With unemployment at an all time high, people – some for the first time – are finding themselves without a job.
This space to be home, think and re-evaluate career paths, is unprecedented and I predict a global shift in career trajectory. It certainly hasn’t been an easy transition, whether you started working remotely for the first time, if you’ve normally work from your quiet home office and now have a full house, or you simply lost your job and are just home – it’s been quite a shock for the majority of us.
So what do you do if you’ve taken this time to decide that you’d rather start a business than go back to a job?
I reached out to Amy Porterfield, online business and marketing expert, to get her tips on starting an online business for anyone who wants to transition from a job to business owner.
“Everyone has something that they can teach others. What are all of your friends, family, colleagues asking you to teach them or do for them? This is where you can start to brainstorm business ideas,” says Porterfield. “To go a bit deeper – what’s your 10% edge? What can you do better than most? Even if it’s only 10% better?”
Set a 2o minute timer and do a brainstorm. Nothing is off limits, so get as many ideas down as possible.
“When I worked in corporate, I asked my boss if I could do some projects in the marketing department. After that, I asked to work from home two days per week. From there, I went to working part time. It’s ok to take things slow when transitioning to entrepreneurship,” notes Porterfield.
If you still have a job and are working from home, you know how stressful it’s been to do so if your spouse is also now working from home and the kids are running around like wild animals. This may be the reason you’d like to start working for yourself, so you can work during hours that make more sense for you.
Start A Side Gig
If you don’t have substantial savings that you can live off of for six months or more, start with a side gig.
“The last thing you want to worry about is how you will pay the bills. Worrying about your livelihood will stunt your creativity and force you to take on projects that don’t align with what you really want to do,” warns Porterfield. “I tell my clients to start putting out their content and instead of trying to make money in the first six months, to focus on what your audience is responding to. That will inform you on your next money making steps.”
Focus On A Metric
“The energy of your business is directly tied to your email list. Email marketing is the most powerful tool you’ll have in your toolbox – so it’s the #1 metric I tell my clients to focus on. When your list is growing, you can be sure that you are also building trust and relationships,” Porterfield says.
Money is a great metric to track, obviously, but in the beginning, it’s a hard metric to base your success on because building a business takes time. Tracking your email list engagement is a great metric to track to see how well you are engaging with your potential customers.
Start Selling A Mini Training
“You don’t have to jump into selling a $ 2,000 course. Start small, prove your concept. Even an hour long training that you charge for will boost your confidence and allow you to track what’s working, what’s selling and improve,” notes Porterfield.
Selling something small when you are starting out will really help you to 1) know if you are on the right track with your offerings 2) give you crucial experience in selling your offer. Getting your first customers will teach you a lot.
Use Simple Tools
I see too many entrepreneurs buy up all the tools they can, hire developers and start building before they’ve even made a sale or tested the offer. This is a mistake. Your first step should be to build an audience and create value. This can be done with simple tools. You’ll start to get a feel for what your audience needs from there.
“Don’t go crazy in the beginning with all of the tools available on the market. A simple website and a way to capture emails is where you need to start. Create engaging content, invite people onto your list and start growing. This allows you to test the waters finding out what your growing audience responds to,” suggests Porterfield.
What’s Your Why
“Finally, get super clear about your ‘why’ – it’s the only way you’ll get through the hard days. Being in business for yourself is tough, knowing exactly why you are in the game will help you when you have a rough day,” reminds Porterfield.