Looking for a career change? Entrepreneurs have options.
New York’s Daily News recently reported that 70% of the American workforce doesn’t actually like their jobs. If this describes you, take heart knowing that you have career options that put you in control of your time and money. I did it and so can you.
It’s never too late to start your own business and utilize your time and talents for your benefit—not someone else’s. Here are a few tips to get you started.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
You have strengths—and weaknesses—that make you a valuable asset to your potential future customers. Starting your own business means having a clear understanding of your talents so you can begin to use them to help others. Forbes’ Jacquelyn Smith says there are four major workplace strengths: envision, design, build, and operate characteristics. Identify where you are the strongest before you set out on your own. Perhaps you could use the skills you acquired in your previous jobs as a launching pad for a new business. For me, this meant using my experience as a school teacher to start my own tutoring business.
FIGURE OUT YOUR FINANCES
New businesses all have one thing in common: They need money to get off the ground. So, you may also want to look into small business loans to help get your business going.
Having some money on hand when you’re starting out will help you pay for any upfront costs you might encounter or address any cash flow gaps cash flow without forcing you to delve into your personal finances. Which loan you decide to take (short term, long term, etc.) depends on your individual needs as a new business owner.
It certainly is nice to have the luxury of a 9-to-5 job while you are dabbling in entrepreneurship, but you might not be that fortunate. I was laid off from my teaching job and had no idea where to turn next. If this describes your situation, don’t fret. Pick up a side gig or two while you figure out what business direction you want to go in.
Marketing is an essential and yet often intimidating task for many small business owners. However, thanks to sites like GoDaddy, Twitter, and Moo, you can establish a far-reaching online presence and create professional marketing pieces with little (or no) experience.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!
We have yet to see an industry that doesn’t offer ample networking opportunities for eager entrepreneurs. Your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent place to start and will expose you to other local business leaders that can expand your portfolio of patrons. You can also tap into your previous work network if things were left on good terms. I contacted some of my fellow teachers for tutoring leads and help spreading the word.
Even if you’re not quite sure what you want to do, the world is full of possibilities for people of all personalities and professional practices.
Here are some high-demand business opportunities worth considering when you’re no longer satisfied being an employee:
Franchise owner. If you have money but lack experience in your preferred industry, buying into a franchise may be your best bet for success. H&R Block, Jazzercise, The Glass Guru, and City Publications are just a few of Entrepreneur’s top franchises that require an investment of less than $50,000.
Real estate professional. Real estate remains a hot commodity and the market doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Licensed real estate agents work on their own time helping people buy and sell everything from condominium units to single-family homes and expansive plots of farmland.
Reputable brokerage firms come prepackaged with in-house training, agent support, and name recognition—all things that will put your new career on a track fast. Real estate licensing requirements are different in each state and typically require a pre-licensing course and a final exam.
Wellness coach. With no formal degree or credentials required, working as a wellness coach may be the ideal career if you tend to take an interest in and easily connect with people trying to make a change for the better. Wellness coaches can earn up to $50 per hour supporting clients through healthy lifestyle transitions. Monster notes that this is a fantastic mid-career switch if you don’t mind working part-time while building your practice.
There are endless possibilities and just as many reasons to become your own boss. According to Inc. Magazine, self-employed individuals are happier—and healthier—than their time clock punching counterparts. If you are at an impasse with your career, there’s no time like the present to make a change. It may be the best decision you’ll ever make.
About the Author
Larry Mager is building his tutoring business and studying mental fitness techniques. He created ReadyBrain.net to help give people the mental workout they need to have a healthy brain.