It can be crushing to experience a career setback in your life. Whether you were looked over for a promotion, let go, or simply “had enough” of the years-long grind of your current job, you likely are experiencing low self-esteem or depression as you try to decide what you should do next. Should you look for another job, or is now the right time to start your own venture?
Research, research, research
If you’re mulling self-employment, you should research exactly what kind of businesses exist in your area. If there are businesses that address a passion or hobby of yours, or else deliver a service that’s akin to a service you’re thinking of providing, see how they satisfy customer needs and how much they charge for their service.
If you can identify gaps in the service that you think you can satisfy, take note of how many and what kind of customers walk into the business. Maybe even stop a few customers on their way out of the store and do an impromptu survey asking them all the kinds of questions you’d like to know on how best to serve them. You can be honest about your declared intention and simply say you’re collecting research for your future venture.
With diligence and an attention to detail, you can figure out the competitor store’s busiest days and peak hours, and how it’s popularity fares with other similar stores in a specific neighborhood you’re scoping. This is the kind of data you’d need to figure out if there’s a lucrative niche in the market for your business idea.
Once you’ve identified the space you want to work in and what consumers are looking for, you’ll need to establish a client base. One critical component to this step is creating a business website. GoDaddy is a good web-hosting option for most budding entrepreneurs. Its comprehensive web hosting services not only include a business website for your startup, it also offers SEO marketing, social media exposure, and even bookkeeping, which will put your business on the fast track to success. Plus, they’ll design your pages for you based on your preferences, so you don’t have to be a web-development master to use it.
In addition to building a website, networking plays a crucial role in helping you find customers. Look for opportunities through your local chamber of commerce, the Small Business Administration, and sites like LinkedIn and Meetup. Don’t underestimate the power of reaching out to people you already know, either. Friends, family, and former business associates are great resources for building your clientele.
Learn about taxes
Whether you are thinking about starting a business or becoming self-employed, remember you will be responsible for all taxes and employment package offerings. If you don’t have one already, now is the time to hire a trusted, reliable CPA, and if you’re in the Nashville area, Evan Hutcheson, CPA, should be your top candidate. He will make recommendations based on his years of experience and your unique needs to get your new venture properly set up.
Think of all options
Remember, self-employment doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start your own business. A popular self-employment option is to become a real estate agent. Not only does becoming a real estate agent offer you genuine flexibility and a chance to be social, you have the support of an agency. Starting out, you’ll need two things:
- Resume – An agency will want to see your skills, qualifications, and work history before they bring you on board. If your relevant experience in real estate is slim, consider a combination resume. Resume experts say this is the best resume style to use during a career change, because it highlights skills you’ve acquired that you can apply to your new position.
- Real Estate License – Licensing requirements vary by state. Most pre-licensing programs can be completed in a few weeks. Once you pass the state licensing exam, you will need to participate in continuing education courses each year.
Take baby steps
Starting a business isn’t easy. Take baby steps by tapping into your network of connections and mentally preparing yourself for the inevitable setbacks. However, don’t let the obstacles placed in your path defeat you. Approach each hurdle as a surmountable challenge, stay steady on your course, and you’ll see yourself grounded in a new venture.