Just Laid Off And Want To Start My Own Business. Where Do I Begin?

by MikeAmerican. Posted on Sep 09, 2020    14    22

It's Labor Day Weekend and, ironically (maybe serendipitous), I was laid off last week. A bunch of us were let go due to "restructuring." So after almost 20 years working for others, I'm considering starting my own business!

However, I have no idea where to start or how to begin. Are there any good sources or recommended reading for first time entrepreneurs? Maybe an older thread on this subreddit with general advice?

Any help is appreciated! Thank you!


Serenitynow-2302 1

I'm doing Sam Overs Consulting Accelerator. It's fantastic and you can kick the tires for a couple weeks and see if it's speaks to you. Plz DM is you have any questions. Best program I've seen to get from zero to up and running in a practical way.


(my referral link, but feel free to go directly to his site. it's a fantastic program for very little money.)

kippypapa 1

You should take some time to get your head right. Don't jump right into anything. Really do some research and soul-searching. Take at least a week off to do nothing - no getting caught up on paperwork, no job-searching, no plotting or planning. You need to clear your head and let go of the shit jobs do to your mind over the years.

I'm working on a list of things that every entrepreneurial idea I have must be. Here's what I have so far.

- I know how to do it. I don't need to be an expert. Just need some knowledge of what I'm trying to do. I do data analysis, know marketing, can code, but I'm not a mechanic so opening a mechanic shop is probably a bridge too far. One of my new ventures is in the carpet cleaning space - I've definitely cleaned carpets before but never as a job or anything. I know the basics, can figure out the rest.

- Can I market it? Not can it be marketed, but is it something I know the market well enough for or can I learn about it. Years ago as a sideline, I tried selling cable TV subscriptions. I had no idea how to find customers. I failed.

- How much investment? Time is also a resource. If it takes years to do before you can start earning money, then it's not a good idea.

- Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Will it be profitable or is it just speculation. Many tech startups are mere speculation. If your idea is "that's a cool idea" it's usually in the speculative area, and probably not a good thing to pursue.

- It's the one thing I know how to do. This one is nuanced as it contradicts the first item. I see a lot of entrepreneurs trying to pitch as a business something that really isn't simply because it's the only thing of value they can offer. Perfect example is someone who can cook thinks they should start a restaurant. See it in tech too. A programmer thinks they can program up a business. They can program up good software, but it doesn't mean that it can become a business.

- It's what you do for a job. Related to the last one. Some things only work in a corporate setting. Sure, there are freelance HR consultants out there, but usually you have to work for a company as an HR person. Your business may not draw on any skills from your 9-5, and that's totally ok. Think like this, if every company went away, does what I offer still matter to anyone? Skills like corporate finance, HR, data analysis, a lot of marketing doesn't matter as much in that scenario. Would people still need their cars washed? Yes. Would they still want internet access. Yes, even though there wouldn't be much to do, but yes.

-Immediate yes. Anything where you have to do a lot of market education is a non-starter. Think of the things you buy that are an automatic yes. And then imagine your offering having that power. If customers can evaluate you as being competent within 5 seconds and you fill a need, then it's a good idea. Believe it or not, childcare is one of these. Parents talk to a daycare for 30 minutes and leave their progeny to strangers for 40 hours a week for years.

- Evaluation of quality. In academic terms, this is called post-purchase evaluation. It really means that once the transaction is complete, is the customer able to easily evaluate whether it met their needs or not. If you want your house cleaned, a maid shows up and 2 hours later it's clean - easy to evaluate. Now, take a look at a bunch of these fancy AI/ML companies. Train a model for months and hopefully in a year your organic search might be better. Hard to evaluate whether it worked or not. Or CBD is another example. What's it supposed to do? Make you feel calm, energized, anti-inflamed? Nobody knows. How can you evaluate its effectiveness?

Hope this helps.

  MikeAmerican 2

Thank so much! Very helpful.

warning_globe 1

Unpopular opinion from someone who did this before.. it is a bad idea unless you are totally and I mean utterly out of options. And you can start something with low risk

But if the above doesn't apply and you can try to find more work doing anything else.. don't do it. Do that first. And then do the business with the money and liquidity saved up.

tempecreekvineyard 1

if you dont have an idea your passionate about its going to be hard. it would be better to put your money in an index fund.

