If you are a stroke survivor and wondering what lies in your professional future, it might be worth considering self-employment or doing contract work. Freelancers or business owners have the opportunity to work from home, make their own hours, and choose who they deal with, but it’s not always easy – here’s what to consider before you make a decision.
Starting out you will need to create at least some presence on the internet. Perhaps you can start with a simple website or create a Google My Business listing. Also, you may want to consider a LinkedIn listing or a Facebook or Instagram presence. In each case, some effort will be required, and very possibly some learning to navigate these efforts.
Find Your First Client
The process of finding customers/clients is key to your momentum as a solo act. Clients are not only about revenue, they also provide you with references/reviews, networking opportunities, confidence in yourself, and, of course, practice. It’s important, then, that you find your first one fast.
As a freelancer of any kind, you’ll quickly discover the recommended notice boards and job sites are already saturated with like-minded entrepreneurs. To stand out, therefore, you’ll need to outwork and outthink the competition – this means cold-calling (this could mean directly contacting businesses you think could benefit from your services), advertising (this could be via PPC, social channels), and developing the assets that prove you have valuable skills (these could be websites, speculative portfolios or just examples of work in PDF format). It might even prove beneficial to seek advice from others in an experienced position in your industry. If you can think outside the box and put in the challenging work to impress, you’re sure to get the ball rolling quickly.
Starting a home-based business is no small feat, especially when you’re recovering from a significant medical event such as a stroke. But if you plan ahead, research well, and work strategically, there’s no reason why your next business venture can’t beat the odds.
The Stroke Recovery Foundation assists stroke survivors to maximize their recoveries and reduce the overall negative impact of this disease. The Foundation offers a Life Coaching for Stroke Survivors service to help guide issues and opportunities as is presented in this article. Learn more, at: www.strokerecoveryfoundation.org
Although self-employment can be liberating and convenient, it’s not for everyone. If you struggle with self-motivation, handling rejection, or remaining patient, you may find the experience (especially the first few years) to be a challenge. In the absence of coworkers or the infrastructure of a normal office, freelancers and small business owners do much of the administration, sales, and account management themselves. This may require more time and certainly more independence than you would otherwise sink into a typical 9-5 job.
An effective way to check if you’re cut out for a life of self-employment is to first try working part-time. If you are in full-time employment, you might want to dedicate weekends to pursuing a side hustle – this will allow you to gauge the temperature of the market, and learn more about your own ability to function without a company framework.
Know Your Business
What are you good at? In what fields have you had experience in? Do you want to pursue any of these fields or try something different? These are the kinds of questions to ask yourself.
Another key consideration, before you commit to any concrete plans, is the business viability of your proposed venture. Is the market already saturated? Would you be able to edge out the competition? Ideally, you want to explore the viability of a business proposition before you invest any time or serious energy in it. This means carrying out plenty of market research and competitor analysis. To conduct these analyses, you may want to utilize some of the free tools that Google offers such as Google Trends and several other free Google Tools. Certainly, at least some business acumen is a requirement to succeed as a sole trader or small business owner. If what you are contemplating is out of your areas of expertise, fortunately, you can remotely pursue educational qualifications in fields like management, leadership, or marketing.
Your other key consideration relates to the financial viability of self-employment. You need to make sure that you have enough personal funds to support your endeavors. Some experts believe a typical micro business requires at least $3,000 to start. It’s worth taking time to map out a business plan and calculate any anticipated expenses ahead of time. Even better if you can secure clients before making any permanent decisions.
About the Author: Andrea Needham
Andrea is quickly approaching her 60th birthday, but its arrival isn’t slowing her down. In fact, Andrea is continuing to see and experience new things and wants other older adults and seniors to adopt the same practice for golden years that truly are golden.
When Andrea isn’t busy writing, she enjoys going for runs with her dog Toby, kayaking, and making new memories with her grandchildren. Self-care and rest are extremely important for older adults and seniors too, so Andrea makes time for reading and time spent painting on her patio.
Andrea created Elders Day to remind everyone that getting older isn’t synonymous with slowing down. Everyone has their own pace, but age shouldn’t be what stops you from fulfilling dreams, goals, and desires.