How To Go From Unemployed To Entrepreneur
But you’re not unemployable.
If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. The frustration of trying to find an (actually) good job, one that also gives you room to grow as a professional and as a person, is often overwhelming.
Most people in your shoes, at some point, realize that trying to find a dream job may not be the best path to employment. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve already thought about the alternative yourself — you may even be thinking about it right now. And what is this other path?
It’s entrepreneurship. Starting your own business. Becoming your own boss.
Chances are that you’ve also thought about why it wouldn’t work. Maybe until now, the doubt has outweighed the drive. And you’re not alone in that, either. Many people think about building their own business, but never do.
But we believe that if you have the knowledge and support to believe that building a business isn’t some impossible dream, then you can ABSOLUTELY make it your reality!
In today’s article, we’re going to cover 5 essential steps to becoming an entrepreneur. And we promise that once you understand the basics of business building, you’ll never doubt your options again!
1. Research first
Just like the saying “look before you leap”, you need to look at the facts before you start your first business.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that research doesn’t have to be a long, complicated procedure — and you don’t have to wear a lab coat to be a researcher. You can conduct most of your research from the comfort of your own home (and your comfiest clothes, too!).
Start by looking at businesses that do what you want to do, or do something similar. What sort of approach do they take? What is their management style? How much money do they make, and how many customers do they need to stay afloat?
Talk to people in the industry and learn about the ins-and-outs they’ve had to deal with. Talk to customers who buy products and services like the ones you would offer, and learn what they value from the businesses they purchase from.
Pro Tip: Social media is a great starting place to jump into the conversation!
2. Talk to startup consultants
You aren’t the first person to start a business. In fact, so many people start new businesses every day that helping people start their businesses is a business in and of itself!
Startup consultants can point you in the right direction, and fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Some even offer free services to entrepreneurs!
Pro Tip: If you live in the Bancroft area, META has free services to help you go and grow your business! Our particular services are geared towards individuals with disabilities who want to become an entrepreneur. We have experts who can help you with business planning, finding funding, and even onboarding your own employees!
3. Write out your plan
A business plan isn’t just something to show potential investors to assure them that you’re on track. They are invaluable tools for guiding all of your business decisions along the way!
Your plan should include items such as:
- Measurable Goals
- Business Costs & Expenditures
- Back-Up Plans & Contingencies
- Exit Strategies
The last point, “exit strategies”, might make you a bit worried, so let us explain. It’s not a plan for if the business fails, but rather how you will transition out of the day-to-day of the business once it’s up and running. Your business plan should always be leading you towards a place where managing your business is comfortable, and you can trust your team to keep things running smoothly.
In some ways, you can consider a business plan a retirement plan if everything goes according to plan!
4. Figure out your funding
Some businesses have low ones, and some businesses have astronomical ones — but EVERY business has startup costs.
What will yours look like? And if you can’t afford them yourself, how will you secure the funding you need to make sure your business can survive to the point of being profitable? Are there ways you can reduce costs without weakening your business model?
There are different funding options available if you can’t front the funds out of pocket. Consider government funding, bank loans, or seeking out investors who support your vision.
They say that “a penny saved is a penny earned”, but sometimes a penny planned for is worth 99 more. Talk to a financial planner about drafting a break-even analysis so that you can plan to control your spending against the returns from your new venture.
5. Market. Promote. Advertise.
Your business isn’t just new to you — it’s new to everyone in the world. You need to make sure that people learn about what you have to offer as soon as possible!
Take some time to brand your business. Everything from your company name to your logo to your brand persona. Then spread the word to the audience you want to attract!
Make sure marketing costs are a serious part of your business’ budget. Even if you plan to use mostly free resources like social media and online directories, you will still have to invest the time to make them effective.
When people think of an entrepreneur, they often think of some lone wolf who strikes out alone to create a name for themselves against all odds. We glorify people who struggle to make it from the bottom to the top because of the hardships they seem to endure.
But the truth is, there are loads of people who want you to succeed — and we’re here to help!
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, let us give you a hand! META can connect you with the type of support that you need to succeed. Get in touch today, and let us help you go from unemployed to entrepreneur!