RSS Feed

‘Business’ Category

  1. Is Starting Your Own Business The Answer To Being Unemployed? – A Guest Post

    June 24, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Today I was happy to bring a post that talks about starting your own business. This is packed with great information and each point could be a post of its own, but it’s a great overview on what to expect when starting your own business. Special thank you to Ericka for providing this post for my readers.

    After putting all of your time and energy into your job, getting fired can be a blow to the gut. While getting canned may feel like the end of the world, it might be the kick in the pants you need to turn your lifelong passion into an entrepreneurial opportunity.

    Being self-employed will certainly fix your problem of being jobless, and you never have to worry about getting “pink slipped” again.

    Financing Your Business

    The biggest issue with entrepreneurship is the startup cost. Many people abandon the idea because they feel they can’t afford to take the risk. Keeping your business a one-person operation can keep your costs relatively low. If you transfer skills from your former job, you won’t have to come up with money to pay for basic equipment or training.

    Also, consider purchasing second hand equipment to get you started. As your profits grow, reinvest it back into the business to purchase better equipment. If you don’t have the extra capital to buy everything you need, consider selling some personal belongings you don’t need.
    Since most businesses are not profitable in the beginning, you might not want to use every dime of your savings to finance your venture. If possible, keep at least six months worth of living expenses stashed away. If you received severance pay from your previous employer, consider tucking it away so you don’t end up living under an overpass while your business grows.

    Choosing a Workspace

    You will likely spend more than half of your days working in your office. So the space you choose needs to be comfortable. If you do decide to rent an office away from home, you might want to consider:

    • the location of the space

    • whether or not it will allow your business room to expand

    • the kind of amenities nearby

    • whether or not the Internet connection is up to par

    • whether the space is the right fit for your working style

    In order to save money, a lot of small business owners opt to set up a workspace in their homes. If you go this route and your chosen business will require you to meet with clients, consider renting a virtual office. A virtual office is less expensive than a traditional office space and it will give you a professional mailing address and a professional place to meet with your clients.

    Hiring Employees

    When you first start your business, you will probably be doing all the work yourself. However, as your business gains steam, you may need to hire employees to help. Since high turnover can result in high costs, you want to do your best to hire quality employees. These tips can help.

    • Consult an attorney. You don’t want to inadvertently violate the legal rules of hiring workers for your business

    • Be detailed in your employment ad. You will narrow down the flux of unqualified applicants by being specific about the kind of workers you want

    • Weed through resumes carefully. Sort the resumes into two stacks – “Possibly” and “Heck no.” Toss the resumes that land in the “Heck no” pile in the trash. Go back through the “Possibly” pile to choose your final applicants.

    • Prepare for interviews. Put together a list of open ended questions for your interviewees to answer. The list should contain standard interview questions, as well as some additional questions of your own.

    • Check all references. This will give you a well rounded view of the type of employees you are considering hiring.

    Getting the Word Out

    In order to be profitable, you have to let people know that you’re out there. After you have chosen the kind of business you want to start, choose and research your target market. Once you’ve done all of your research, it’s time to launch your marketing campaign.

    Here are some ideas that may help:

    • start a business website and blog

    • print small ads on postcards and mail them to prospective clients

    • host an open house or seminar

    • send out brochures

    • use content marketing

    • start an email marketing campaign

    • research your competitors to see what they are doing

    • pass out flyers

    • use referral networks

    • cold call

    • use social media

    For ideas that involve sending something physical to prospective clients, it would be worthwhile investing in brand protection in order to avoid any fraudulent activity and ruining your businesses reputation. Make sure you are careful with anything you do within your business.

    No single marketing tactic works every time, so rotate your methods and try different approaches to find what works best. Also, it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to draw in new ones. Reach out to existing customers and keep them coming back by giving immaculate customer service and offering special promotions via newsletters, email and direct mail.

    About the Author: Ericka B is a business coach who loves helping business owners improve in a number of aspects. In her spare time she loves to write; she often writes about business related topics.


  2. Blogging and Real Life Demands – A Writing Prompt

    May 27, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Balance

    See? This is real balance

    In an effort to expand my reach on this blog, I decided to respond to the writing prompt from the community “Trash Can Bloggers.”

    They ask:

    What is your top organizational strategies for staying on task while blogging?

    Uh, organizing?

    Well, for me, I end up making a choice as far as what I can give to my blog. I probably don’t do enough self promotion on various social networking sites. I do write down my ideas when they come along in hopes that they actually end up on my blog.

    So the better question is how can I better handle my blog and real life?

    Well, I didn’t want to make a big announcement but I ended up quitting a ghostwriting job I had since November. I learned from this is that when you are asking something from someone – especially when there is potential money involved – you better have all your ducks in a row. Why? Well, it’s because the other person will be sure to bring out the laundry list of flaws they have kept about you. You know – those things we usually ignore about someone until it’s time to throw it in their face. I am a believer in addressing things as they come, not using things as ammunition when it’s necessary.

    What’s next? Well, I contacted a few people who didn’t pay as well at the time, but I enjoyed writing for them more than when I was a ghostwriter. If luck is in my favor, they will bring me back on. For one in particular, I asked about increasing the rate. If my luck is not in my favor, then neither one will have a spot for me.

    If that does happen, I am trying to find more sponsored opportunities for my blog (my other one under my real name) and maybe I will get lucky and get a response from a writing job I did have.

    So, back to handling blogging and real life better –

    Know my limits. I need to address the struggles you have a lot sooner and to not let it build because it’s only going to go downhill from there and it will not end right.

