The transition to going independent

lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
For those that have gone independent or may be in the process, what is/was your strategy? Did you ease into it, slowly taking on more clients on the side while working a full-time job? Did you dive head-first after establishing a solid nest egg so you could focus all of your time and energy into your success?

Also, what methods did you use to improve your business acumen? Any good books, podcasts, webseries, seminars, online classes, etc? Did you receive on-the-job training for the early stages of business development, like finding business, early client engagements, SOW scoping, etc?

I've always aspired to go independent and the way my career and aspirations are heading, it will definitely be a security consultant role. I've done plenty of contract/project work but haven't had much experience on the early stages of the process and am interested to see how others pursued striking out on their own.


  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,280 Mod
    Haven't gone independent myself yet but I'd comment on having a good business acumen - Just do it. You don't need to read 1000 pages nor listen to hours of someone talking about it, do it and you'll pick up what you need quickly.

    Let us know how you go
    In Progress: MBA
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Just started and acquired our first customers. We still have full time jobs, but its operated from the cloud so we can do it from work. We have various business mentors and an actual business advisor that was provided for us. Hardest and most time consuming process thus far was marketing.

    We thought about jumping in fulltime, but just have not made the decision yet...Only time will tell
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    @UnixGuy, I feel you on that, but I still feel like there's parts of the formalized process to be learned that I haven't been exposed to yet. I am pretty good on the business side, there's just some pieces to the puzzle I need to add!

    @Cyberscum, I know you've been updating here and there with your progress. Are the mentors and advisor part of a local/state/federal initiative/grant/etc? What are your main avenues for advertising/marketing?

    I am 2-3 years out from moving to independent. There's more experience to be gained in my somewhat-new global role and in the meantime I think I'm going to start working towards my CISSP.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Learn your market, know your niche. Know your expenses down to the cent. Have a plan and work that plan. Some can do it on the side, others can do it full time. It depends on your situation. I am doing work on the side, with the plan to shift to full time within 5 years. Although it will be much less than that.

    Lay out your competition, find their proposals, interview their clients. What do they do that you don't? Can you do it better? How? You can always out work someone for a short time, but you can do things better than someone else indefinitely.

    Business Acumen, I gained mentors. I found people who had what I wanted skill wise and I learned from them. Copy, emulate, short cut is the name of the game. Books will get you the first 30% the rest is experience. Put yourself in crappy business situations and solve them. I took over a P&L that was hemorrhaging cash. Talk about a way to learn AR/AP, DSO, TWC, ect. I was on daily calls with the Comptrollers. We were paying 1.3% a month on 2M. That's 26k per month, that was an FTE worth of negative cash flow every month!

    Take on projects, get into situations where you have to do contractual reviews, where you need to sell to people who you have provided crappy service to. The more problems and pain the better you will be. That's it, the biggest part is to let go of the technical.

    The technician will cause you to fail. You will not let go, you will not give up the business to be managed you will try to manage it and you will work yourself into exhaustion.

    There's more feel free to PM me.

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