To those of us on the outside, we may not hear about most businesses until they are big, so we don't see the struggle and dreaming in the beginning stages. We miss the incubation period, so the idea of starting a business may seem out of our reach. But it's not. And with the help of the Internet, many people are making that dream come true.
Quit Your Day Job With Etsy
Etsy is a website where you can buy and sell handmade things. A fun and inspirational feature on the site is called Quit Your Day Job. In this series, Etsy sellers tell the story of how they were able to quit their day jobs by selling their goods on Etsy.
A good example is Beth Cummings of DiffractionFiber. She makes and sells eco-friendly handmade pillows with a sense of humor. In an article on Etsy, Beth shared some valuable tips for how she prepared to quit her day job and launch her business.
Tips for Leaving a Job to Start a Business:
- Figure out how much money you'd have to make each month to match what you make at your day job. It gives you something tangible to attain: not just to increase sales, but by how much.
- Plan how much of your business can be earned through different distribution channels. For me, I combined projected revenue from Etsy, craft shows and from wholesale. When my revenue was equal to that of my day job for three months, I'd put in my two weeks notice and make my long-held dream of entrepreneurship a reality.
- Square away the paperwork: I took care of all the proper licensing with the state and IRS
- Set up any wholesale accounts you might need to buy your supplies in bulk
- Secure private health insurance that your previous employer may have been providing.
Beth adds that's it's all about honing your skills and learning from others: “I read up on marketing, creating a business plan, and I talked to SCORE counselors, an invaluable resource for business professionals.. I'm addicted to the Modish Biz Tips blog. I also watch the TED conferences, which provide practical, thought-provoking marketing advice and inspiration. I find that the more I read and learn, the more confident I am about my business, about talking about it in a professional way, and on making it a success.”
There are plenty of ways to get your projects, hobbies, and ventures going and earning you money – especially online. Photographer Brian Ferry, used Blurb to create wellfleet, a book about summer by the sea, and is selling it on his blog, the blue hour.
Over the holidays, Anna Torborg created patterns and instructions for making paper houses that she showed on her blog, twelve22. Several people wanted to make them too, so she was able to start selling them using E-junkie.
If the news reports and economists are right, then the economy is slowly turning around. This just might be a great time to start fresh as an entrepreneur. Or if you've tried before, like Abby, maybe you can try again. February is National Start a Business Month—why wait?
For more information visit:
The Accidental Entrepreneur, by Jory Des Jardins, December 9, 2009.