Tips for Turning Your Career Into Your Own Business
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” If you’re considering jumping head first into being a solopreneur or launching a business that utilizes the skills you’ve obtained throughout your career, you must embrace Eleanor’s advice. Taking the first leap of faith is scary. However, you’re not alone. The number of women-owned businesses has increased by more than 100 percent in the past 20 years. Each day in the U.S., 849 new companies are opened by women alone. Women are pursuing entrepreneurship to gain autonomy, create flexibility for their personal lives, and spur the economy.
You might have many questions about how to get started and what essentials you need before you open your doors or online shopping cart. Whether you’re starting a side hustle or a full-blown business, here are a few tips to get you started.
Many people dream of being their own bosses for years, but never know just how to get started with a business idea. If you’re serious about leaving the 9-to-5 world, sit down with a notebook and a pack of colored pens and start writing down your dreams to make choosing the right business idea a cinch. If you’ve been in the corporate world or another kind of office job, you probably have skills you don’t even think about on a day-to-day basis.
Start with a list of your skills and passions. Evaluate the two lists for any items that overlap. Or, maybe you have a have a solution to a problem that you know many people experience. Write that down, too. Once you get it all in one place, it will be easier to start to see how your dreams can become a reality.
Test Your Idea
Before you head to the bank to ask for a loan, make sure there is a market for your business. Do some research of others in your area who offer the same product or service. Explore the demand for the products you want to sell. Search out standard start-up costs for similar businesses so that you can start to wrap your head around all of the things you need to do before opening your doors.
When you first get started, you’ll likely want to do everything on your own to keep costs to a minimum. Sometimes, it might be safer to admit to yourself what you don’t know and get the help you need. If you need legal assistance or financial and tax advice, leave these things to the experts. Be sure to stay connected, ask questions, and be up-to-date on any items that need to be done. The small amount of money you pay for these types of services are worth the peace of mind you’ll feel having a professional on your team.
Create a Web Presence
While you need to hire help for some tasks, there are others that you can do. Setting up a website is a task that you can do all by yourself and save some cash in the process. Search for a website builder, which is an “all-inclusive” package that gives you a design template, hosting, domain name, design templates, and an email address. This about all you’ll need to get your online business off the ground.
Check with Your Day-Job
If your new business is going to be anything like your current job, you might need to check with your boss about any conflict of interest. Know your company policies about having a side business, if they have one. If you signed a non-disclosure agreement, non-compete clause, or an employment contract, read these first to avoid getting fired.
If you’re not sure if you’re in the clear when starting your business, contact an attorney who specializes in business law. They can read any policies or agreements you signed to make sure you’re not heading into a sticky situation with your current or recent employer.
Keep it In Your Lane
When turning your career into a business, it’s critical that you create a mission statement for your company. Your mission is why you exist, and can provide a sense of clarity on the days you’re tempted to be all things to all customers. If you have competitors, you want to create a mission and vision that gives a clear picture of who you are as a company and what sets you apart.
To illustrate this a bit better, let’s consider that you’re opening the “Best Dang Chocolate Chip Cookie Bakery.” Your mission is to create the “best dang chocolate chip cookies.” If you feel pressure to sell peanut butter cookies, you change who you are as a bakery. This is a perfect example of how you can create a mission statement that keeps you in your lane.
Celebrate the Launch
Starting a business is an exciting time. You’ll follow tips to help you launch, but be sure to get ideas on how to host a grand-opening for brick-and-mortar stores or a launch party for online businesses. Run specials, serve food, and connect with your customers.
Celebrating is as much for you as it is for your community. People want to celebrate with you and learn more about what you do. Use these tips so that you can plan a big party when you open your doors.
Following Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice might feel a bit intimidating. However, never taking the leap of faith will keep you in the same place you are today. Whether you’re ready to start a side-hustle or leave the day job for a new adventure, use these tips to turn your career into your own business.
This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner
Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader. And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.