When the pandemic hit, many individuals were either made furloughed or redundant. In fact, The Department of Labor recorded 6.9 million unemployed Americans; this coincided with the lockdown announcement. Although this number has since reduced, and many of those who lost their jobs are now returning to work, there are still roughly 1 million individuals who are jobless. However, those lucky enough to have found work still question the fate of their roles. Some industries, such as hospitality, tourism and entertainment, have been hit harder than others, with many businesses closing their doors for good. If a second wave, or similar disaster is to occur, who’s to say that anyone’s job is safe.
While the future of work is still relatively bleak, and the world may seem on fire at times, it’s important to note that there is hope. Now just might be the best time to have the career you always wanted. Here’s how you can start your own business.
Many times, throughout history, we have seen people reinvent themselves, and countries rebuild, in order to survive and thrive. In America, people were hit particularly hard by the 2008 ‘Great Recession’, losing their homes, livelihoods, and jobs. And yet, many found an opportunity, a chance to invent, as market trends and the needs of society changed. Some of our favourite apps that we love and use today were created in the last recession: Instagram, Slack, WhatsApp, to name a few.
Where do I begin:
Think back to when you were a child and were asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The possibilities were limitless, right? Actress, astronaut, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, inventor, the list goes on. As we got older, however, our vision and dreams became more practical, and reality, or other obstacles, biases, and glass ceilings, got in the way.
As children, we spent a lot of time playing, using our imaginations to build worlds and new realities. So, I ask you this: embrace your childhood self, unlock your imagination, and think, if you could be or do anything, what would it be? What passions or hobbies would you want turn into a business? This doesn’t necessarily need to be a hobby or activity you did as a child. Maybe your passion is fixing a problem in your community, or a way to simplify your personal or business life. Remember, many inventions and companies were created because there was a need in society, or lack thereof. Whatever your idea, get a journal and write down anything and everything that comes to mind.
From passion to business plan:
Finding your purpose or passion, isn’t always an easy process, and neither is turning an idea into a successful business. I won’t sugarcoat it for you. As a serial entrepreneur, I know first-hand how challenging, grueling, frustrating, and even, annoying, it can be to start your own business. It’s okay to be feeling this way, but it’s important not to give in to these emotions or give up. Half the battle is getting started.
So, what’s next:
Once you’ve picked your problem or passion, you next need to create a business plan. The internet has many tools and resources free to download to help you get started in gathering the information you’ll need to provide before you speak to financial institutions or investors. Shopify has some great tips, providing a video and a list of items to consider as you create your business plan. They even have a template you can download here.
Put yourself out there:
You’ve done the research, made a business plan, and have manifested your vision. Now it’s time to get out of your comfort zone, be your own cheerleader and promote your business. Start by reaching out to your network. Depending on what your business is, your family and friends could be your first clients or customers. After that, take advantage of your social networks to help spread the word. Then, take to the streets: reach out to your community, church, gym, or local Starbucks — anywhere you can advertise or share news of your newly launched business.
It won’t be easy and you may be faced with ups and downs along the way, but the risk in starting your own business is definitely worth the reward of being your own boss. There’s no better feeling than doing what you love each and every day. Start loving Mondays again and start your own business. You deserve to fulfil your dreams!