DDFD over at Self Reliance Exchange recently published a short post on the skills one can acquire by operating your own business, and emphasizes that having a side-business can help cushion against job loss.
Speaking from my own experience, starting a business teaches you a lot, even if you already thought you knew it. There’s nothing like hands-on, in-the-trenches learning to both teach you new skills and boost confidence in the ones you already have.
That said, it can be hard to start a side business, especially if you are already employed. Time becomes a big factor. Time you could be spending on many other things, like being with your family. But even if you never actually get the business started, it never hurts to start planning one. That way if you ever do lose a job you can get started right away on your new business rather than spinning your wheels and spending your severance trying to figure out what to do.
But if you can spare the time, get started on your business. Get a few good, satisfied customers you can turn to for recommendations and referrals. If you start getting more business than you can handle, see if it’s something you can “outsource” to your kids to help them get some pocket money (not to mention teach them valuable skills and entrepreneurial thinking as well).
If things start going really well you can start putting away your profits against the day when you think you might want to quit your job and go full-time at your side business. You’ll need a buffer in any case if you ever need to go from part-time to replacing your income.
Owning your own business can be a lot of fun. Depending entirely on your own business, however, can be very stressful. Any progress you make before you have to rely on it can be invaluable.