You want to take your life back, you want flexibility, you want to leave your mark on the world, change peoples lives create something that is uniquely yours and most importantly, you want to be independent again. You start dreaming of running your own business but you're not sure what you could sell or offer so you just continue doing what you've been doing for years.
Does this sound familiar?
Well we are about to tell you something that is very simple and may sound very obvious, but most people wouldn't consider it:
YOU CAN SELL YOURSELF
Whether you know it or not, you have a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience that other people are willing to pay you for.
And the best thing is, anyone can do it! Starting a service business doesn't come with huge overhead costs and you don't need a team of employees from the get-go. A lot of service businesses can be run from a laptop with minimal expenses. Others may require the purchase of equipment but these can be rented or purchased second hand to begin with and upgraded over time.
And don't worry if you lack certain skills needed in areas such as accounting, web design, advertising, etc. These will be learnt and perfected over time with real life practice. With the vast amount of information available on the internet these days, anything can be learnt for free. Websites like Khan Academy offer free online courses across a variety of topics. Even YouTube has some great information on business skills! If these are areas you don't want to learn or don't have the time to learn, they can also be outsourced to freelancers for an affordable price using sites such as Freelancer or Fiverr. There really are no excuses when it comes to starting a service business.
The biggest and most important question is "What skills do you have that you can sell as a service?" There are two areas to look at when deciding this:
1. What do you currently do for a living or what did you study and do/did you enjoy this?
The obvious place to start is to look at what you currently do for a living or what you studied. Do you still enjoy this industry? If you no longer needed to earn money, would you continue your learnings in this industry? If the answer is yes, then bingo! You can apply your own perspective, background and personality into servicing clients as a freelancer in this industry. This is the easiest and safest way to begin your new career as an entrepreneur and applies to most industries (not all, but don't let that stop you!).
2. What are you known for? Is there a topic you can talk about for hours straight?
If you no longer enjoy your current industry or what you studied, take a look at your daily life. When are you the happiest? What are you doing? Do friends or family often come to you for advice on particular topics? If your friends come to you for advice when choosing an outfit for a night out, that's a skill set. If you enjoy reading and discussing books, that's a skill set. If you know how to do your own accounting, build a website, take great photos, these are all things other people are willing to pay for or pay to be taught and learn from you. Don't underestimate your skills or the demand for them. What you might think is little value, may be extremely valuable to someone in need of that knowledge or expertise.
Choose something you love doing.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to choose something you love doing! I can't stress this enough. Don't focus on what industries are booming or where you think the money is. If you don't love it, then don't do it! This will become your life and if you want your business to succeed you will need to be able to talk and write about it for hours on end. It needs to be sustainable over time, something that excites you and will keep you motivated to continually expand. Remember, once you are your own boss you will no longer have someone pushing you to meet deadlines or close sales. All of this drive must come from your own motivation so any loss in interest can lead to the end of your business. If you go into business in an area that doesn't excite you, then you might as well shoot yourself in the foot! It will be much quicker and less painful than realizing in 12 months that you're just not passionate about what you're doing.
Once you've decided what service (or product) you are going to sell, the next step is deciding how, when and where you will sell it. The good news is that you don't need to burn all your bridges and jump straight in. If you have any reservations or are not in the right financial position to do this, you can get started building your business before you even quit your job. We've even created a blog post that specifically address whether you should quit your job or start a side business. Sign up to our mailing list here so you don't miss it.