Not everyone wants to start their own business and I don’t blame them but leaving the rat race does not mean starting a business. Many people work as freelance writers, consultants, salespeople, marketing experts, trainers and many other self employed professions that give them freedom and more money than being employed.
An excuse that comes up not to leave the rat race and do something different is: “you need money to make money”. This is not always true and in the case of the freelance professions above most people probably have the laptop and stationary to start out and if they don’t then in most cases the start up costs are less than what most people have available on a credit card. I should know I started out in this way as a freelance IT consultant.
If you want to go down this route you may already have a ready made set of customers in the company you already work for or you could pinch a few of their customers. If you think you can’t do this due to contractual issues you are wrong. In the UK and most English speaking countries if you leave your employer and do work for their customers or the competition your old employer can’t do much about it unless they pay you not to after you leave your job, this is because they can’t legally stop you from earning a living in your chosen profession. A second legal reason they can’t stop you is they cannot dictate to their customer who they can and cannot buy products and services from, that would break anti competition laws. Most companies put clauses to stop you working for their customers or the competition in their employment contracts to scare you off doing it but they know (or should know) it’s not enforceable. I also know all this because I have done it. Most lawyers will do an initial consultation for free to discuss things like this, go and see 3 for nothing with a copy of your contract and verify what I have said. Getting good legal advice is often refreshing, remember the law is more often in favour of the “little man” not the big companies.
If someone still insists that you need money to make money I explain that every good idea will get investment. The average savings in the UK is £20k, that is the average so many savers have much more. Those savers are getting 3% – 4% at best right now from their bank savings account. If you could tempt them with returns of just 8% they will probably be biting your hand off. Don’t be shy to ask family and friends if they have savings they want to invest and show them a business plan which outlines potential returns.
If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.
Totally off topic but I commented on a NY Times article about myspace check it out: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/do-you-know-anyone-still-on-myspace/?apage=7#comments