Divorce brings changes into one’s life with the opportunity to embark on a new career path.
You may decide to train for a different field which you are passionate about.
Plenty of people have opened cafes, boutiques or became entrepreneurs. The trick is not to jump into starting a business without doing the groundwork first, no matter how exciting your idea is.
- Do market research to see how feasible your idea is and to determine your target group of consumers. Some hire a professional to analyse the competition and if the product will fulfil a need. They will look at demographics and suggest a location if it is to have a physical place. Make sure you found a niche or are presenting something in a unique way, whether online or not. For example, if you dream of making cakes and the result of a market analysis shows there are already two shops selling them, do it differently. Perhaps produce luscious cupcakes and traditional European cookies in a coffee house setting for better sales.
- Write a detailed business plan. This includes determining the cost of each unit, where it will be made and logistics, such as the shipping from a factory. Will you make a product yourself or hire staff? Think about web site design, start-up costs, how you plan to market it and cover all aspects of your business. Globally there are charities which help budding entrepreneurs write a business plan or mentor when getting started with a business. There are templates online to help one with this task. Banks will need to examine your business plan to decide whether to give a loan. Will you be selling online exclusively or is there a possibility of wanting a store?
- Sort out your financial situation. Can you cover the start-up yourself or with loans from friends and family? Will you try to get funding such as with Go Fund Me or Crowdfunding? Some charities make small loans when banks will not do so. You may want to keep you day job or at least go part time until some money starts trickling in. Talk to or hire an accountant. Start cutting your living expenses now.
There are special considerations when going into business with a friend. Sometimes a Type A and Type B may not get on well.
In one case two teachers were going into business together and started designing teaching materials to be sold online. They had the business plan done and were being mentored by some retired professionals. However the Type A demanded that the Type B keep a log of how many hours she worked and then insisted upon a bigger share than the 50/50 legally agreed upon split.
She also mandated that her friend take some college courses on social media and so forth. It was a spectacular blow up that ended their business partnership. Make sure that you can work with someone and can calmly discuss issues that are bound to come up in your business.
Have a solicitor draw up a business contract when going into business with someone else.
This will cover the eventuality that one wants to quit and how to have an exit plan. If one partner dies, how will the heirs get some compensation? It could be a nightmare if they try to step in and co-run your business.
The solicitor will put solutions into the contract with both of your input. Also they will handle legally setting up and registering your company to be in compliance with taxes. There may be a clause how to handle disputes, such as with arbitration.
Realistically, do you have the time for this new endeavour?
It can be easy to underestimate what a big chunk of your life it will be. Just take your time to think about things and not be in a rush as these two women were. They decided to sell upscale lunch bags and travel t-shirts online without a business plan.
The lunch bags are lovely, but more suitable for a shop where people could appreciate their quality. They did not check out the online competition which was significantly cheaper. When deciding to forgo online sales, the bags were not a good fit for their community in which most of the buyers would be tourists looking for Native American goods.
Know your target market to make sure your product will be appealing. Look at starting a new business as an adventure and expect a few bumps in the road. Having a sense of humour and taking some time out for yourself will make this new chapter in your life a bit easier.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certied in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 100 published articles.