One thing you can take from this pandemic is the day-to-day skills performed while working for others can transfer and assist an individual seeking to branch out and open their own business.

While the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many companies within our communities during the last year and a half, and had a significant impact on the world economy, it has created opportunities for those entrepreneurs who have taken a leap of faith and ventured out on their own.  Those individuals who have lost their jobs when their positions were cut, or the company was forced to downsize, managed to take their skill sets and flourish while working from home.

As an entrepreneur, ask yourself if your skills are marketable and who is your client base; if you’re not sure then this is the time to begin your research. If you’ve already completed your homework, begin with developing your business plan as it will hold you accountable for all tasks that must be completed, such as, but not limited to, whether you’re going to form your business as an LLC or become incorporated, start up costs, services you will provide, to developing a website and its content. Create an outline and then expand your ideas by listing all the positions and responsibilities you have held during your career and the tools you will need for your business. Also include due dates for when you want your tasks completed, as well as your grand opening, to assist in keeping you on track. Additionally, if you do not have an office in your home, create a space that is solely dedicated as your office to keep organized and avoid distractions. If you are not sure where to begin, the Small Business Administration is a great place to seek assistance and help get you started.

There are many opportunities to help grow a successful business. Joining your local Chamber of Commerce is an integral step to spread the word about your company, assist with ribbon-cutting ceremony, and offers ample networking opportunities with regular meetings and social events.  Getting involved with local charitable organizations by volunteering or providing assistance is another great way to not only network, but to give back to those in your community that have supported you and your growing business. There are many nonprofit organizations in our communities that do not have the high-dollar budgets of larger corporations and I am a proponent of providing my assistance whenever and wherever needed: In order to make a difference, you have to be the difference.

The success of your business relies on one person, you. How much time and effort you are willing to put in will determine its success. If you are considering venturing out on your own, the key is planning, and remember, that takes time. It’s great to have high expectations but don’t measure the success of your business as much on the amount of money you are making, but more on the relationships you are developing.