Do the sums add up for branching out on your own?

As regular readers will know, I work for the best brand in the world, at least I think so. However, I often imagine what I would do if I wasn’t working here.

Secret Marketer

None of us are getting any younger, and it is somewhat scary when I go to various industry awards nights and realise that most attendees are younger than the proverbial policeman. Added to that are those infuriating days when your boss says or does (or rather doesn’t say or do) something that makes you want to jack it all in.

Anyway, do I have the guts to do something on my own? I have around 20 years’ experience with some of the biggest brands in the country, and a lot of that knowledge must have rubbed off. Plus, I am quite well connected (I have 500+ LinkedIn acquaintances), so what’s the problem?

Well, the first problem is what would I do. What is that unique opening in the market that I could exploit – and do better than anyone else?

Although the freedom of being your own boss would be great, could I make enough money to pay the mortgage (and my ex-wife)? And that’s the main issue.

Early in my career, I was given the advice “volume is vanity, margin is magnificent”, but I’m starting to have second thoughts on that statement. Although some of my colleagues who tried their own thing (usually some form of marketing consultancy) made reasonable cash when working, their greatest challenge was to get those assignments and, importantly, enough of them. They are constantly chasing their tail for the next one.

So, the key is surely something that is high volume, and while making a profit is important to cover the salary of my current role, I need something that is highly repeatable. Doing a lot of something with a small profit is surely preferable than doing something infrequently, even if it pays well on those occasions.

On second thoughts… I think I’ll stick to where I am.


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