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Discussion Starter #1
This is a question for business owners with employees. Is it unlawful for me to try and work at a sign or screen printing business, if I am myself trying to start up a business doing the same thing?

I really dislike the job I'm at and want to work somewhere else. My first inclination is to try and find a screen printing shop so that I can at least be in a place doing what I want to do. But then my mind raises questions. Like, isn't this person my competitor? Is it bad for me to learn from under them, and then sometime in the future leave to start my own venture?

I would say yes, and my problem is that I already have a business license. So even if I applied, I would feel obligated to tell them I have a business doing the same thing. But I would much rather be working in a place where I am learning things that will help me, instead of working at a place that isn't going to help me at all with what I want to do.

I'm confused. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :confused:
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

Just be honest I have hired many apprentices over the years knowing that I was training my future competition. Just don't steal their customers or their designs that would be unethical.
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

I totally agree. Being honest is what has put me in this position, because my morals get the best of me. I would feel obligated telling them that I want to work there so that I can learn more and print my own clothing.
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

I'd say definitely be honest. I've hired people that I knew were looking to learn and expected to move on eventually. As long as I got good work out of them when they worked for me, they worked on company stuff and not their own stuff, and they didn't steal ideas or clients when they left, I was fine with it.

I have much more respect for someone who's honest.
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

It's not unlawful - most business owners worked (and learned) for someone else before they started their own company. Just be honest at the employment interview without making a big deal about it. It might not even be an issue for the company that hires you.
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

I'd hire you. Anyone that uses such a cool handle as 'Spankthafunk' is ok in my book.

As regards to others employing you, although they say that honesty is the best policy, there are also times where discretion is also a good idea too.
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

I am a printer but my "other" job is a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser. When I first got into appraising I started off as an apprentice. The mentor you are working under is there to train and guide you along the way knowing that they are training there future competition. The thing is that we actually never became competitors. He has his market and I have mine. ( I work with Commercial he works with Residential) When I first started in the printing business I walked into a t-shirt business one block from a commercial building I purchased and introduced myself and asked a few questions about problems I was having with emulsions. The guy was nice and offered to show me the ropes. He has been at the same location for 41 years and all his business is from walk-ins. He is well known in this area and does not have to worry about me stealing his customers. Again we are not competitors because I print promotional items for corporations all nationwide, and he will print anything for anyone that walks through his door which is all local.

Katrina
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

Just be honest & ethical; when you move on to setup your own business, DON'T steal your former employer's customers and/or designs. Do you own thing; setup your own customer base.
We had a salesman that worked for us for almost 15 years, and we allowed him to gain access to our supplier base, so when we were knocked out from Hurricane Katrina, he left us right after the storm, went with a competitor that was not affected, and used his knowledge of our supplier base to move all his customers that he found while he worked for us (on a salary plus commission) to get his now new employer up & running with suppliers to handle all his customers. Unlawful, no...but after we finally were able to contact all of our customers by letter, and explained our situtation, he lost 2 of his best accounts. We did not get them back, but as business owners with sales people, they understood what he did was totally unethical. So sometimes this behavior does come back around to "bite you in the butt".
 

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Re: Would you hire me?

No it is not illegal. But telling them what you do on the side is best, bc if they somehow find out later on, it will just seem like you were keeping things from them, which will make your employer assume you have other hidden things that you haven't told them.

As for me, I wouldn't hire you, knowing that you wish to start your own company in the same industry. Not that I would be afraid you'd be my future competition, (bc I always believe competition, is always good competition), but rather I'd be afraid you vital company information that can slip through the doors.

Few that are most important:
1. Customer Accounts
2. Company Networks
3. Company Vendor Accounts

I have had a past employee try stealing 300 customer accounts with my other wholesale business, and I had to notify all of my customers to beware that he was no longer working for me and that he is trying to start his own company (what worried me most was that we had spread about $60k in credits for some stores, and he was previously allowed to collect payments from the stores which usually paid us cash...Once he quit and continued to visit our accounts, it worried me that he would attempt to collect credits without our knowledge..WHICH HE TRIED TO DO!!!!!!!) . Needless to say, my customers were loyal and stuck with me.

Anyhow, most companies know that the employee that will hire could possibly be their future competition. It happens all the time. If all you're wanting to do in the future is print your own garments, and not for customers, I wouldn't mind you working for me.
 

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I would gladly hire you so I could crush your ambitions under the heel of my iron boot!:eek:

Just kidding. If you told me you wanted to start your own business that would be a plus because I would expect you to be self motivating and ambitious to learn and do well. Besides, half the people who have ever worked for me were going to start their own business; maybe one in a hundred gets around to doing it.

On the other hand, if you told me you were already in business I probably wouldn't hire you - conflict of interest and I would be suspicious that you were only farming my customer list.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very great advice, thanks everyone. I like both points of why you would and would not hire, and they are all completely valid. I guess it comes down to what the owner/hiring manager thinks, and if they are going to trust me not to steal customer accounts and what not; which of course I would not.

I need a change and I'm just going to have to try and see if I can get a job doing this. I know I don't have the capital to run my business solely, but I do need a change and I thank you all very much for all of the advice!
 
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