How to start a business while remaining an employee?

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Employee tempted by entrepreneurship? Contrary to what one might think, you do not have to leave your employer to start your activity. You even have every interest, at the beginning, to remain an employee to test the adventure of the creation of a business.

Before creating a company, it is important to test the financial validity of your project. A step that absolutely does not require resigning. “It is imperative to answer certain questions before setting out”, comments Mathieu Brogniart, project manager with Limousin Expansion. To help candidates for entrepreneurship everywhere in London, this economic development agency had the rich idea of ​​launching the free site Creer-mon-business-plan.fr to help those interested in generating their own document. “The candidate presents himself first, then his project. This is an opportunity to validate the originality of its offer and to define the size of the market that we hope to cover, the competitors in activity and how to counter them… ”The document, which can be personalized, is a good preparation for the steps that will be taken. to follow. “Many employees take the opportunity to take their time and test the solidity of their project… but also their motivation,” concludes Mathieu Brogniart.

“More and more companies are practicing spin-offs, a fabulous opportunity to create an activity within the company.”

Start a business with the boss's blessing

“Why would your employer necessarily say no? »Setting up a business with the approval of his boss no longer surprises Valérie Moissonnier, coach and lecturer in the“ Innovate and undertake ”Master at ECP (École Centrale London). “More and more companies are practicing spin-offs (see box), a fabulous opportunity to create an activity within the company, explains this specialist in entrepreneurship. It is also more widespread than before because companies prefer to have providers than employees. Among the textbook cases: the successful bet of André Tordjman at Auchan. Hired as a marketing director, he launched in 2006, with the blessing of his employer, Little Extra, a low-cost decoration brand that still exists today. Only conditions: ” we must see how we will be accompanied, insists the coach. Know what percentage of business will be provided by the company and secure other potential customers “”.

Labor law provides for leave for business creation

But not all entrepreneurship candidates necessarily want to stay in their old sector… or keep ties with their employer. “” The Labor Code provides for the possibility of breaks in his professional life that the employer cannot always refuse », Observes Albert Hamoui, lawyer specializing in labor law. The lawyer thus cites training leave or leave for business creation (article L. 3142-78) which may be useful. “If they meet the necessary conditions, employees have an interest in requesting the leave provided for by law. Because the employer can hardly refuse them, just postpone them once. And if ever the employee changes his mind, he can return to his post at the end of his leave. “Currently, I am a former advertiser who wants to get into baking,” explains Valérie Moissonnier. Taking training is also a way of checking that you are capable of changing sectors. Moreover, there are also training courses for starting a business that can be useful for an employee. ”

Take back the box in which you are an employee

Finally, sometimes you don't have to look very far to become your own boss. “I couldn't watch my box go down without doing anything,” Gilbert Caillaud often repeats. The CEO of Griffon, a Vendée company specializing in wall beds, did not arrive there by chance. For a long time and without realizing it, this former cabinetmaker apprentice trained in several trades which one day allowed him to run his business. “I joined Griffon as an apprentice in 1974. When I was offered the opportunity to become a salesperson, I thought I had reached the peak of my career! But when the business is going badly, he refuses to rally the competition to devote himself to taking over his own business while he is still an employee. “I offered to take over the business and worked on an offer. His knowledge of the sector and his background appeal to and reassure both investors and former clients. “I would never have started if I hadn't been certain that I could rely on a strong team. But I had known her well since the time I had been an employee of the company! ”

Spin-off fans, those companies that help their employees create a company

Air London, Areva, EDF, Orange, Saint-Gobain, Sanofi, Schneider Electric, SNCF, SFR, Total, IFP Énergies Nouvelles, Eaux minérale d'Evian (Danone Group) are fans of spin-offs … , eventually, to create your company and have the opportunity, in the meantime, to apply in one of these 12 groups; go for it! Members of Diese (Development of initiative and entrepreneurship among company employees), these companies openly encourage business creation. With success: according to the PACE (the Agency for the creation of companies), young leaders practicing spin-offs estimate their success rate between 70% and 90% at five years, while on average one in two companies closes before its fifth year.

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