Starting a business when still empoyed

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Tuesday, 6 November 2012 11:03

Starting a Business

With a perceived lack of available finance and business funding, there is a growing trend in people starting up a new business when they are still in employment. This strategy reduces the pressure to succeed quickly, engage in large marketing campaigns and raise enough finance to keep you going whilst the you gradually win customers. Unless a very big launch into the market is crucial, removing all of the pressures above will enable you to focus on doing every step well, and will make you appear far less anxious when dealing with customers.

Although you will lose some of your leisure time, the contrast between the day job and your own business often gives that extra injection of energy that you need.

Here are some quotes from the Guardian Small Business Network, which offer a live Q & A session from 1pm to 3pm on Tuesday 6 November.

Guardian Small Business Network logo

Recent research from Sage found that one in four people in the UK want to start their own business. But starting from scratch is never easy and to limit risk many people remain in employment to see them through the early days.

There are plenty of things to mull over if you want to take this approach. I’m sure you’ll agree that working full-time is tiring in itself, and you may well end up exhausted while trying to juggle everything. How are you going to organise your time to allow you to concentrate on developing your business idea?

You might also want to think about what you are going to do next. Will you build enough cash reserves from the income your startup creates to sustain you, when and if you decide to leave your job? Then there’s the question of how honest you should you be with your current employer about your extracurricular pursuits. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you could turn them into your first paying customer, or even bring them on board as a partner. However, be aware that working on your business during company time is unlikely to go down well.

Emily Wight, Friday 5 October 2012 17.45 BST

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Getting your book published

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Friday, 17 February 2012 12:29

Getting a book published can be a frustrating process, although now there are so many more ways of bringing your idea to people’s attention.

I’m going to pop a few hints and tips here over the next few weeks so that you can slowly consider how you would like to get your ideas into the public at large.

Novelty and Imaginative Books

Even though many writers slave over copy for months or years, others can turn an novel idea into print with a lot less labour. Look at these 3 examples:

Everything Men Know About Women: 20th Anniversary Editon by Dr Alan Francis has an eye-catching cover and well-considered synopsis. And it has over 100 blank pages!
Not so good to re-read, it falls neatly into the novelty gift that can sell in 1,000’s if you get it displayed in the right places.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Portfolio Edition) by Chris van Allsburg has a minimalist approach but far more potential (IMO) for its target market in children’s books. A title, indistinct picture and the fist line are all that you are given for each story in the book, and they form the invitation for the reader to make up the rest of the tale.
I have linked to the special portfolio edition but there is a lower-priced option.

The Complete Book of Questions and the very similar The Book of Questions (by different authors) offer no answers – just pages of questions that give the reader the opportunity to challenge themselves or companions about their values, experiences and ambitions. Excellent for starting some profound conversations or moral debates either alone or in a group.

It is also amusing that a good idea can be imitated more easily than a storyline!

All these are different ideas whose value lies in the thoughts they trigger, not the word count.

Have fun with your book ideas!

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Making Use of the Festive Break

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Thursday, 22 December 2011 01:41

This is the time of year when you are likely to receive two phases of emails, tweets and blog postings. Phase one (roundabout now) provides a handy list of the business tasks you can do whilst relatively undisturbed or less hectic with meetings. Phase two happens throughout January, and it includes 101 benefits and uses of setting goals and targets for the forthcoming year.

I would like to suggest an alternative to lining up these recommendations, lists and tasks – PAUSE AND LOOK AROUND YOU.

But I love my business

Most of us who run a business do. We have all heard some people in business saying “it’s not really a job, I would do it anyway”, and that may apply to you.

My invitation is to be really honest with yourself and become very aware of the things that you would love to do if your business disappeared for a month without any harm. If you need a help starting your awareness, try exploring the headings of leisure, sport, health, family, friends, your community.

What do I do?

Carry a notebook and pen (electronic stuff tends to have close work links so can be distracting), and as you spend more time thinking about non-business life, jot down the new things that you start to notice. Maybe “call old frinds2, “take a walk”, “read a book”, “try a new recipe”. You will gradually rediscover the activities you used to enjoy when you spent less time on the business.

Even better, instead of writing notes just get up and enjoy the reading, chatting, running or tasting.

What if I have a good business idea?

Well, make a note of it but resist the temptation to dash to the computer and act further. The idea will not get lost – just dealt with after your break.

What will the result be?

Strangely enough, this may take you back to the times of a junior employee – when a day off was a day off, a holiday was just that.

You may not start 2012 with goals or marketing plans, but you may just rediscover the reasons you do what you do. That is worth quite a lot.

Whatever your faith or traditions, enjoy the festive break!

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