Are you a Reluctant Halfpreneur? You’ve never wanted to start your own business. You like working for someone else. There are benefits, a stable paycheck, and people who you enjoy working with. Start your own business! No way!
Then …… Management changed and your position changed too, and not for the better. Perhaps you are a parent and you have lost the flexibility to come in early so you can leave early for your children’s sporting events. Or, the handwriting is on the wall – your job or your whole company is at risk and local opportunities for someone with your skill set are nil. Or you thought that your career was secure for the next 5, 10, 15 years, but now you are over 55 and out of work. The odds of finding another comparable position in your field are slim. Not impossible, but all the government and business statistics warn that it will take you much longer to find a job than it will for a 40 year old. Part-time at fast food service or retail sales is not what you have in mind when your unemployment compensation runs out.
If your experience does not immediately translate into something you can start your own business in and it is important to you that you work at something professional, with a potential for good pay, and offers the opportunity to interact with interesting people, where do you look for ideas. There are some career and life coaches that specialize in working with individuals in the position that you find yourself and be able to help you find your passion. Before going the coaching route, here are two more reasonably priced options.
Look over the catalogs for your local colleges, especially community colleges. Take a look at what is being offered in certificate programs and in their noncredit programs. These offerings will indicate what may be in demand in your community. You may want to earn a certificate or take a course or maybe you have the background to make the transition into this new field. Employment or self-employment in this new field may be possible.
Visit http://www.entrepreneurbookstore.com. They sell two types of books: kits to help you start your own business that generally cost $69 and start-up books that retail around $18 – $22. The kits have business forms and worksheets and walk you through the entire planning process. The start-up books have plenty of information about the business and how to start it, but not the forms. If you are exploring your possibilities, the books are helpful. I purchased one recently thinking that it represented an area I could expand my current business into. Well, I could go that route, but I discovered that there were many aspects of this new business venture that would not be a good fit with my current life style. I got some ideas I might use so it was $19.99 well spent.
Since Entrepreneur Press is the publisher (my only affiliation with Entrepreneur magazine is that I subscribe to it) many of the kits and start-up books are appropriate for those with a professional or administrative background. Title include: Public Relations, Event Planning, Consulting, Freight Brokerage, Tutoring and Test Preparation, Executive Recruiting, Staffing, Online education, Import- Export, Home Inspection, College Planning Consultant.
If more than one idea interests you, research it further – interview someone who does this type of work; research your local market; talk to the former executives who staff your local SCORE office or visit or agencies (at colleges, Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Bureau) that assist those starting new businesses. Can’t narrow down your choices – a career coach or Profiting from Your Passions coach can help. Need guidance in setting up a business – consider a new business coach.