Want to quit job to start a similar company... advice?

a2theba2theb Posts: 2subscriber
edited November 2006 in Selecting a Business
Hello everyone!  Newbie here and thoroughly inspired by this site! I work for a small computer consulting company of about 12 employees. The company is very successful however within the past 4 or 5 months changes have been made that I don`t particularly agree with. Our manager/supervisor left to pursue a new career who had the operation running at tip top shape. Since then, the president/owner has taken over the role. He tends to think more about the business in numbers than the company`s actual vision. This has brought changes that brings employee morale down, more stress, etc, etc. It`s a lot of talk but not a lot of action. I`m all for his vision of growing the company but not the way he is doing it. I`ve been thinking about starting my own consulting company for a while now. By myself first and then eventually hiring more techs. Some of the techs I oversee now are already asking me to bring them on! I know I should seek out legal advise, but I wanted to see what fellow entrepreneurs had to say or if anyone else has been in a similar position. I really believe I can be successful at this but am weary of quitting the company on bad terms due to the competitiveness of our industry. Couple of things I have researched on my signing paperwork with the company:- Signed a proprietary information and inventions agreement- Offer letter states that I cannot engage in any activities competitive to the company (I`m only planning my company so I`m assuming this does not apply)-  Employment is at willI guess what it comes down to is that I`m afraid of my boss suing me (because he can be a baby like that) and ruining my credibility within the industry. Also cutting the security of a steady paycheck to support a family and bills frightens me. I want to start full time the beginning of the year!Starting  a consulting company makes things easier since I can startup with minimal overhead and work from home. I`ve got almost everything I need to start my company today even a handful of clients that have followed me through the years. I just need that extra nudge to do it. Thank you in advance!

Comments

  • keyconkeycon Posts: 34subscriber
    When you say the offer letter states no engagement in competitive activities - explain. Is this a non-compete agreement only during your employment with the company or does it cover a period after you leave the company?
    If it does not cover the period after you leave the company, you are clear to go out and compete.
    If you are passionate about starting your own company, do it. Sounds like you have the knowledge, experience and even some clients to get started.
    I suggest a man-to-man conversation with your current boss/owner. In explaining your reasons for wanting to break out on your own, I would only speak to your personal reasons - stay away from any comments about him, his management style, internal issues like morale, etc. It will do no good to try to show him up and make him think he`s a bad operation manager.
    Keep the conversation positive and all about the "whys" you have made the decision to start your own business. Being a business person, if he is honest, he should wish you well on your new adventure and journey. Keep your personal opinions on the old work environment to yourself and move on. Because in reality, once you make the decision to leave and go your own way, what is happening at the old place is not important - forget about it and him. Break away clean and on the best terms possible. Burning bridges is a bad habit to start.
    If the boss decides to turn this conversation into a true exit interview, be honest in your opinions but don`t go personal. State your opinions and observations briefly. If he asks questions, give him answers - you will be doing him a favor and your leaving and a good exit interview could help him to make some changes if he feels they are necessary.
    Hope this helps and I wish you much success if you make the decision to start it up!
    [email protected] 10:18:40
  • a2theba2theb Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks for your responses. In regards to the non-compete agreement. There are no terms other than during the time of employment. I will be seeking legal advise for sure. What would that cost for a lawyer to review all the paperwork?Keycon - I agree that I should man up and have a one on one meeting with him. But I almost already know he`s not going to be very happy about it. He has a very short fuse. So I guess if it does turn into an exit interview, so be it, the more motivation for me to succeed!
  • keyconkeycon Posts: 34subscriber
    Personally, I really don`t see a need for a lawyer and spending money for nothing. Don`t compete while you are employed with your current employer - it`s that easy. That`s money you can save for your new business.
    You may think you know what he will say and you may be dead on ... but keep those thoughts out of your mind. By going to him with a definite end of employment date you go into the conversation in control. Just have what you plan to say laid out. Resist the temptation to anticipate what you think he will say and just stay on YOUR message. If he starts drilling you, ask him if he would like to do an exit interview - that is an entirely different conversation AFTER you tell him of your new plans. Be in control. You might as well start now - it is a necessary trait as a small business owner.
    [email protected]
  • stevesteve Posts: 14subscriber
    You mention a handful of clients that have followed you through the years. Are they clients of your current employer?
  • Dan1013Dan1013 Posts: 0subscriber
    I would NOT quit your job until you have accomplished 3 things. The first is to read a book called "E-Myth" by Michael Gerber. The second is to write a  Business Plan and get the help of an accountant for the financial projections part of the plan. And 3rd, to save money to get you through at least 6 months, and preferably 9 months or more, during which you may very well be getting $0 income!Please spare yourself the pain and suffering, and even heartache, that can ensue from just jumping into a business without really knowing what you are getting into.The advice I am offering you has the potential to save you years of work and thousands of dollars and I hope you`ll heed it.Good luck!
  • a2theba2theb Posts: 2subscriber
    Keycon - Thanks again for the advice. I already have a tentative exit date and ready to meet with him after the holidays. I don`t plan on competing and haven`t yet. I`ve mainly been networking with future clients I run into and the list is growing!Steve - The clients I have are using the services of the company specifically for my abilities. It is the client`s choice as to who they want to hire so I don`t see it becoming a problem if they move on with me.Craig - It would be great if I could work out some type of relationship with the company however that`s not what the owner is all about. I`d also still feel like I`m working for "the man".I`ve made a significant contribution to the company in it`s processes and growth that my leaving the company would put them through a bit of a struggle until they`ve caught up or hired someone that can handle the workload.Thanks again for everyone`s comments. I`m getting more excited as things progress!
  • stevesteve Posts: 14subscriber
    I would NOT quit your job until you have accomplished 3
    things. The first is to read a book called "E-Myth" by Michael Gerber.
    The second is to write a  Business Plan and get the help of an
    accountant for the financial projections part of the plan. And 3rd, to
    save money to get you through at least 6 months, and preferably 9
    months or more, during which you may very well be getting $0 income!Please
    spare yourself the pain and suffering, and even heartache, that can
    ensue from just jumping into a business without really knowing what you
    are getting into.The advice I am offering you has the potential to save you years of work and thousands of dollars and I hope you`ll heed it.Good
    luckI started reading The E-Myth Revisited and agree 100% with
    this suggestion. Your situation sounds like the classic case the author
    describes in the first 40 pages.
Sign In or Register to comment.