How can I time manage my full time position with starting my consultancy business?
I'm at a transition point in my career where I want to go into consultancy but still need to hold on to my current position. I am hesitant to let go of the benefits of my current position until I know consultant work is going to pan out. What tips do you have for me? From experience, what risks am I taking starting a consultancy business and leaving the security of my current business? Or how do I time manage both? Thank you.
In the spare time you have try getting things you need together. for example, when you are out and about like with the family keep business cards with you and pass them out in malls. Put them on the window shields or cars in the parking lot. The more hard work you put in the better you would get heard.
Impossible just go for it - I did and never looked back.
1 tip - make sure you have savings equivalent to 6 mths salary before taking the plunge.
I hate to be brutally honest with you, but it isn't easy. I do not have a full time job and am trying to split my time between commercial real estate and consulting. I am finding it difficult to do both successfully. I spend all my time on one at the expense of the other and then flip flop. The biggest problem you face is marketing. I am not a big fan of networking events where you meet people for 10 minutes and then hope they call or refer you. It does not work that way. People refer and use people they know and trust will do a good job for them and/or those they are making the referral to. The good networking events are during business hours and meet regularly so you get to know each other well. You also must create an on-line presence. I have spent 9 months creating and developing my on-line persona through LinkedIn, google, and created my web page. I now am blogging weekly on a couple of different sites, including my own website (which I just launched...www.theexcelconsultinggroup.com. I have literally been working full time at this and am just now starting to see fruition from my efforts. I don't mean to be a downer, but you should set yourself up for success in everything you do, and understanding the downfalls is a must for that. If you ever want to talk, give me a call at 602-686-0641.
The time management will be fully up to you, but the big idea is to do a transitional of your workload proportionally with the input and output between your fulltime job and your biz, once the cashflow is promising, then you could do the transition more aggressive,
hope this will help you :)
I'm often asked the same question. I juggled a full time job, three businesses and a mother with Alzheimer's for many years. Finding work/work/life balance is a challenge but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Good time management is key.
Be sure you are "insurable" and what that insurance would cost before leaving the Just Over Broke full-time position. I was fortunate to transfer to a company that offered medical benefits at employee rates when I reached 55. I struggled for almost 10 years before attaining that age but I made it.
In my experience, holding on to an: Employee position was not beneficial as that job is not guaranteed. Secondly, my experience is not holding on to the insecurities tied to Questioning about leaving the "So-Called" security of a current job position. To the contrary, my experience is from me facing my fears and embracing the love from clients who independently garnered, and paid, for my services. They would not have been able to do this if I was not available for the Independent Contractor assignments and embracing my new line of Independent work.
Well, check out Free Agent Services: http://free-agent-services.com/. Also try to find a copy of Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink; published several years ago! That will help orient you.
IT is a huge leap. Personally, I started out working for a consulting company to learn the trade. Going on your own right off the bat can be daunting if you have never done it before. Lots of consulting companies out there to try your wings, especially if you have sought after skills. Good way to 'test the waters' because if you can get hired by one of the consulting companies you will have a steady paycheck; more or less (layoffs are common at project end).
If you like the constant pressure, travel (most consultants are on the road = Road Warriors), lousy food and little time for yourself, then go for it.
On the PLUS side, you will never be free and once you cut your teeth on a few projects then consider going on your own (preferably as an Incorporated Company).
Cultivate your current employer and do NOT burn bridges. Sometimes, talking to your boss or VP and let them know what you are contemplating can pave the way for a future consulting gig with your old company or one of its trading partners you may know. It's all about connections, friends and reputation!
Check out Free Agent Services where I've tried to lay it all out; step by step. Let me know if it helps!
Management Systems Consulting, Inc.
I have been through the same. Its very difficult to let go the comfort zone. But in my experience and honest opinion, do not sail in two boats at the same time.
I did that for a year long and it caused me only frustration. If you want to really make a decision, list down all the factors, and give each of them a weight (how important they are to you). Go through both the options for each of the factors. Sum up the weights and find out what wins. E.g.: These are some of the factors that I had listed - 1. Importance of fixed source of income. 2. Independence in decision making. 3. More time that can be spent with family. 4. Risk of getting business. For me, the option of "starting up on my own" had won of the two, yet I delayed the decision for a year long. According to me, it is better to focus on one thing and do it fully.
The time not dedicated for the FT job is when you consult. takes more time to schedule, but it can be done. To he minute scheduling not to the 15 or 30 min ute segments. Stay true to the \schedule and give any bonus time to your paycheck job.
All good advice. My 2 cents in addition to what I've read here:
- Cash flow. Have a means of paying the bills for at least 3 months (minimum). Even though I had lined up paying clients when I made the leap, we were to invoice after 30 days and they had 60 days to pay after that.
- Don't count on the "sure thing." I've had 2 sure things not happen.
- Know yourself and your capabilities. Have a solid elevator pitch.
Bottom line...the risk is huge and the rewards are huge. This is one decision that needs to be emotional, because the logical decision will tend towards the safe decision.
I've done this scenario twice. I tried to work on my consultancy while working and ended up losing the 4 clients I had as well as losing out on a couple of great contracts that I should have taken but couldn't because of work. I don't think it is fair to you or your employer what you are trying to do. I can imagine that your work isn't at 100% and surely enough your p/t work will start to slowly spill over to your day job.
Benefits be damned, the only way to really do it is to take the plunge and go for it. Doubt Kills the Warrior and an entrepreneur uses risk and doubt to push himself harder. If you are a good consultant, have a compelling enough differentiation between you and your competitors you will come out ahead.
