Our world is changing so fast right now. Seriously, we can all barely keep up. COVID hit the US (and World) and it was like someone spun the world around and we now need to rebuild with all the pieces where they landed. The life we knew – pre-COVID – doesn’t exist anymore. We are all redefining how we will move forward and our role in that.
For example – although I am a freelancer and a blogger, I do have a full time career in an urban public school as a business administrator. I work a lot of hours – all the time. And COVID made my previous schedule seem like childsplay. What we learned though is that it is just as effective to have meetings via Zoom. We were able to work remotely and still do what we needed to do. Students are able to learn remotely and actually learn. Now that we are back to school we very seldom have night time meetings in the office. We go home to our families, feed them dinner, then we hop on Zoom for a meeting from our own homes. During the day most meetings are held on Zoom even though we are all back in our offices. No one has to drive across town; no one needs to find coverage in case there is an emergency while they are gone. We can all be in our own office and available ourselves for a crisis.
The problem though is COVID caused so many people to lose their jobs. In fact, many of those people may never be needed again because we are changing the way we do things every single day. Today in Connecticut we still have 153,300 people unemployed and it is six months later. Of course that number is decreasing but only because many of them are finding employment in different fields than what they had been working in.
The good news though is there is no better time than now to become a female entrepreneur. There are so many unfulfilled needs that everyone is realizing can be done differently. You just need to find your niche. I thought my freelance work would die a slow death when COVID happened but instead I am writing for more niches than ever before. I know some women who have made a substantial living making masks and selling them on Etsy and Facebook Marketplace – everyone needs them and of course everyone needs more than one and different kinds.
Start with a business plan
You need a plan of action. A business plan should have an executive summary, business description, description, market analysis, strategy and implementation, organization structure (team), and financial plan. Believe it or not you may feel like some of this doesn’t apply to you but even if you aren’t hiring anyone and don’t need an influx of funds from anyone – do this for yourself. A map of your purpose is very helpful.
How do you plan to fund what you are doing? The answer could be credit cards, loans, financiers, supporters, donations and more. What do you specifically need to be in business. If you do not need a storefront or major machinery, you expenses may be minimal enough to not need additional funds.
When you make decisions, stick with them. Don’t keep changing your response and reactions. Whoever you are dealing with will want to you see as a leader and someone who knows how to get things done. If you make a mistake – move forward with a plan of action/correction but don’t keep changing your mind.
Don’t be afraid to start. Many of us want everything to fall into place in a neat little package before we move forward. It almost never works like that. Often you have to build things while you move forward and need to be prepared to adapt to changes. I tell everyone all the time – stop thinking about it and just do it.
Know your value
Do not undervalue yourself. There may be times you want to for philanthropic reasons etc… but as a normal course of business do not be modest and have confidence.
Create a marketing plan. People are not just going to find you – you need to put yourself in front of them through things like networking, social media, word of mouth, incentives etc… Angela Wei Milk can help with your marketing needs and your growth goals.