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If you’ve ever felt like the competitive corporate atmosphere was killing your creativity, you might be right. As it turns out, workplace stress is a “major problem” in today’s fast-paced and competitive society, says David Ballard PsyD of the American Psychological Association.

For women, the list of stressors can be even higher. There are the pitfalls of workplace sexism, being a working mother, having to go above and beyond to prove yourself just because you’re a woman, and even unequal pay. It’s enough to make anyone anxious or depressed.

Fortunately, you’re not doomed to suffer through an unhappy job for the rest of your life. Instead, it might simply mean that it is time for you to listen to your intuition. Perhaps it’s time to make your daydream a reality by starting your own business.

Where To Start

If you’re thinking about launching your own business, you may want to start by checking in with your gut feeling. Where are your passions? What type of business would you like to start? Who are your ideal clients? Once you’ve answered those key questions and narrowed down your niche, you’ll be ready to move forward with the rest of the tips in this article.

Many people have ideas and ambitions for changing the world, working from home, or running their own company. However, many of these same people hesitate to take the plunge into entrepreneurship – partially because they’re unsure how they will get clients or pay the bills after leaving their day job. It’s not an easy feat, but with the right strategies you can pull it off.

 Hire the right employees

While it obviously won’t be the same for all businesses, you will need to make sure you’re hiring the right people for key positions. It’s a good idea to look for individuals who are passionate about your mission, and it never hurts to consider people with whom you’ve already established relationships. There are many factors to consider when hiring, not the least of which is immigration law (which you can learn plenty about at visa-pros.com and contact them for all your immigration questions and needs), and it’s critical that you hire folks who will work out for the long-term because turnover can get expensive. Don’t rush through the hiring process!

Establish Your Online Presence

How can you get your business off the ground while still making ends meet? For starters, you need a business website. You can hire a web developer for this – they can be fantastic to work with but are often very expensive. You could also try using an “automatic website builder.” Here’s one step-by-step process to creating your own website without having to know (or learn) computer code.

Once you’ve launched your website, you’ll want to “optimize” it for search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fancy term that means you’ve taken some steps to help potential clients find your site when searching on Google, Bing, etc. Here’s a great list of SEO tips for new business owners. If you’ve implemented all of these tips and your site is still not showing up in a Google search, you can always consider using a paid SEO tool like Moz.com or hiring a professional SEO specialist.

Make Your Business Stand Out

One common question new business owners consider: How do I make my business stand out? This is crucial when launching a new business. Ask yourself, what makes you special and better than your competitors? Look for ways that you can underscore why your business is the ideal choice. For example, a lot of business is handled via phone or email these days. One great way to differentiate yourself from competitors when trying to win over clients is by going to meet them in person, even if that means hopping on a plane at the last minute which can STILL be economical if you do your homework! It could also be little things like handwritten notes thanking people for their time, or posting information about your clients on your website. Not only does this display your hard-earned client list, but it gives the clients some viewership too.

Don’t forget one of the most important pieces of the puzzle: offering great customer service. Good customer service will go a long way when dealing with irate customers. It can be the tipping point that makes or breaks your business.

Turn the Sales Drip into a Steady Stream!

Last but certainly not least, you’ll also want to consider your sales funnel. A good sales funnel convinces potential clients to make a purchase from your website. As your visitor navigates your website or social media page, you want it to be easy for them to find information on pricing, newsletter signup, and how to make a purchase (or have their questions answered). This step is important because it helps guide your website visitors (aka your potential clients and customers) into making a buying decision.

Before taking the leap into business ownership, it’s important to understand that business ownership has its own unique list of stressors and responsibilities. It’s certainly not for everyone, especially if you are prone to anxiety at the thought of not having a steady monthly income. However, if you are flexible, open-minded, ambitious, and can plan ahead for the ups and downs of business ownership, it may be worth it to take the leap into entrepreneurship! GO FOR IT!

Author: Gloria Martinez (womenled.org)