Hopefully, you took my advice last week and you have a handy-dandy list now of what you want to do. We know you want to start your own business; hopefully you now know what it will be.
Being used to a steady paycheck from a regular job, with a family or other financial obligations, makes stepping out of your comfort zone a little risky. It doesn’t seem to matter how miserable you are in that job, the alternative scares the pants off many of us. There is a safer way of jumping off that cliff and it entails your current boss.
Your employer could be your ticket to a successful freelance business, if his business doesn’t conflict with your dreams. If you were thinking of starting a freelance copywriting business, you could negotiate a contract with your current employer for 50% of your time for the first year after you leave. This would give you a springboard for finding other clients while still covering your monthly expenses.
You’re probably wondering about now, why your employer would agree to sign a contract for half of your time? There are a number of reasons, and they can result in a “win-win” situation for both of you.
If you’re on good terms with your employer, chances are he doesn’t want to lose you. It takes time to train someone to fill your job and train them to the company’s way of being productive.
Even if he decides to replace you, it can take months to gather resumes, interview candidates, and hire the right person. During that time you can be performing job functions from your home office, perhaps even training your replacement and providing your boss with a smoother transition by minimizing the disruption to his business.
If you’re not on good terms with your boss and the company is downsizing, merging, or being bought out, you can help them avoid the unpleasantness and cost of firing you. You are actually doing them a favor by restructuring this in the form of a contract for services that can be “stretched out” for a period of time if needed.
Frankly, if an employer has to choose between letting you go and paying severance and benefits versus signing a contract for a time period, which do you think they’d prefer? Signing and getting tangible work and services in return without the costs associated with terminating you is a much better deal for him. The contract may even be allocated from a different budget category, making it more affordable for the company.
There’s another reason your boss may opt for a contract, and that is your knowledge. You are already familiar with the company, its clients and services. You’re able to provide the services they need and you understand what has to be done. Many creative people have used this logic in approaching their bosses to negotiate their first contract and go out on their own.
If you’re interested in starting your own business your current job can provide the security you need in your first year. What better way to get started on your dream?