Tai Goodwin – "The Career Makeover Coach", consultant, and writer with more than 15 years of experience – developed a 12-step process to help individuals launch their own business while working full time. She broke down these 12 steps in a webinar held exclusively for alumni on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, and below she discusses some of the highlights from her presentation.
Tai explained that starting your own business may be a solution that leads to the opportunity and freedom you want. And if the idea of being your own boss interests you, you don't have to wait until you can quit your job. There are many professionals who are launching a profitable side business while working full time and you can join them.
In explaining how the topic of her webinar came about, Tai recalled many of her clients who already had jobs, but were looking to launch a business. They couldn't afford to drop everything from their current job and lose their benefits and salary, so they needed to learn how to slowly make the transition to entrepreneur.
In addition, Tai met many individuals who already had a full time job as well as their own business, but needed help learning how to manage their time, market themselves, and make connections.
"Sixty percent of people start a new business while they are already working," said Tai.
Tai reported that even in 2009, when the economy was still recovering from a great recession, 600,000 people in the United States started a new business.
One of her 12 steps to launching a business while working fulltime is to start off by choosing a good business idea.
"You have to be passionate about what you do, but you can't stop there," said Tai. "Your business needs to solve a problem, and it has to be something that people will want to pay for."
For example, you may want to start a wedding planning business. But what will be unique about your wedding planning business that will make people want to hire you? What problem will you solve that will set you apart?
Another step for budding entrepreneurs is to start learning about how to market yourself. According to Tai, not marketing your business and your brand is the biggest pitfall among entrepreneurs.
Marketing yourself includes both online and offline marketing. "I'm a big fan of online and social marketing because it's something that you can easily do in the evening when you get home from your full time job," said Tai.
Online marketing includes using Twitter, LinkedIn, or starting a blog.
"You need to understand the dynamics of how marketing works, and have a clear understanding of your brand and how you want to communicate with people about your business."
Finally, Tai advises individuals to get their first client and do some work before they invest everything into the business.
"Don't spend all of your money on business cards and letterhead before you find out if you like what you're doing," she said. "Do the actual work and make sure that it is something you really want to pursue. Things may be different, now that you're the boss."
If you're interested in learning Tai's entire 12-step process toward becoming a successful full-time employee and part-time entrepreneur, contact the Alumni Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-DU-GRADS and we will connect you with Tai.