How to Let Your Career Setback Turn You Into Your Own Boss
by Lucy Reed
Starting a business used to mean raising capital or obtaining a loan to open a brick-and-mortar store and purchase inventory. Today, with the internet connecting businesses with customers and clients, starting a business can take as little as a wifi connection. For some people, the dream of starting a business has always been there. For others, entrepreneurship could be a way to transition from a career setback or enter a second act in your professional life.
If you find yourself rebounding from a career blow, consider starting a business rather than returning to work for another employer. Some of the top reasons for becoming an entrepreneur include:
- Being your own boss.
- Flexibility to work from anywhere at any time.
- Building wealth instead of working hard to make someone else rich.
Find Your Niche
A business must first be born from an idea. You may have had an idea in your head for years, or you may be at a loss about what your niche is. Perhaps you could offer services for web development, graphic design, or digital marketing. Or perhaps you don’t have an obvious craft, but you have a desire to sell something and fulfill a need in the marketplace. Your business can be anything that you have the knowledge and drive to do, as long as there’s a customer base that’s hungry for it. Research your top business ideas to find out their profitability, demand, and competition.
Every modern business needs a website and other online activity to expose it to the public. Even if your business is based locally, it still helps to have an online presence for interested leads who want to search for you online.
- Familiarize yourself with the features you should look
for in a hosting company to ensure your website will have all the functionality it needs. For example, consider features such as bandwidth
and storage space, support for programming languages, website builders, SSL encryption, and more. Above all, you need to make sure your website
is both user-friendly and reliable.
- Take advantage of free social media platforms to build your online presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular social
media platforms for users and businesses.
- Sign up for marketing platforms like MailChimp and Hubspot to help you track leads and automate your marketing efforts.
- Be willing to invest in online advertising.
Even on free social media sites, you might have to spend money to get your posts seen. With advertising, repetition is key. The more often
people see your ads, the more familiar they become. Advertising doesn’t necessarily mean that a first-time view will turn into an immediate
- Decide whether to do business as a DBA (doing business as) or an LLC (limited liability company). There are differences in annual fees, formation,
operation and reporting rules, taxation, and legal protections. Know what each business type provides, and decide which one is best for your
- Figure out the other legalities that your business requires, such as licenses, permits, insurance, bonds, and certifications.
- Open a bank account and credit card for your business so that your financial matters aren’t mixed in with your personal accounts. When it comes
to tax deductions,
having separate financial statements for your business will be easier. A business credit card can also come with additional perks.
- Have a dedicated office space and office hours. If you treat your business like an actual job that you’re accountable to, you’ll be more likely
to take it seriously.
- If you’re hiring employees, find out whether they need background checks before working in the business that you’re operating. When it comes to entering customers’ homes, working with vulnerable populations like children or the elderly, dealing with money, or having access to sensitive/confidential data, background checks are often required.
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