Melissa Babcock is the proud owner of her own business.
(article continues below)
She worked for somebody else for quite a while before she set up her own shop. We asked for some feedback from her on how that transition has gone and what advice she has to offer to others who are transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.
What type of firm were you working at when you were let go? Was it part of a downsizing or was there some other reason given by them? How long had you been there?
I am a dermatologist who decided to start my own practice.
I was working in a large group dermatology practice for 5 years before moving on. I left 18 months ago and am very happy with my decision.
My medical practice is called Babcock Dermatology, and I am based in Atlanta, Georgia.
I'm curious, Melissa. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur instead of simply continuing to work for somebody else?
I wanted the freedom to make my own schedule. I have young children and I wanted to attend their events whenever I wanted. I like hiring the employees that best match my work style. I also enjoy the freedom to run things my way.
Did you buy an existing practice or did you start a medical practice from scratch? Why did you do one instead of the other? Which do you think is the best approach?
I started from scratch which was challenging.
I did not want to buy an existing business because I was unsure how to evaluate it. I was concerned I would pay too much for something that did not measure up to my standards.
I am very happy that I started from scratch so that I could design the business exactly as I wanted it. There are a few more struggles, such as building up a patient base but it is worth it!
Owning a business is very different from working for somebody else. What are some of the biggest differences you've noticed? What do you miss? What don't you miss?
Worrying about the bottom line! Now I am responsible for making payroll.
The upside is I get to keep more of the money that is made.
I do miss the interaction with the other physicians. I don't miss the mandatory corporate meetings we had which I felt were not the best use of time.
You are not alone. It seems escaping annoying meetings is probably one of the biggest motivators for many entrepreneurs to set off on their own. So, Melissa, based on what you've learned so far, what advice would you give to somebody who is leaving the life of working for a company to go out on their own?
Absolutely talk with someone who has done it already. Find out if they are happy. Find out how much time and money it really takes to start your business. Something may seem like a great idea but in practice can be much more difficult and stressful in reality.
Find out the market for your product or service. The worst thing that could happen is making a large time and financial investment in a business then watching it fail.
Excellent advice. Failure is very painful when you own a business. Listen, thanks so much for partaking in one of our entrepreneur interviews. Really appreciate it!