Suddenly, you find yourself without a job and you’re in a panic. You don’t have enough to live on, you’re too young to retire, and you don’t have a large nest egg to fall back on.
What can you do? Let’s look at the options.
- Apply for unemployment insurance and look for another job.
- Take any job even below your skill level.
- Start your own business
Apply for unemployment benefits and look for a new job
Taking unemployment benefits will provide you with income while you look for another job. If your skills are in strong demand, finding a new job may not take long. However, considering the number of unemployed and underemployed workers there are currently, and new layoffs being reported weekly, you may struggle to find an equivalent job.
Take a job you may be overqualified for
If you can’t find anything within your level of expertise, you may feel that taking a job even if it doesn’t pay what you were making, will give you a stable paycheck. While this will give you some security and money to pay bills, it may not be fulfilling and may not be a long term solution. You can continue looking for a job equal to the one you left or move on to the next possible solution -start your own business.
Start your own business
This is the solution I feel is the most valuable and I will discuss it at length here. I believe that we need to stop working for someone else and control our own life and income. The normal wisdom and what we’re told from elementary school is to get a good education, find a corporate job and you’ll be secure — but it’s just a myth. Freedom and real wealth come from owning a business. And even if you find another job, how secure will you be? I’ve written about 6 compelling reasons to start a business even if you are employed.
You may feel that you have no choice. You can’t start your own business because you need an income right now, and you don’t have time or capital to invest in a business.
I want to show you that’s not true, there are so many options, and examples of people who started side-hustles and turned them into a significant income. Many of these people found things they were good at, discovered a need in the market, or put a different spin on something ordinary.
I’ve provided several posts, here and here full of creative examples that prove your idea doesn’t need to be elaborate, expensive or radical. These businesses are all simple, but executed well and brought to another level. And they don’t take years to provide cashflow. Even if none of them appeal to you. they should inspire you to look at possibilities differently and get creative.
Stay solvent as you start your business
The challenge is to pay your bills until you start generating revenue. First, look at your expenses. Cut back on every non-essential expenditure. Eliminating the costs of commuting, buying your lunch every day, and a fancy coffee will help reduce your cash flow.
Next account for all your income and available cash.
- Do you have savings?
- Do you have a spouse or significant other who can pay the bills?
- Did you get a payout from your old employer when you were terminated?
- Can you use credit cards to tide you over?
- Will friends or family lend you money?
Once you calculate the difference between what money you have available and your rock bottom expenses, you can determine what income you absolutely need to be whole. Let’s say you have monthly expenses of $3500. but you can only scrape up $1000, for the next few months. You need to make $2500 after taxes as long as you have the $1000. available. Let’s look at how you can get there.
There are three main ways to be self-employed:
- Provide a service
- Sell a product
- Create a website/blog to monetize.
1-Provide a service
Look for a service that interests you and you have the knowledge to provide. For instance, maybe you want to sell carpentry services, accounting, writing, dog walking, house sitting, graphic design, delivery and transportation, social media ads, become a freelancer, and many other possibilities.
Services are in demand. In our busy and over-committed world, people look to service providers to do the things they can’t do themselves, which opens up a lot of opportunities. Service opportunities exist in all areas, business, personal, home, children, and events. Here are 105 service business ideas. The key here is that the costs of entry are low and the service is in demand. You’ll need to market yourself and get hired for this service to start generating an income.
2-Sell a product
An e-commerce store is a popular business to start. You can offer something you make yourself, merchandise that you buy wholesale and resell retail or an item you create and have manufactured for you. You can sell them through Amazon, eBay, or a store you set-up on your website, with a service like Shopify or WooCommerce.
Drop-shipping is an easy way to get into business quickly. Its low risk and low cost. Profit margins will vary greatly depending on the products you sell and the competition around those products. The key to success is to find the right products and drive traffic to your store. This is how drop-shipping works. You find the items you want to sell. Once buyers make a purchase you forward the order to the supplier. The supplier ships it to your customer, you never have to take possession of the inventory and you don’t have to pay for the products until you get paid from the purchaser.
Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? It is attractive, but there are some things you need to know as explained in this definitive guide.
3-Create an online business and monetize
An online business can be a source of passive income. With your website, you can reach people worldwide. Here you’ll be producing content, such as blog posts, online courses, self-publishing books, software, art and photos, offering membership or affiliate products, and an endless list of digital products.
An important part of creating content for your blog/business is to have a topic that you specialize in and want to be known for. Pick a niche that interests you. Produce quality information that is worthy of sharing. It will help you rank for your topic, and get potential customers to your website. In addition to your site, you can market digital products on Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and other specialty marketplaces.
Of the three self-employed models, this may take the longest to develop. Writing content, courses, and books are time-consuming and not a fast entry in business when you’re unemployed and need to earn an income quickly. However, passive income is highly sought after and what creates financial independence and lifestyle freedom
Getting clients (aka Marketing)
Whether you’re selling a service, getting customers to buy your products, or producing digital products to sell, you need interested customers to buy your products and services. There are many channels, such as email and direct mail, advertising, social media, networking and you need to pick the ones that will work best with your customers.
Marketing is a key part of having a successful business. Spend time developing a strategy for how you will attract attention. I recommend you follow the simple process in this excellent book The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out From the Crowd by Alan Dib.
We started this article by saying that you may suddenly find yourself unemployed and not know what to do. It was my goal to show you that you have good options to create your own business and live without needing a job. I have linked to several lists of service businesses you can start easily, the drop-shipping model that can be set up quickly, and a passive income model.
It is my hope you will realize that starting a business is not that difficult, and there are many opportunities to grow into a venture that can set you free from dependency on a job.
If you want to have one-to-one help, I offer strategy sessions. Please contact me at Yvonne@createincomeindependence.com and we can set up a time to talk.
The Solo Entrepreneur’s Guide
My goal is to provide you with valuable information to start, build, and grow a successful business. Sometimes there are a lot of moving pieces, so we sort through the best information available and offer unbiased and unaffiliated content. We put it all together for you in The Solo Entrepreneur’s Guide. a free monthly publication. To get more of this relevant information, sign-up here. The Solo Entrepreneur’s Guide.
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Published by CII © 2019