    Also, I want to commit a little bit more to this blog. We’ll see how it goes money wise and bringing in the extra income I need. I do have a few things up my sleeve for this blog.

    Now it’s your turn – how do you balance real life and blogging demands? 


  3. The Dog-Eat-Dog World of Setting Rates for Freelance Work

    May 19, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    The past few weeks I’ve been making an active effort to pursue freelance work. Mostly, because I am not getting paid enough at work to get by.

    The past two weeks I’ve also come across rudeness, high demand, and expectations for free work. I’ve received rude emails demanding I work for free and another email demanding I lower my rate because all I write are “puff” pieces and how dare I charge so much just being the kind of writer I am?

    The professionals I’ve come across makes me realize how important it is to educate myself on the freelance world, gain confidence in my work, and stick to my principles on rate. Figuring out what to charge is my biggest hurdle. I either charge too low or I’m charging too high.

    So I went in search of some online advice and decided to share what I found –

    Popular (but bad) Freelancing Advice You Should Ignore

    How to Price Your Services as a Freelance Writer (I found the comment section to be of most interest to me)

    The Complete Guide to Setting and Negotiating Freelance Rates

    Do you have any advice on breaking out into the freelance world?


  4. Protected: I Don’t Like Insult Humor at Work

    May 3, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


  5. Is There a Bias Against the Long Term Unemployed?

    March 9, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Help wanted sign

    February of 2012, a week before Valentine’s Day to be exact, I got laid off. This was a month after my older brother lost his job at a company that got bought out (therefore, everyone at the corporate office lost their job).

    In August of 2012, only 6 months unemployed (the longest I’ve ever been out of work, to be honest), I found a job. It’s a job I’ve struggled with, but it was a job.

    And according to an article I found on the Daily Beast, that’s all that matters these days to future employers. The Daily Beast goes onto explain that those who are unemployed for the long term don’t find their way back to work as easy as those who find a job a lot quicker.

    This left me to wonder – is there a bias against the long term unemployed?

    My brother has not found a job yet and it has now been over a year. I’m not sure what to say and while my blog has talked a lot about job searching, working through office politics, and the ups and downs of job searching and networking – my brother’s unemployment is a subject I’ve avoided talking about. Mostly because I’m worried – and a little scared – for him. Weeks have gone by without calls. Employers who have interviewed him – and even if the interview has gone well – never call him back.

    Some time last year I was on Google Plus, and I found someone’s post that had been forwarded along to hundreds. She had requested that her profile be passed along to everyone that we knew. She said she would move anywhere and do anything as long as she could have a job. She had been unemployed over a year as well.

    NYC Council has also just this past month banned the bias against the unemployed that was happening in their city.

    Business Week is also talking about the subject. Those who have been out longer than 6 months are not getting responses to their resume. And apparently, it isn’t even illegal to look at employment status when considering a resume.

    My brother is not the only one facing this bias. Neither is this woman I saw online.

    Something is wrong with our society that employers don’t want to hire someone just because they are out of work.

    Here is one idea that I have – money talks, right? So, how about giving a tax benefit or something to employers who hire the unemployed. (Apparently, I googled this idea and the American Jobs Act matched my requested. Yet, for some reason it got shot down).

    But I’m open to ideas. I know a lot of us are. But the status quo is not acceptable.

    At least, it shouldn’t be.

    What do you think? Is there a bias against the unemployed? Do you have first hand experience with this bias?


  6. Companies I Wish Existed

    March 3, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    The Halloween Spirit

     

    There are a few companies I’ve googled for that I am certain do not exist. However, I wish they did exist.

    If you happen to decide to launch any of these companies, let me know and I’ll support you any way that I know how.

    1)  Job placement agencies for people out of state.

    I mean this – job placement agencies exclusive for people who want to move out of state. I have searched for this and I’ve had experience with contacting placement agencies who aren’t in the state I’m in and most say, “Please contact us once you have found residence here.” I know it’s a reasonable thing to say – how do they know this out of state person will be available for an interview on Wednesday?  I don’t know exactly, but this is what I want to exist.

    2) Trade your life with someone else.

    What I imagine for this is a multiple location office across the United States where people register their lives – list their occupation, their housing arrangement, their annual income, etc. and eventually get matched up with someone who has similar lifestyle characteristics. When a match is made, they switch lives. Each take the other person’s job, their home is swapped, all of it. And the switch is permanent if both agree after 30 days.

    3) Adult Day Camp.

    This is actually a business I’ve wished I could start myself. Yet I have neither the money nor the resources. Anyways, I believe that as adults we have neglected our creative selves. Most adults do not actively interact with their inner creative spirit. Somewhere between finger painting and required art classes in college we got lost along the way. I’m a creative writer and I’m not published yet, but I have no shame in admitting I hope to get published one day. This is further ahead than a lot of grownups I know. Most can’t even imagine doodling for fun.  I want to share my creative energy with my fellow grownups and I can imagine having a blast with this.  If there happens to be this type of business out there, let me know, because I want to apply for a job.

    4)  Deliver anything – one hour or less.

    Literally anything. Holy crap – I need tampons. Or I don’t have coffee for the morning! Or damn it – I need some beer. I want a delivery service I can call that will deliver anything to me in an hour. Or heck, even two hours would be okay. Yes, this appeals to my inner lazy person, but I’m okay with that. Some days I just don’t want to leave the house and services like this would make me happy.

    Okay, I know it’s terrible to leave a list with only four points, but these are four businesses I wish would exist.

    Are there any businesses that you wish existed? What are they?