Friday, August 28, 2015

Goodbye corporate

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     People in corporate positions frequently think about leaving to establish a small business of their own. It happens all the time.

     No matter the circumstances, this is a life-changing decision. The corporate world is on one planet, the small business world is on another. They speak different languages.

     Before making the jump, do some serious thinking--and investigating. The most important thing is to take a hard look at the market your small business will serve. Get to know everything about that market. This will form the basis of your business plan.

     Your business plan will give you confidence to say goodbye to your corporate position. Don't take the big step until you reduce everything in your business plan to the bottom line numbers.

     Example:  Bob was a CPA working in the tax department of a large company. He often wondered how he came to be stuck in his position. His interests were in gardening--in his spare time, he raised many vegetables in the big yard behind the family home. He decided to make a change--with a time of transition. He built raised beds in the yard, covering them with plastic, and planting several types of lettuce. When the lettuce was ready, Bob gathered several bunches and went calling on local restaurants to see if there was interest in farm-fresh, organically-raised greens. What he found surprised him--every bundle was sold in an hour. Bob came home with more orders in hand. He is now in the process of expanding his raised beds to cover the back yard, and he is looking forward to the day when he can do what he loves and leave the corporate job behind. 

     Example: Alice was a graphic artist. She worked in the graphics department of a large company. She wanted to leave and start her own operation. While she continued working, she prepared a business plan for the business she had in mind. Working through the numbers, Alice realized that she had to make contacts out in the marketplace, so she began this process. She found several likely prospects, and working nights and weekends, she sold some of her work to them. When she felt the time was right, she gave notice to her employer and sailed into her own small business.

     If you want to leave your corporate position, do your homework while you are still employed. Transitioning to your own small business is not easy, but it is doable. 

     Always do a business plan. The most important part is getting to know the market your small business will serve. No exceptions.