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When Is It Time To Quit My Corporate Job and Purchase My Own Business?

Every year, business journals and financial magazines come out with statistics informing an overworked American public how many of them collectively hate their corporate jobs. While most of us just want a decent paycheck, good health benefits, and the opportunity to retire at a reasonable age, some people cannot tolerate their own loathing for the everyday 9 to 5 effort of working for someone else, and they launch out on their own to run their own businesses. Before taking this risk though, eager potential business owners should ask themselves the following intelligently thought out questions:

Do I hate the job I am in and do I feel that there are no other options for me within the corporate world?

Is my corporate job ruining my relationship with family, friends, or even myself?

Have I reached a salary limit within my corporate job, and will I only be awarded “cost of living” raises from here on out?

The EEOC frequently informs frustrated American workers that if they are told that “no one is getting a bonus or a raise this year” it is not illegal, even if workers have given their all. It’s a terrible economy right now, and sometimes you have done all you can with your corporate job, and the only other way to increase your income is to work for yourself by purchasing your own well-tuned business.

Is the business I am interested in purchasing already infused with a great marketing and business plan, and has the business already been proven undoubtedly successful with the right amount of effort and dedication?

It is so important that a desperate cubicle warmer not suddenly throw themselves into purchasing a business that does not have any proven potential. An Internet café’ that has been struggling to stay open and has no employees beyond the overworked owner is not the picture of a proven success. Whereas, a long time run family pizza shop that is well known and well loved by the community may be the perfect opportunity for someone who studied culinary arts in college but gave up their passion years ago to work as a bank teller when student loans demanded immediate employment.

Is the investment I am making the singular investment I can afford in life because I will be placing every asset I have into it?

If this business fails will I lose my house or life’s savings? If the answer is “yes” to either of these questions, most business and financial experts would say that this is most certainly not the business you can afford to purchase right now and it isn’t the right time.

Will I have a mentor, someone who has been helping to run this business or who has guided the previous owner into success?

Not every new business that is purchased by an eager entrepreneur has this indelible option, but it is one that could prove infinitely important when times become stressful or when the new owner is simply trying to navigate the exact details of keeping a pizza shop clean or at what times vacationers generally come into the local realty office to inquire about timeshares on the beach. When mentorship comes with the package – you have access to the same great advice givers who inspired the previous owners to reach out and create something successful enough to make you want to buy it.

Will this new business have me working more than I do at my present corporate job?

If the answer is “yes” then this is an indication that you may not be able to sustain your new business. Often, the easy solution is to work both jobs, the new business part time, until the new business is able to sustain your financial needs.

Do I have the stamina to sustain the unpredictability that often goes along with owning my own business?

Even a successful business that has been run by someone else for years, can overwhelm a new entrepreneur and burn out can kill a formerly well-run operation.

Am I wired with an entrepreneurial or corporate mindset?

Some people are not meant to spend their lives working for someone else, and other are inherently good at it. It is important to know which kind of business mind you are.

Are you thinking of quitting your corporate job and buying your own business? Ask yourself a few well thought out questions first and listen to the answers you are giving.

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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