Archive for July 8th, 2009

Dear Danielle: What Do I Do Before I Start My Business and Quit My Job?

Dear Danielle:

I have wanted to start my own administrative support business for a while now. I’ve been with the same large corporation for 12 years. Some of that time spent in the Medical Law Department, as a human resources assistant, and about six years as an executive assistant juggling mulitple managers. Prior to that, I worked from a woman’s home as her assistant as she ran her own company bringing in over $400,000 gross per year. I’m a bit nervous about taking the jump of quitting my secure job and starting my business. What is the best way to get support from the industry so that I don’t jump in blindly? –KC

This is an easy one: join our industry organizations and networking forums.

While you’re employed is a great time to be doing your homework and due diligence, planning your business out, and setting up proper foundations (getting contracts and client guide in places, setting up some basic letterhead and brand identity, beginning work on your website, etc.), and getting things in place before you make the leap.

I never recommend new anyone jump into this business without being properly capitalized or with at least some kind of income to live on until you get established.

You might get clients right away, but for many/most new business owners in our industry, these are just project work, nothing that is going to create regular, dependable cashflow.

It often takes many months, sometimes over a year, to develop a roster of retained clientele (that is, clients who pay an ongoing monthly fee for a package of administrative support) that you can live on so it’s best to be prepared, get some business training in while you are still employed (e.g., learning how to consult with clients, how to price and package your support, how to manage a practice and set up proper policies and procedures, how to market and set up your website in a way that gets you more consults and clients), and go in with the right expectations.

Good luck!