Career Setback or Entrepreneurship Opportunity?

Whether you’ve been passed over for a deserved promotion, laid off after a major merger, or simply can’t face the idea of working for someone else anymore, a career setback can present the perfect opportunity to finally parlay a passion into a plan to start your own business.

Think It Through

That’s not to say you should dive in without plenty of preparation. Ideally, your bank balance can withstand any professional pothole you’ve encountered because you have an emergency fund that covers three to six months of your living expenses. You should also have your debt in check, especially when it comes to credit card balances and other high-interest loans. If you don’t, take a look at your current budget to see how you can cut costs. Focus on devoting dollars to debt repayment and savings accounts before you turn in your resignation letter or decide to leap straight from a layoff into entrepreneurship.

Once you’ve got your personal finances in line, Entrepreneur magazine suggests asking yourself some important questions about whether you’re ready to be your own boss, what kind of business you want to start, how much you can afford to spend to get the venture off the ground and what type of lifestyle you’d like to live overall.

If you’ve already got a successful side gig or lucrative hobby you love, you may know exactly what type of business you plan to launch. You may also have a pretty fair idea about how much demand there is for the service or product you provide. Perhaps your passion project will also involve an element of social entrepreneurship that will allow you to make a profit while contributing to the community. For example, maybe your dog walking business will offer free services to animal lovers experiencing medical problems that make caring for their canine difficult. The same idea could also apply to a house-sitting service that provides discounts or complimentary care for pets and property while clients are in the hospital.

Pen a Plan — and Put It Into Action

If you’ve got a product or service concept that you’re excited about and the need for it is supported by solid market research, one of the next steps to turning your concept into a company is crafting a business plan. Putting a plan in writing will help you solidify ideas and possibly secure funding.

Funding sources might include everything from your own savings account to a successful crowdfunding campaign. But, no matter how you back your business financially, you should get all the legal matters out of the way first so you don’t have to worry about anyone appropriating your ideas or roping you into an unfair business partnership, among other unforeseen possibilities.

The size of the seed fund you need can vary widely depending on the type of business you start. And a growing number of site and sources support what’s known as the “gig economy,” which can be generally defined as a framework where workers are hired, often through digital marketplaces, to work on demand, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That might even mean you pick up paychecks for providing a variety of services, everything from acting as a rideshare driver to working as a virtual assistant, for instance.

Other sites, including Etsy and Handmade at Amazon allow creative entrepreneurs to market their wares without a brick-and-mortar location. Many such digital marketplaces offer free or low-cost memberships so you can start selling your products or services almost immediately with a minimal overhead investment.

No matter what kind of business you start, you should be prepared to work hard, hustle for new business, mindfully market your products or services and expand your offerings to new clients while retaining existing customers if you want your business to flourish. If you’re able to accomplish all that, you could transform a career setback into a startup success story.

Author: Larry created to help give people the mental workout they need to have a healthy brain.