Originally Posted by Steve
You hit on a lot of great points here. I especially thought this one stood out.
I think a lot of forum readers find themselves in this situation.
What advice would you suggest to remedy this if another finds themselves in the same spot?
Well - my remedy was getting laid off. It is amazing how you will step out and go for it when there is no other option and your family depends on you.
Not my suggestion for anyone else.
When I got the pink slip from my comfy six digit white collar job, I knew what I was going to do. It was the first time I was ever able to devote myself 100% to one of my businesses. Gads, what a difference it makes.
The economy here in Southwest Florida is really bad, and I did not even waste one day looking for a job. I had already been looking at existing businesses (less then 15 customers) for sale, so I made the jump, bought it, and ran with it.
Being able to devote all of my time to it is key. In three months time (and going into dry season) I have managed to doubled the revenue.
I'm really not worried any more about IF the biz is viable - I just have to survive this first dry season. By next rainy season, I will be fine - I just have to come up with an expansion plan to handle the business I am going to have by then.
I had to spread out and do a lot of different things to keep it growing during the slow time - I started doing home watch and foreclosure clean ups. I am looking into offering pool services. The more of a one stop shop I am, the more my customers seem to like it.
I guess if I had to make one suggestion, it would be to save as much money as you can before you jump ship on your day job. But you MUST jump ship eventually, or you will kill yourself trying to keep up with both.
At a minimum, 6 months or a years worth of salary set back to get you by as you grow the biz (of course, the amount of money you will need depends on a lot of variables).
But - it can be done the hard way (no cushion set back), but it is really, really scary. I still worry about making the bills each month. ( I am also so much happier now, it is amazing)
If you are personable and half way decent at sales, you will be amazed at how quickly it will grow when you don't have a "real job" getting in the way.
My other suggestion - make sure that you are cut out to run your own biz, or have support in your weak areas.
If you are not comfortable pitching your service to anyone and everyone you bump into, you are going to have problems. I pitch everywhere I go - stores, restaraunts, you name it.
Network - there are many opportunities to network and get referrals in the process.
Be smart about your networking. I pick tree trimmers, pest control companies, and pool services. They have customers that might not be happy with their current lawn service. If someone is scalping lawns and not letting the customer know about a grub infestation, I will eventually get that account.
I wonder if everyone turns into advisors to their customers like I do.......