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Quitting to create competing and better business?

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policebaton

Bronze Contributor
Apr 3, 2017
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florida
Anybody done this before? I am contemplating doing this after saving some capital.

Some details-
Current employment is a niche publication, getting the majority of its money from the print advertising, and some from digital (maybe a 70/30 split). I have many clients who buy print ads and don't come back because they don't do anything for them except for some "branding", which small-medium sized businesses don't necessarily need to spend so much on imo.

I would like to create a directly competing business, but focus only on digital assets like lead generation and webinars, enewsletters, etc.

I've got a pretty good grasp of the industry and how our business works, and loads of contacts in this pretty technical growing market.

Besides that... the work culture is absolutely terrible. Colleagues berating me and throwing childish fits, while the bosses appease them because they bring in $$. Pretty dissatisfied, in addition to seeing what improvements I can do to add value to the market, and earn more for myself.

Any tips? Or similar experiences?
 

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Twiizlar

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 4, 2012
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Yes, most businesses require you to have experience before starting out on your own. You have to gain this experience through working there which you did.

I can't think of any examples of the top of my head but a lot of businesses were born from someone working in the industry and seeing a gap/value add. You see one so now it's time to go for it.

Just make sure you don't have a non-compete or anything like that.
 

Kruiser

Silver Contributor
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Aug 22, 2017
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Any tips?
1) Think real hard about your current employer's likely reaction to your planned move. What is its appetite for litigation? When folks feel betrayed or stolen from, they will often sue. It kind of doesn't matter if you would ultimately win or not because you probably don't have the money to take it that far.
2) Talk to a Florida lawyer regarding your planned move. Specifically, ask whether customer lists are considered trade secrets there.
 
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policebaton

policebaton

Bronze Contributor
Apr 3, 2017
92
126
131
27
florida
Yes, most businesses require you to have experience before starting out on your own. You have to gain this experience through working there which you did.

I can't think of any examples of the top of my head but a lot of businesses were born from someone working in the industry and seeing a gap/value add. You see one so now it's time to go for it.

Just make sure you don't have a non-compete or anything like that.
Fortunately I have no non-competes, non-solicits, or NDA's with them
 
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policebaton

policebaton

Bronze Contributor
Apr 3, 2017
92
126
131
27
florida
1) Think real hard about your current employer's likely reaction to your planned move. What is its appetite for litigation? When folks feel betrayed or stolen from, they will often sue. It kind of doesn't matter if you would ultimately win or not because you probably don't have the money to take it that far.
2) Talk to a Florida lawyer regarding your planned move. Specifically, ask whether customer lists are considered trade secrets there.
I believe that they are, I would make a 100% clean break from them without taking any customer lists.... but the tricky part is, his family is litigation lawyers... and I know they'd likely try to drag me through the mud.

Just gauging how I would best go about this. Right now just going to save as much capital as I possibly can. Perhaps incorporate somewhere else, and get a good lawyer to be ready for a pound sand letter I guess.
 

Kruiser

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 22, 2017
280
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315
Arizona
. . . but the tricky part is, his family is litigation lawyers... and I know they'd likely try to drag me through the mud.
Yeah, that's not really optimal to say the least. I can't give you legal advice, but it sounds like you really do need legal advice.

Incorporating somewhere else and having your own lawyer write a letter probably won't do much for you.

They will allege all the relevant actions took place in whatever county you are in and any lawsuit will be there. They will simply bleed you to death at $300/hour (or whatever the rate is for defense counsel in Florida). They don't need to win a lawsuit, they need to bleed you to death and it might be fairly easy to do that. As soon as you start your company, they will likely file a complaint alleging 1) theft of trade secrets, 2) intentional interference with commercial contracts, 3) conversion, 4) breach of a bunch of duties you don't actually have, etc. Would they win? I don't know. Probably not, but it doesn't matter. "Non-frivolity" is the only bar to making a claim and it is really easy to meet that test. They'll probably also move for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction (in which a court orders you to stop operating), which means you get to bleed to death at an accelerated rate if you want to try to keep operating.

I don't mean to be too negative. Maybe I'm wrong. But you need to have a better legal strategy than "I'll find a lawyer to write a letter."
 

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