Upstairs-Ad8793 1

Start something you are familiar with is my recommendation. That gives you an edge on the competition.

Also start something where you have the most connections or can establish more in.

saaasaab 1

Start something designed around your strengths. If you don't have any strengths, ikd, volunteer somewhere looking for problems to solve or maybe its not time yet.

Honestly, no one if going to give you a million dollar idea. You'll need to find it yourself then gave the guts to execute on your idea.

brandontrefonas 1

There are a bunch of good points in here. I'll summarise those and mine here;

  • What experience do you have (industry, product, verticle)?
  • Do you have savings set up for the business, or are you planning to bootstrap?
  • How quickly are you looking to set up a business and start generating revenue?
    • What is holding you back from doing this now? product development, etc.?
  • What are your interests?

    I advise a lot of startups with my 9-5, and am happy to help. Post-COVID world needs to recover and small businesses are the best way for me to contribute.
kevbot_robot 1

Try this post from a while ago about finding a profitable niche.

MikeyonPC 2

STOP!!!! Before you do absolutely anything, read "Before You Quit Your Job" by Robert Kiyosaki, I see you have already lost your job, but no matter how good of an idea or product you think you may have it will never hit market if you don't have the right skillset & mindset.

An example as to what the book will go over, ask yourself "am I an expert in sales?" If you're thinking about it or it's a flat no, don't think about becoming an entrepreneur just yet, why do I stress this point? Because one thing you'll clearly learn from entrepreneurs who are successful is that "sales is the number one skill of an entrepreneur"

If you're not a big reader, then get a free month trial with audible and make that your first book!

deeznutz247365 2

Nobody knows how to start a business not any self help guru, nobody knows.

Seedpound 2

Do you have money saved up ? What is your profession ?

umyong 3

I got laid off the last recession over 10 years ago and startedy business. Here is what I learned. I need to go where customers are. I started a consulting business with my corporate experience and technical skills but didn't have relationships in the market so it was hard getting clients.

I also started doing computer training and trouble shooting for the elderly and that was a gold mine but I thought I needed to stay with the consulting so I was myopic on what I focused on vs looking at where the money was coming from.

Right now home school support and tutoring are probably very high demand. Also more basic services like covid cleaning is in demand especially at healthcare facilities like small doctor offices.

Would love to hear a follow-up and how your doing!

kippypapa 3

Whoa, almost the same life story. I was also laid off and started tutoring older people on how to use social media. Made money, but tried to keep going back to corporate America because I wanted a steady paycheck. It never worked out. It's 10 years on and finally realized that corporate/serious business world and me don't match. Going back into the helping individuals business and couldn't be happier. I sometimes wish I had just stuck with helping old people with computers.

umyong 1

Yeah I know.. I even had super cheap advertising in an over 55 newspaper that was local... That was a good lesson learned..

Jamothee 3

I've just recently discovered this. Corporate life and me do not mix (after 10 years of trying to make it work). I have avoided going back and I know why. I'm in the process of looking at a few different business ideas so I never have to go back.

kippypapa 2

Yeah. I think it’s set up as some sort of achievement especially over the last 10 years. Like they only hire geniuses at big companies and you’re an idiot if you can’t pass through all the bullshit. It’s full of people who can’t make a living any other way so there’s a lot of politics from people who are desperate to hang on. It sucks all around. I’m willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid 40 hours at a corporation.

cmshosting 3

What experience do you have? What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you have? What did you do for almost 20 years?

akshshr 3

There are several podcasts over there, there are books for entrepreneurs, courses in Business Management, but most importantly, you don't start a business "cause you want to", you start a business cause you wanna provide a service/product/software/hardware that does something. Find out what that something is, find out what you will need to make that something, find out the time and investment needed, then double that time you calculated and 1.5x the investment you calculated, now you have something!

azwildcat74 3

Do you have a specific business idea in mind? Would certainly help to give more pointed advice.

travk534 1

Get onto r/thesidehustle for guidance