Shhhhh! Keep your current job, start a business!

Let’s be honest.  Walking away from a job with benefits and regular pay doesn’t seem like the greatest idea right now with the economy the way it is.  But think about this ideal situation: you keep your current job while you start a business on the side.  This is commonly called “absentee” or “semi-absentee” business. Many people look for this scenario, but don’t realize what this actually entails until they start looking for this type of business. Before you get started, here are four upfront lessons you’ll quickly learn as you search for that perfect absentee opportunity:


  1. IN EMPLOYEES I TRUST: You will have to learn how to really “let go” and trust others.  Absentee businesses require employees. While you’re working at your regular job, you’ll need someone who can run the shop. There has to be at least a few trusted workers on site to operate the business, and it can be a challenge to find them. As a new business owner, you’ll learn quickly the importance of acquiring the face of your business – your employees.
  2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Learn it, love it, live by it.  It will become your mantra.  In general, you can’t run an absentee business from your home office. You need to have a place where customers and clients go so they can purchase your product or service. As an absentee business owner, finding the right location to do business will be one of the most important aspects of your business.
  3. AN OCTOPUS OWNER: It may only feel like you need eight arms to run things, but you’ll quickly understand the true meaning of multi-tasking. The term “absentee business owner” sounds like you’d never have to be there, right? Well, maybe not after the business is up and running. But at first, it may feel like you’re working two jobs for a little while. It may feel like a lot to bite off at first, but the plan is to get through that phase as soon as you can so that you can transition to a smoothly operating business that doesn’t require as much time and attention.
  4. LET THE FUND BEGIN:  Funding is always a concern when starting any business. By nature, absentee businesses cost more to set up and run as employees and location contribute to higher overhead. However, in the case of absentee owner businesses, a working owner has a better opportunity to get funding when they need it than someone who isn’t working. A lender has more confidence in awarding funds when you are cash flowing on your personal side, even if your new business isn’t cash flowing yet. You’ll learn that a good relationship with a good lender can really help when you’re building your business, and is one of the most important relationships to nurture and maintain during your time as a business owner.

Every opportunity is different for each person.  But before you quickly can the idea of becoming a business owner due to your current job, perhaps investigate opportunities in absentee or semi-absentee ownership may offer you.

By Jania Bailey, President/COO, FranNet

About the Author: Jania Bailey is President and COO of FranNet (www.frannet.com) and author of “Thriving – The Journey to Success in the Business World.”  FranNet is North America’s most respected leader in matching individuals with franchise opportunities. Based in Louisville, Ky., FranNet has more than 80 consultants across North America who use a proprietary profiling and consultative process to determine a business model unique to each client’s goals, skill sets and interests, and have matched thousands of entrepreneurs to rewarding small business opportunities.  Recognized by INC magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing private companies in America in 2011 and 2010, this year marks the 25th anniversary for FranNet.

Jenni Proctor

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