One of the most frustrating things for wannabe entrepreneurs is figuring out when is the right time to make the leap from a job to owning a business. While there are a lot of unknowns surrounding a new business, one thing is for sure – quitting that job and jumping into a startup can put a strain on your life; finances, marriage, you name it. So what’s the best strategy for taking the plunge?
One frequently recommend path is referred to as ‘bridging’.
First of all, bridging assumes you are part of a couple. You and your significant other are both currently employed and bringing in enough income to both support your basic necessities and hopefully put something away either in your retirement accounts, kid’s college savings, or other investments. But when the tug of business ownership becomes overwhelming, and one of you decides to become a franchise business owner, the other keeps their day job – you ‘bridge’ your way to business ownership.
By bridging, you’ll lose one of your income sources, but have enough income to cover the all-important mortgage and basic expenses. But there’s another important benefit.
Even though a franchise business normally brings less stress than starting something from scratch, there’s still a startup phase. Starting around the time the ink is just drying on your new business cards, but before you’ve actually starting ringing the cash register, the uncertainty of when the sales will come inevitably starts to creep in. A typical startup phase can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months, or longer, depending on the concept you choose. So having the basics covered during this time will lower stress on finances and ultimately your relationship with your partner, and free you up to give your new endeavor your complete focus.
It’s important to consider that, even though the partner in the job won’t be focused on the franchise on a daily basis, they are still making sacrifices for your new venture. By making it a point to check in on their stress level periodically, you’ll be able to head off any possible issues caused by them feeling like they’re shouldering all the financial burden of your new venture. Keeping them apprised of your successes, making them a part of your budgeting process. and showing them your progress are all ways you can make them see the benefit of the bridging concept and how it’s really both of you who are working toward this newfound goal of business ownership.
One thing entrepreneurs seem to have in common is they say they waited too long to take the leap into making business ownership a reality. By using the bridging strategy, perhaps you can get started sooner rather than later.