Transitioning From Employee to Business Owner

With every stage of life, we face transition, which is the bridge between one role or job and the next.  We go from high school to college, from college to work, from our first job to a higher position or a business owner.  Coping with these changes effectively can make the difference between success and failure.

Most people resist change, probably because of the unknown.  It’s easier to continue to do the same things rather than learn something different.  Many business owners come from dead-end jobs or boredom with a job.  They decide they want to take control of their lives and try something different.  For the transition, you will most likely need to retrain your mind.  You will probably buy a business of which you are familiar with the product or service.  In addition, you may need to develop your human and conceptual skills, as you will be hiring and training employees.  As an employee, you may have worked at solving and preventing problems; but you will have the total responsibility to see that everything works as it should in your business.  You also have the right to change and update anything as you see fit.  You may also have to retrain your mind to recognize differences between working relationships and friendships.  Because you purchased the business, the employees will naturally realize you are their boss.   Your goal should be to give them credit and support for their accomplishments.  You need to trade being liked for being respected.  One way that will definitely help is to listen to your employees as they seek your support.

Becoming the owner of a business doesn’t mean you know everything.  Transition mistakes will happen to all new owners.  The only true mistake, however, is not learning from your actions.  You will make mistakes unless you sidestep every issue and never make decisions.  Of course, your business would not be successful if you did that.  You need not be perfect but must admit your mistakes.  When an obstacle gets in your way, think of it as a challenge and identify people and resources that can help you.

Taking risks is part of the transition process.  You gain your independence when you become a business owner.  You become a risk taker.  The opportunity is there to work as hard as you want, make as much profit as you want, and make all the decisions as you want them made.  There is a freedom, and it is the American dream.  It is called a risk, however, because you can also fail.  The chances are much greater for you to succeed, because purchasing a successful business gives you a proven method for that business.  To be successful, you must take risks; but they should be calculated risks.         

To ease transition from employee to business owner, you can use a variety of techniques, such as networking, to gain more visibility for your business.  Some techniques of networking include exchanging business cards, joining professional or civic organizations, attending After Five events, and sending clippings and notes of interest to professionals that you meet to continue a business relationship.  You need a professional image which carries over to acting professional in all situations where you are representing your business.  First impressions tend to be lasting, whether they are positive or negative.

When you purchase a business, you become the owner instead of an employee.  Business owners move from being doers to delegators, specialists to generalists, reactors to planners and followers to leaders.  As a business owner, you have the great opportunity to become a positive role model to your employees, as your behavior, attitude, image and performance set an example they will want to emulate in their lives.

  • Author: Pat Jones
  • Title: President/Owner - Business Broker
  • Company: Pat Jones Business Brokers
  • Company Website:
  • Date: May 24, 2018
  • Category: Buying a Franchise or Business