With corporations hemorrhaging jobs, it’s no surprise that interest in self-employment is skyrocketing. For me, personally, a pink slip was just the motivation I needed to get off my ass and finally start a business of my own.
All you newly unemployed are finally realizing the ugly truth: that having 100% of your income coming from one single source is NOT job security. Not when your employer can fire you at any time, for any reason. Or no reason at all.
So, if you’re considering starting a little (or big) business of your own, welcome! C’mon in, the water’s fine. It can be a bit of a shock to think you’re out there all on your own, but you’re really not. You’ll find plenty of company, and plenty of help if you want it. The small-business world is a lot friendlier and less competitive than cubicle land. More profitable, too, if you do it right.
There are tons of awesome resources at your fingertips. Like Escape from Cubicle Nation, which makes you think. And IttyBiz, which makes you laugh. (Naomi’s outrageous potty mouth is not for everyone, but I think she’s hilarious. So there. You’ve been warned.)
Here’s my modest contribution to your once and future Self-Employment Success. I call it the World’s Shortest, Easiest Business Plan. Just answer a few simple (ha!) questions and you’re on your way. Ready?
- What do you plan to do? (Product or service)
- Who do you plan to do it for? (Target customer)
- Who else is doing it? How well are they doing? (Competitive analysis)
- How are you different, better, unique? (Your unique selling proposition)
- What will customers get from doing business with you? (Benefits)
- How will you spread the word and let prospective customers know you’re around? (Marketing plan)
- How much money will you need to get rolling? Where will you get it?
One final bit of advice. Do NOT wait till everything’s perfect to start. Things are never perfect. And if they are, trust me, they won’t stay that way. So get your product or service into “good enough” shape, and start looking for customers. Worry about making it perfect later. Preferably after a few clients are giving you money.
Photo by Powi