Reinventing Yourself in the New Economy
Job hunting has been really tough since 2008. Instead of waiting for a job to open why not turn your crochet hobby into a business?
I started selling on Etsy in 2007. When I stopped working in November of 2007 little did I know difficult times were coming. My husband lost his job at the end of 2008 so we had to think up alternative ways to pay the bills. Eventually I started designing and selling patterns which morphed into teaching classes locally.
How has job hunting been going for you? If you, like many people since 2008 have yet to find a job, even a minimum wage job, maybe you should start looking elsewhere. The Internet has opened up a whole New World of job opportunities.
You may ask how you can work on the Internet when you do not have a steady income? (see $30/month business) I write articles on revenue sharing sites like Squidoo and Hubpages which help pay for hosting and other business related expenses. If the market is not hiring than you need to make your own market.
First, you can market yourself to your future employer as a telecommuter thus saving them costs. Second, you can figure out an alternative way to do your previous job online. Third, you may even try living your dream by doing something that actually interests you – crocheting.
How to Start:
Start out by finding out what you are passionate about. What do you find yourself doing without anyone nagging you to do it? Do you enjoy designing patterns or teaching others to crochet? Sure, it is a hobby to you now but you can easily turn it into an income-producing job.
What about your crocheting do you love? Do you enjoy the completed project, the work, the problem solving involved or do you enjoy showing someone else how to do it? Whatever it is keep this in mind when planning your next step.
Most businesses start out with some form of capital but since you are now unemployed and banks are not lending now; you are going to have to get creative with your funding sources. (See Hook to Heal crowd sourcing) You could ask family and friends to invest but know that businesses usually divide not unite family and friends.
Reading on your interest at the library is very useful. (See Top 3 Crafty Biz Book Recommendations) What have successful people done? Can you intern with someone to get hands-on training? Is there a business mentor group you can join?
Learn about your local and state laws about small and home business. Spend some time taking the free online courses at www.sba.gov. They have courses in starting a business, managing a business, and financing a business, contracting as well as stories from those who have opened their own businesses.
Instead of seeking out interviews where you know you will hit a dead-end try interviewing those who are doing what you want to do. For instance if you like selling on etsy interview someone who owns their own shop. (See Noadi Interivew) How did they get started? Ask questions, get ideas, study them and their business. You do not want to copy them but you do want to know what works for them and tweak it to help you in your own business.
You might think that you do not need a business plan if you do not get a business loan but that is not true. Starting a business is serious and the best way to start is by knowing your target market.
How will you advertise your business? Where will you be 2 years from now, 5 years, 10 years? If you have trouble with this visit the S.C.O.R.E. organization in your local area. This is a free resource provided by successful businessmen and women who will mentor you through your business journey. You can find out more about them at your local Small Business Association.
Finding a new job will take a lot of time and effort on your part. Making your own path will take more. Be determined and well equipped with the right knowledge and resources and you will be well on your way to owning and operating your own business.