Wow…. What a year it has been indeed! After working in corporate retail for over two decades I decided to take a leap of faith and become an entrepreneur. Not having a boss to report to? Being able to make all the decisions without any office politics? No workplace gossip? Setting my own hours? These were all the things that were so appealing and set my dream into action.
My best friend and I decided to launch our own business where women could rent, lend, sell or buy luxury handbags, jewelry, and accessories. I mean who wouldn’t want to rent a Chanel handbag for a fraction of the cost? It was during the midst of the pandemic so in the early months we were not alone in the concept of working from home which was completely foreign to us. I began to develop strange hours sleeping all day and then getting up in the evening to start working and pull an all-nighter. That was my body’s natural way of functioning because I’m such a night owl. About six months in, to develop some sense of normalcy, we rented an office space and two months later we were officially launched online as www.shopluxecrush.com!
Was it easy? Noooooo! Even though our business was in the same luxury arena that we came from our learning curve was STEEP. It was like overnight we were not only buyers like we were in our previous lives but now also accountants, marketing analysts, logistics managers, photographers, content writers, social media mavens and the list goes on and on!
According to Forbes 9 out of 10 startups fail. To not become a statistic, we are constantly brainstorming for new ideas, improvements and opportunities. In the words of my business partner, “the day we run out of ideas is the day we are done”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Push yourself to think outside of the box and be adaptable.
Transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship has been one of the most impactful decisions I have made in my life. It has challenged me to grow and think in unexpected ways. It is a continuous education and I have learned more in the past year than I could have possibly imagined.
If you are thinking about starting your own business be confident, stay positive and get ready to become a jack of all trades. Here are some pointers for your incredible journey into entrepreneurship!
5 Tips to Go from Employee to Entrepreneur:
- Make sure you have a great idea. Or take an idea from somebody else but do it better!
- Do your research. Vet out your idea with your network of family, friends, former co-workers, etc. Conduct a focus group or survey to make sure you have a viable product or service.
- Write a business plan and make both short term and long-term goals. Not only is this a vital part for a roadmap to success but is also required if you are applying for a loan or trying to secure venture capital funding. A good resource for sample business plans and templates is Bplans.
- Get your finances in order, both personal and business. If you are applying for a loan do it soon because it could take months to secure even if you qualify.
- Network! Network! Network! One of your biggest challenges will be getting your name out there. While building new relationships keep nurturing the network you have built over the span of your career to help gain new customers and opportunities.