Thank you to Guest Writer, Sharon Wagner.
Sharon Wagner uses her site Senior Friendly to offer advice geared specifically toward seniors to help them make healthier choices and enjoy their golden years.
Losing your job or seeing your business close can be two of the most devastating things that can happen to you. Your life and everything you’ve worked for up to that point can feel like it’s crumbling around you. It’s natural to grieve your loss and feel like giving up.
But don’t despair! A career setback is not the end of the world. It can actually start a new and exciting chapter in your life. If you take the time to learn from your previous mistakes and put in the hard work, you can start your own business and become even more successful than you were before. Our advisors are Business Advisor Alliance have provided a few ideas to get you started.
Grieve Your Loss
It’s important to give yourself time to grieve your loss. Whether you were laid off or your business failed, it’s a big deal, and you deserve to mourn. Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, and scared. It’s okay to cry or take a few days off from work to clear your head. Just don’t get stuck in this phase. Give yourself a timeline for grieving and start taking steps to move on after that.
Learn From Your Mistakes
One of the best ways to prevent a future career setback is to learn from your previous mistakes. If you were laid off, think about what you could have done differently to keep your job. If your business failed, what could you have changed to make it succeed?
You must be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your role in the setback. Once you’ve identified your mistakes, you can start taking steps to avoid them in the future.
Explore Business Ideas
You may want to launch a new company in an industry you’re familiar with or in an entirely new field. Consider your interests, experience, and skills, and research various business ideas to find something fulfilling and profitable. Here are a few to consider:
- Become a freelancer in your field of expertise.
- Create an online course or e-book.
- Launch an online store.
- Start a consulting business.
Come Up With a Plan
You can’t move on with your business idea without sitting down and coming up with a plan. What do you want your business to achieve? Who is your target market? How will you reach them?
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, you can start writing a business plan, which is among the most critical steps to start a new business. Among other details, your business plan should include your financial goals, marketing strategy, and operational plan.
Further, you’ll want to start putting together a team of people who can help make your dream a reality. This might include a business coach, accountant, lawyer, marketing consultant, or any other professional who can relieve pressure and spark new ideas.
Generally, the best way to receive adequate funding is through loans and other similar forms of borrowing. However, these financing options can be hard to obtain without an excellent credit score. Fortunately, there are still many ways to get funding even without perfect credit, such as crowdfunding campaigns or grants from supportive organizations.
Find the Right Software
Once you have your business established, it’s time to set some practices in place that will help you to run your business safely and efficiently. Accounting and invoicing software is a must for any business because everyone has to deal with finances. You can also benefit from social media scheduling tools and free online templates.
If you are a contractor, then there are some industry-specific tools you might want to explore. It is worth considering accounting software to help you simplify and expedite the invoicing process so that you get paid in a timely manner. Many of these programs are easy to use and are accessible through your smartphone or tablet, so you don’t have to wait until you’re back in the office to submit the billing information.
Network, Network, Network!
One of the most important things you can do when starting a business is to build your network. Talk to as many people as possible about your idea and get their feedback. If you’d like to polish your skills, check out our Networking for Success course.
You never know who might be able to help you get started or connect you with someone who can. You should also join relevant online communities and forums so you can learn from others who have already been through the process of starting businesses.
You should also use LinkedIn to network with other professionals who aren’t in your area. There are many ways you can utilize this professional social network – some are more obvious than others. If you’d like help learning how to maximize your LinkedIn experience, consider booking a one-on-one session with us or take the LinkedInLift online course with Adrienne Barker that includes 5 1:1 coaching sessions.
Build an Online Presence
These days, it’s imperative that businesses have an online presence if they want to succeed. Customers are more likely to buy from businesses they can easily find online, so be sure to create a professional website and populate it with high-quality content that attracts attention from search engines and potential customers alike. If you’d like help with your online presence, consider booking a one-on-one session with Sheila Slick or visit 5milestones.com to see her recent work. If you already have a website, Sheila can review your website and provide insights to increase your conversions and SEO to optimize your website and make it work for you. Schedule your session.
You should also create social media accounts for your business and interact with users regularly, according to Market Splash. And there are many online tools that can help you strategize and manage your social media presence.
Move Forward with a New Purpose
Starting your own business after a career setback may seem daunting, but it’s achievable if you’re willing to put in the hard work. By processing your grief, reflecting on your mistakes, developing a business plan, and networking both in person and online, you’ll be well on your way to making your dream a reality. Just remember to stay positive along the way!