year ago and hasn't looked back, or have any regrets. But there is no pressure to earn - so that helps massively. The set up is straightforward - no need for pricy advisors, but you need to think LLP or Ltd for example.

I could write loads, but on my lunch - will follow thread with interest.
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      07-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #22
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I could offer you my business partner Mowf if it'd help. I'm fed up of him now .
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