You have a few things going on here, so let me be sure to understand them:
1) You have a full time job currently and want to begin starting your own business (consulting)
2) Concerned about managing both a full time job and new business
3) Unsure of risks and benefits (though not mentioned)...Let me know if this is not complete or accurate, but let me provide insight (from doing it myself), regarding
1) Just like it is easier and best to find a job when you have a job, the same is true for starting a business while having the security/pay/benefits of a job. So true and more so...- it gives you a great chance to test and see if being a business owner for you - as you need to understand you need to be able to sell yourself, manage yourself, fund yourself, etc...real risks, issues and opportunities to think about.
- agree with a comment below - if you keep your job while starting your business, be sure you are not creating conflict or risk by consulting in the same industry, functional area and/or clients. If it is outside that space, go for it.
- I disagree below - these are good questions to be asking and it does not discount your ability to start and manage your own business
2) Managing your time - again, easy but focus, prioritization and organization is key. Start with blocking your schedule out with the hours devoted to your full time job, i.e. 8 - 5:00. Then identify and block out on your schedule the time you will devote to business - i.e. 5:30 a.m. - 7:30, 7:00 - 11:00 pm, Sat, Sundays, etc...Block them out just like any other appointment on your schedule and keep them like any appt.
- If you need and chose to work 60-80 weeks, that is your choice for your reasons. And it can be very rewarding - but do NOT sacrifice your family or YOU!! Be sure you prioritize them as well.
3) Risks if you keep your job/start biz at the same time - you jeopardize your full time work productivity, risk losing your job and therefore salary/benefits, you risk your health, fitness and sanity (working to much), risk your family/friends.
Risks if you leave your job and start business - lose the financial and mental security of salary/benefits and sanity, you learn you aren't but out for entrepreneurship, you aren't financially secure up front to carry your business for a time.
Lastly - a risk is that you do not pursue your goals and dreams and therefore you risk your passions...Benefits to keeping your job - those are obvious...but the work can be much easier than doing it on your own.
Benefits to starting a business part or full time - exciting, scarey, exhilirating, pride, joy and a heck of a lot of fun!!!!!
Look - do NOT allow others to make this decision or to sway you from gathering experiences and expertise about doing it, and then going with your gut and decision making...the worst you can do is NOT pursue a dream of your own, and no one here or anywhere can tell YOU if it is right for YOU. Just ask for advice and consider it, then do what you want to.
Simple you can not. If you are going into consulting the most important aspect is business development. Too often people have the work and are happy and the work ends and they did not feed the pipeline. Seeking out and getting new clients can take at least nine months if not years of building a relationship. You can not do that while working for your current company. Also it sounds like you want to have a safety net ...benefits ...that is very important if not, for your peace of mind and your family, essential. That is a major after tax expense that you need to live with. Unless you live in a country with socialize medicine (not the US) you are stuck. Moving to Canada is not an option, unless you are there, as immigration for work can be a three to four year process.
So if benefits are essential stay where you are. If you have an iron cast stomach and have savings you are willing to 'invest' and those savings will cover your business development, your insurances, your family expenses (including housing) and you are willing to risk that, then yes, go for consulting. Many enter the field most return to corporate within one or two years.
You need to know your level of risk and do not make a move without the deep involvement of your significant other. If the other is not onboard, not move into your own business.
Do you want a job or a business? If you are hesitant to make the jump, perhaps business ownership is not for you.
If you decide to move ahead, set a date on your calendar and make the leap. Work backwards from that date and layout all the things you need to do in order to hit your start date.
First, make sure you are not directly competing in any way with the current company. It can be a conflict of interest. Secondly, a 60-70 hour work week is amazing. Manage your time down to the minute and it will work out until your consulting business is big enough to live on.
Hello Cristian ~
Congratulations on preparing to spread your self employment wings! I can counsel you from personal experience: I spent the last year in my "secure corporate job" planning to launch my own business. At first I simply set up my home office, purchased a computer, printer, fax (this was a long time ago, lol!), printed letterhead and business cards, got my business license, etc. Whatever steps such as these you need to take can be quite time consuming, so definitely plan to do much of this before you leave your nest.
Next, as Jennifer also recommends, have at least one client waiting. I landed my first consulting client, who were themselves a startup, months before I quit my job; I told them the truth about where I was in terms of launching my business, and they assured me that as long as I could meet their needs, they didn't care if I worked on weekends, at night, whenever I could fit it in.
However, I was targeting a date to give notice as soon as I was fully vested in my company's retirement plan, so I would not forgo my benefits when resigning. You may want to look into whether your company/country allows individuals to continue coverage from a company benefits plan once they leave, at your own cost; this was possible in the States prior to a recent healthcare overhaul.
Finally, make sure you have at least several months (the experts recommend 6) of liquid assets when you launch. If you've done your homework, have at least one client, and know how to market yourself, this should be enough time to bring in the additional business you need to glide on your own.
Hello! Having gone through this myself, I can offer you the following: keep your day job, for the time being. You will need its benefits. Do the work of starting your consulting business at nights and on weekends. See if you can join a networking group that meets either before you go to work (BNI) or after, or at lunchtime. Start collating a list of potential clients and do practice consultant sessions with friends, and colleagues whom you trust will not betray you to your current employer! And get clear on your mission, create a mission statement, and define your niche as specifically as you can. Whom will you consult, and why? And what separates you and distinguishes you from all other consultants in your industry? Write these answers down and practice saying them out loud so you can articulate them easily to potential clients. In other words, what is your unique value proposition? All the best, go for it.
No risk...we are all human and our wisdom to go above and beyond is the key to happiness. Do what you love and want to achieve in life, cause you only live once,