Stuck In A Rut
March 19, 2010 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm 21, jobless (on benefit) and still living with my parents. I want to move out and concentrate on starting a business with my friend (which is something I've thought long and hard about).

I'm currently re-paying debts from time at uni.

At this point money (and the lack of it) is the only thing stopping me.

Any advice for someone stuck in a rut?

If it's relevant I live in the UK.
posted by nam3d to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It will have to be a pretty special business to start with no capital and produce enough immediate profit to cover both operating expenses and a salary for two.

Why don't you get a shit-kicker job with lots of spare time, and work on the business as a side project? As it grows you can work less in the "day job".

Small business pro-tip: decide on your salary and pay it. Consider salary an additional operating expense. Never take more money than your salary out of the business. And to make that easier, you shouldn't take significantly less, either.
posted by smoke at 9:49 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

You haven't said anything about what the business is, how it matches what you're good at and uh...the market, how much money you'll need to start, and what your friend's situation is.

For example, if you're a 21-year-old unemployed computer tech who wants to move out and start a PC repair business with a friend who already works as a freelancer in PC repair and has too many clients to serve, then the answer is probably YES.


If, for example, you're a 21-year-old jobless data entry specialist who wants to move out and start a game-design company with a friend who manages a McDonald's and sees this new business as a hobby-level thing, then the answer is probably NO.

To get out of a rut: You're making a good start, but it sounds like you need to be prodded to be a bit more honest or at least more open-book in your efforts to get help from others?
posted by circular at 10:01 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

More info would help, but you'd be surprised how little money is needed these days to get a small business idea off the ground. Obviously it depends who you are targeting as customers, but for example I'm a freelance computer tech who started out several years ago by passing out flyers door to door to nearby neighborhoods. Make sure you have business cards and get out there!

It might be easiest to delay moving out a little while and try and put all your focus on getting the small business going. You don't have to tell me how much living with your parents suck, but not having to worry about paying rent and all the other bills for a little while longer will be a huge help while you get the ball rolling. It will take a ton of work, but you can do it!
posted by meta87 at 11:12 PM on March 19, 2010

I'd either move out and get a "real" job or stay with your parents until your new business is making enough money to support you.
posted by callmejay at 5:17 AM on March 20, 2010

You're asking for advice on how you dramatically increase your personal and professional expenses, while currently only expecting income from a hypothetical business idea. Think about that.

The majority of people who start businesses don't do so with no money or current job. They work hard at their first job and spend their free time working on their business (reason being: they have bills to pay.) This prepares them for the fact that the majority of businesses you start are 7 day a week, work til you drop kind of ventures just to survive.

You say you've thought long and hard about your potential business, yet you've ignored the most basic truths about being self-employed. I would suggest staying at home, getting a proper job and going back to the drawing board.
posted by Hiker at 6:06 AM on March 20, 2010

Go for it. It's been said, and from experience I believe it's true, that entrepreneurs tend to get started at two points in their lives:

When they're young, full of energy, don't have a family to support, and don't have anything to lose (and probably naively believe they can achieve anything - which can be an advantage sometimes).

When they're in their fifties - when their kids are grown up, and they have assets, experience, and connections they can use.

To succeed you have to think that you can succeed. But you can't be stupid either. So I'd continue to live at home if you can. You may not want to, but it's a huge advantage because it will allow you to spend more time and money on the things you'll need to do to make your business successful.
posted by 14580 at 7:11 AM on March 20, 2010

The first step is to get off benefits and get a real job. Then we can speak of bigger responsibilities like starting a business.
posted by moiraine at 8:55 AM on March 20, 2010

Yes, get a job, pay off your debts, then think about starting a business. Also, consider starting a business with someone who isn't your friend, unless you're willing to lose them as a friend.
posted by Dr. Send at 11:02 AM on March 20, 2010

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