Some background: A friend of mine has built and owned a small successful business in my field for 4 years. I've done some occasional contract work for him, too. It's a computer "Learning Center" that has morphed into mostly doing in-store and house-call repair work. He's now looking to sell it. Although they handled the bulk of it in the beginning together while he also held a full time job, his wife has been primarily running it the last two years or so. He used to say if I quit my job and worked for/with him, he'd quit his and really focus on promoting it. I was always too intimidated by the idea of 2 young kids and no health insurance, then, though. He's lost interest in it, and now got a very high paying job and doesn't want to spend any time on the store. They also have a 1.5 year old, and his wife really wants to go back to being a mommy full time again. With his new job, they can afford to give up the extra revenue of the store. He called me this morning and mentioned this while we were chatting, and I told him I was interested. I told him I've even been thinking about asking him to let me expand it under his name to another county, but I didn't want to say anything til I really thought about it and was actually ready to give up my full time job. So far, off the top of my head: The pros: -I will be my own boss -I've been looking for a turn key, high potential biz like this for about a year -The immediate/existing income is tight, but livable. But I haven't really gone over the books or thought about loan overhead, though. -It's been built from the ground up with a structure that can allow franchising in the future. -The business plan (manual) is already established and has been maintained -I'd be out of the city and be working 15 minutes' drive from home. -It can be easily expanded with promotion and wider services (business contracting) The cons: -Give up my cushy office job (and lose the stock options that still have some time on them...damn!) -No dental/health benefits (I'd have to buy personal insurance) -It may be very time consuming in the beginning -It would require full time dedication for *at least* the first few months -I would have to learn to deal directly with people off the street, you know, those consumer things -It would likely be a significant pay cut in the beginning, quick numbers in my head, probably about 35% -More wear and tear on the vehicle(s) (no more driving 3 miles a day to the train station) -Less time for CK5 This is a guy I've known and been pretty much best friends with for years. We worked together in radio years ago, and he got me the awesome job I have now, and before he knew I wanted to buy a business, he's been saying he's going to get me a job where he is now (double the pay, supposedly). I joke that my career is just network maintenance wherever he works. He's extremely reliable and does things "right"; he doesn't cut corners and he doesn't take risks, so I know the biz is on the up and up, everything is legal and everything is quality. He's also EXTREMELY smart with money, and very prudent in business and profession. I know he's not selling it because it doesn't have potential or because business is drying up, I trust him quite a bit on this, and he's looked out for me enough in the past that I know he would be straight with me if he thought this was a bad idea for me. He's barely entering the market, and talking to brokers, so it's unlikely he'll have to struggle to find buyers. He's avoided trying to sell services or contracts to businesses because he's been afraid it will grow too fast to support (one of the top reasons a small business fails in the first 5 years). He also only had me as a weekend part timer for the real nitty gritty computer work, like what a business would want a support contract for. His skills are 90% in web development. I was also thinking of asking another guy, Dave, to partner with me on it. I passed him a lead a couple years ago to the job he has now, where he's outlived two downsizing's and blown up through the ranks pretty fast to management, so he's got to at least know a little about what he's doing . This is a guy I'm not really terribly close to, but we are freinds and we both do the same type of work, we just never really have time to hang out (athough he got a boat we were talking about sharing the costs on, and I haven't done squat for it yet ). I think he's been looking for the same thing's I have, like his own business, and I knwo he wouldn't mind at all getting out of the city. Our wives are best friends, too. Dave and I probably both have the skill and the contacts to realistically support some business contracts, too, which would hopefully enable quick expansion of the biz to be able to support two owners. This would be pretty dramatic for me. Security (ie Job security) has always been a major factor for me since I got married. Risk is not something I like at all, but I've become more open to it in the last couple years as I see security isn't giving me much forward motion. I'm tempted to chat with my boss about this, he knows I've been looking into real estate opportunities to build retirement funding, so he would probably understand this while not wanting to lose me (ha ha, or maybe he wouldn't mind losing me and I just don't know it)... Some of you guys know my faith is an integral part of my life, and I usually dont think He's often that concerned with things like this for us (i.e. thank God for unanswered prayers), but this seems to land right in place with soooooo many things I've been looking for and thinking about, I almost feel like He's really arranged stuff to give me an opportunity. I've been reading a good bit, but probably not enough to be ready to step into this without some more serious studying. Then again, like my friend once said about having a baby, "When are you ever ready for these kinds of things?" So... I know we have some entrepenuers here, some managers, and in general some pretty smart people. Can anyone give me more *real* pros and cons of running their own business? In the end, this is something I know I'm going to be thinking hard and working out on my own, but the more input from anywhere, the better.