Though the U.S. economy has been in recovery for several years now, many of us maintain a healthy sense of skepticism about where it’s going. We’re diversifying our investment portfolios, creating multiple streams of income, eliminating expenses, and even downsizing our homes. Some of us are also leaving a corporate job to start a business, trusting our own skills over our employer’s ability to withstand another downturn. The goal is to minimize exposure to risk and establish a financial buffer if the stock market hits the proverbial fan again. Which, if you’ve been around as long as I have, you know is bound to happen.
I’ve actually found that quitting my corporate job to branch out on my own is what helped me feel the most secure about my financial future. Now I have a source of income I can control, and it’s one that weathers economic ups and downs better than most. Of course, I did a lot of research before choosing my direction and, if you’re thinking of leaving your corporate job to start a business, I recommend you do the same.
Ideas When Leaving a Corporate Job to Start a Business
These days, successful entrepreneurs are more careful than ever about putting all of their eggs in one basket. They’re also choosing to invest in business opportunities that aren’t typically correlated with the stock market. In short, they’re betting more on themselves and their business acumen than on volatility of Wall Street.
When you decide to leave the stability of a predictable paycheck behind to start a business, you’re doing something similar: betting on yourself in any economy. And, if we learned anything from the last recession, it’s that owning your own company might be the best bet you can make. Here are a few possibilities to get you started.
Invest in a Startup
If you’ve got the means, investing in a startup is one way to diversify your investment portfolio and take part ownership of a company. With a large enough contribution to a budding enterprise, your corporate expertise may be welcomed as much as your money. You might even earn a position on the board. Also, the returns for investing in startups, on average, are promising. According to the Thomson Reuters Venture Capital Index, the last nine years have shown positive growth with returns frequently over 20%. Not every startup makes a good investment, however, and savvy investors regularly lose as often as they win. So, choose carefully and invest wisely.
Purchase a Struggling Business
By purchasing an existing organization or business, especially one that’s floundering, you have the opportunity to turn around a company and its profit-making ability. Oftentimes, all that’s needed to get things going again is an injection of cash to update technology, improve a product line or service, or attract new customers. Reducing unnecessary expenditures that don’t contribute to the bottom line may also resuscitate an otherwise good business in bad shape. And, sometimes, this can be a better option than investing in someone else’s business or starting one from scratch–if you already know the business well and feel strongly that it can be salvaged. Keep in mind, however, that you have to be willing to risk the chance, and money, that the business is struggling for reasons you might not be able to change, like an unfavorable location or market saturation. So, be sure to research all the variables that might positively or negatively impact the company’s comeback.
Start a Company From Scratch
If you have a passion for a particular industry, see an opportunity to fulfill a niche in the marketplace, or have a skill or hobby that could become a full-time career, starting a company from scratch might be a task worth taking on. Building a business from the ground up, of course, can be daunting. It can also be exciting if you have a tolerance for risk. You will have to wear many hats—maybe all the hats—when starting out. But, on the positive side, you will have the chance to get to know every aspect of running your business and quickly course-correct when things go awry. Unfortunately, since most new ventures fail within the first few years of launching, it’s not a bad idea to have a second stream of income in the beginning.
Buy a Franchise
When you buy a franchise, you immediately gain the advantage of having a successful operating model, a polished advertising campaign, brand awareness, and ongoing support from the franchisor and fellow franchisees. Because it’s in the best interest of the franchise company to see you succeed, they’ll also train you on everything about the industry, product, and day-to-day operations that you need to know. Running a franchise is still hard work—most are independently owned and operated—but the benefits of investing in one usually outweigh the drawbacks, which will vary depending on the franchise and industry. Choosing the right franchise can be equally difficult, so determining your franchise personality profile is a good place to start before you buy.
Invest in Real Estate
Pursuing a career in real estate investing also has some distinct advantages. First, though the real estate market can experience its own ups and downs, it’s generally not affected by other market fluctuations. When the real estate market does shift, you can alter your strategy to accommodate it by choosing to buy, hold, or sell. Second, you get all the benefits of being your own boss, but with very little overhead. As long as you’re equipped with solid real estate analysis and valuation tools, you’ll know how much to pay for a property, spend on its renovation, and how much to sell it for when the time comes. And, if you can begin your real estate career with an established brand, all the better.
Though some are riskier than others, each of these business opportunities has the potential to increase your financial security or, at least, to help you weather any future storms. There is one career opportunity, however, with a track record of success. It’s the direction I chose to bolster my own stronger financial future.
Starting a Business to Strengthen Your Financial Future
Independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisees, like me, have weathered bull and bear markets, economic recessions and recoveries, housing crashes and housing booms. In fact, together the HomeVestors franchise network has bought over 75,000 houses since 1996. It’s a business model that has stood the test of time and, for many of us, generated a sense of financial security to carry us safely into the future. That is certainly more than I can say for the now-defunct corporate job I left behind.
There is no time like the present to leave your corporate job and pursue a career you’ll love. Your family, and your finances, will thank you. Don’t wait. Contact HomeVestors today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.