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Is Being Self-Employed the Dream? Follow These Tips to Help Encourage Success

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Do you want to work for yourself? It may seem intimidating, but you can make it happen if you follow the tips we offer below.

1. Making the Decision

One of the most challenging decisions is deciding to take the leap. Like many people, you have a regular job with a stable income and benefits. Yet, for some reason, you’re dissatisfied with working for someone else.

It can be intimidating to submit your resignation. Remember, most of us dream about being self-employed, but only ¼ or less ever do it.

To increase your chances of success, it helps to build up three to six months of living expenses before striking out on your own. After all, business might be slow at first, so having some cash in the bank will ensure the mortgage and car payments are covered.

2. Select A Niche

So, you’ve decided to be self-employed – that’s a good start. But while Amazon and Google can afford to sell almost anything, you’ll need to specialize.

What are you good at? What service or product do you want to provide? For example, let’s say you have been an auto mechanic for 20 years. You have most of your tools and a truck, but you’re tired of unreasonable bosses and work hours.

So you decide to work for yourself as a mobile mechanic. You might be able to handle all makes and models, but perhaps you have more experience with Hondas and Toyotas than anything else.

Those are top-rated vehicles, so consider focusing on Honda and Toyota cars and SUVs to start.

Or, perhaps you have worked as a grocery store or produce manager for years. Now, you’d like to start your own produce business with your own walk-in refrigerator to store the perishables.

Perhaps you can focus your business on specific types of fruit or even make fruit baskets people can send instead of flowers.

If you choose to work with perishables in your business, always remember to keep your refrigerator or freezer in good repair. The last thing your new business needs is to have critical equipment breaking down.

3. Set Business Goals

You will put a lot of work into your new company. So how can you tell if what you’re doing is worth the time? Should you keep going in that direction, or should you try something else?

The thing about working for yourself is it’s not just about having a product or service. You need to attract clients and customers regularly to turn your offering into a stable income.

Becoming self-employed and simply hoping it works out rarely leads to success. Instead, set goals for your first quarter and first year so you can track your progress.

For example, if you decide to become a property manager, you will need to manage a certain number of properties to keep a roof over your head. If the typical monthly rent for homes in your area is $1500 per month, you will make about $150 per unit you manage.

Perhaps your goal for the first year is to make $75,000. So you will need to have about 40 to 45 homes at $1500 under management to meet your goal for the year. That means you need to add about four units under management per month.

Maybe that’s too optimistic, and that’s fine. But setting specific goals on paper will help keep your business on track.

Becoming self-employed is exciting, and if you follow these steps, you’re sure to become successful and profitable.

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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