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Business founders/entrepreneurs

Shunning the corporate world to start own business

11 replies

bzqueen · 11/11/2020 10:47

Hi all, i am ready to start a family and have been thinking of leaving my office job and starting my own business for the flexibility and being able to have ownership of my time. Would love to hear from people who have made a complete career change and how this has worked out for you.
My initial idea is to buy an existing children's nursery and manage the admin, staff etc. but also brainstorming other ideas. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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delilahbucket · 14/11/2020 13:47

Unfortunately OP, flexibility and time ownership does not go hand in hand with being a business owner and you may be living a bit of a pipe dream there. Your business becomes your boss and there is no switch off. It also does not go hand in hand with starting a family. Do the family bit first, get the maternity leave without the stress of juggling a baby and a business.

Also, don't buy a business you have no experience of working in, even more so if you have never run a business before. Have you managed people before? Recruited them, disciplined them, fired them, trained them? Do you know how to balance books and record health and safety necessities?

I did a complete career change but I started a business from scratch. I can count on one hand how many weekends a year I get where I don't have to work. My business is very successful but I put the work in and have sacrificed a lot, mostly family time. I have done the school run every day and have never missed an assembly or school concert, but that's not to say that I get to spend a lot of quality time with my son. I couldn't do it with a baby or toddler, and I worked from home for nearly nine years so I could do work and childcare at the same time. It's only now ds is 12 nearly 13 I have been able to set up outside of home.

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bzqueen · 14/11/2020 15:52

Thanks delilahbucket! Really good and useful to hear your experience. I've not had experience in any of the business management side of things, but my focus over the next few years is to build up the knowledge. Will still keep my day job until I have something tangible I can work off. Well done for getting where you are - I can't even begin to imagine how tough it must have been and it still is.

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doadeer · 14/11/2020 16:50

I was an in house marketing lead and I started my own business doing freelance services. A year into my business I got pregnant so I had almost two years before my son was born. It worked a dream for me... I took a 2 day a week contract when he was 7 months and I haven't needed to work any more than that.

My Ltd company paid me maternity leave and I saved money doing high value projects in my pregnancy.

But I would say... This wasn't a new industry for me, I knew my job inside out, I just freelanced and charged a lot more! I think what you are suggesting is different..?

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bzqueen · 14/11/2020 16:53

Yes I think it would be a career change. I am relatively junior in my role so can't consider freelancing etc.

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topcat2014 · 14/11/2020 16:59

I would not buy a business where I couldn't do the core activity.

Eg a restaurant without being a chef.

I used to run the office of a bus company. The directors had bus licences for emergencies.

A children's nursery sounds very involved for a first business.

It certainly wouldn't pay enough to reward an absentee owner who wanted to manage from afar.

In today's world why tie yourself down to an asset and property hungry business?

Is there not a line of work you could start just as yourself and expand later?

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topcat2014 · 14/11/2020 16:59

And a successful nursery would be 10s of thousands to buy without the building

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S00LA · 14/11/2020 17:09

My initial idea is to buy an existing children's nursery and manage the admin, staff etc. but also brainstorming other ideas. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

A profitable business costs a lot of money to buy - how are you planning to fund such a purchase? How much money do you have to invest ?

It’s much more common ( and much less risky ) to start a business selling a service, as @doadeer has done.

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Milssofadoesntreallyfit · 22/11/2020 15:48

I run a business and find that I never switch off from it, yes there is flexibility but that flexibility doesn't always present itself the way you want as you need to put your clients/customers first or they go else where.
The complete autonomy is great to the point but when wheels fall off and I have to fix them it has always been at the most inconvenient times in relation to my family.
I have had very little support off people when I have needed it and have often felt frustrated that customers needs and staffs statutory rights come before mine needs and that of my families.
Dont get me wrong I have been doing it for 11 yrs and it has been successful on paper and I have learnt so much, but I cant say its been better that being employed, I can almost say that at times it has been worse as I cant switch off!!
In the last year two people close to me tried their own business both have packed it in, one after 3 months, the other after 9 months why? They hated the impact it was having on their home life and wasnt what they expected.

By all means go for it, but just make sure you avoid the rose tinted glasses and make sure you know the downsides to so you can make an informed decision.

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Milssofadoesntreallyfit · 22/11/2020 15:50

off people??? from people even!

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sneakysnoopysniper · 12/02/2021 09:42

I started my own business selling antiques and vintage online 18 years ago. I began part time while I was still employed. However I already had considerable knowledge of the antiques trade from selling PT at antiques fairs. I began as many in the trade do, selling my surplus collectables in the early 2000s while still employed as a university researcher. So I was used to long periods working at home and relying upon myself. When I went full time it was because I had retired and reached state pension age so I already had that as a fall back income.

The posters who say that your own leisure hours/family time are often dictated by the business and the needs of your clients are correct. I may feel like a day off but then a film company may purchase something and need it in the USA in two days hence so I have to drop everything to pack the order for the courier.

I loathed the corporate world because I despise office politics and have never enjoyed working in "teams". Ive had some good bosses over the years and also some miserable whinging ones. Im not good at being "told" what to do. There is a lot to be gained from self employment but you put a lot in - no sick or holiday pay or automatic pension. You have to deal with all that yourself.

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sneakysnoopysniper · 18/02/2021 14:13

Just as an aside I had my covid jab yesterday and have come down with "flu" type symptoms of headache, aches and shivers. However I am having to battle through getting some urgent orders ready for the courier to come because they have to be in the USA by early next week. When you are self employed, have customers and feel lousy you just have to get on with it!

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