contributed by Jason Lewis
Career setbacks can be an overwhelming experience, leaving many to question whether they are on the right track or not. While many people will forge ahead, continuing on the same path they've been taking, others see a career setback as a chance to do something new, sometimes even starting their own businesses. There is no such thing as guaranteed success when venturing into owning your own business, but there are some tips available that can set you on the right track.
Pin down an idea and what you have to offer first
The Small Business Administration shares some key questions that you should consider before forging ahead on a plan. Of course, the biggest question one needs to answer is what kind of business to start, but additional details such as what the product or service will be, who the customers will be, and how this business differs from its competitors are important to sort through as well. Additional questions to be able to answer include what is needed for financing, what tax and legal issues need to be addressed, and what types of licensing or training need to be done.
Of course, there are many different types of businesses that one can start, and many people either follow a passion of theirs or take prior job experience and parlay it into a business of their own. Entrepreneur.com shares a number of ideas that one can consider when looking for business ideas. There are services such as tutoring, child care, snow-plowing, and lawn care, focusing on personal creations to sell, in-home repairs if that's a skill set you have, or broader services like consulting. Others go a different direction like buying a franchise restaurant or store, and there are many ideas that one can pursue without needing vast amounts of money.
Build a detailed business plan to flesh out the specifics
Experts recommend putting together a business plan as soon as you've settled on an idea for your business, and this will require a lot of legwork and research. The National Federation of Independent Business indicates that a business plan should include a company description and an overview of the plan, as well as information on the product or service you'll provide and market analysis detailing the customer target and competition. Your business plan also needs to address your projected operating plan and marketing strategy as well as the organizational structure, financing details, and projections.
When it comes to financing, there are many businesses that can be started on a shoestring budget. Childcare and tutoring services, for example, require little in the way of startup capital and various other consulting or service-related businesses should require a low upfront investment as well. Other business ideas will take more capital, however, and there are many options available to pursue when it comes to finding that financing.
Financing can come from a variety of resources
Forbes details that personal savings, home equity loans, or money from friends or family could be an easy place to start, and many banks and credit unions provide small business loans. There are investors and venture capital firms that can be a fit for the right business idea and some digging around can lead to development loan possibilities. The Small Business Administration does provide some resources for various loans and grants, and crowdfunding via sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become useful to beginning entrepreneurs as well.
Career setbacks can create a very stressful situation, but they can also provide opportunity when one is feeling drawn to starting their own business. Whether a business dream is big or small, researching the idea and developing a solid business plan can pave the way to building a successful business. Businesses like tutoring, childcare, consulting, or owning a franchise are all possibilities that are common choices and the sky's the limit with the right plan and enough determination.