The Great Recession might be a dark cloud that actually has a silver lining for women who want to be their own bosses.
"There has never been a better time to start a new business," said Karen Terry, a women's business coach and mentor based in Houston. "Many women who work in Corporate America dream of starting their own business but are afraid. Other women who are stuck at the highest levels of their careers and have hit the glass ceiling wonder when they can be their own bosses. Now is the time."
"Many women are getting severance packages, or unemployment benefits, due to the recession. They can use those unexpected windfalls to finance their own business," said Terry, author of "Full Time Woman; Part Time Career." "Getting fired or laid off could actually be a blessing in disguise."
To help women entrepreneurs start their own businesses, Karen Terry has written a special report titled "The 10 Biggest Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make When They Start Their Business." To get a free copy, go to http://www.fulltimewoman.com/
Here are some of her favorite business ideas:
1. For women who are still working at a corporation, create a financial safety net. Start saving money by skipping the extra coffee or newspaper. All that money adds up and can come in handy when you are running your new business. "It is hard to walk away from a steady paycheck. But it is easier if you know you can get by for a few months without having to worry about money," she said.
2. Get one new client before you leave your current job - if you can. "Every little bit helps. For a lot of people it is scary to quit a job and not have any clients lined up. Clients translate into income, which helps ease the transition to self-employment," she said.
3. Use your network. If you are going through a career change, don't assume you can't use your existing network. "Your current network already knows you and some of them may have needs in your new career field," she said. "Your existing network may surprise you. They might be doing things that you are not aware of and they might need to hire you."
4. Professional Development. You need to identify your skills. If you are weak in certain areas then take a class so you can become the best you can be. You aren't going to be successful if you have certain areas where you are weak. For example a lot of women aren't skilled in contract negotiations. "Some women tend to just give in and then they don't get what they want. It is important for a woman to hear from other women what they can do and what they can't do," she said.
5. Find out what your client wants and then create it. "This is an essential marketing strategy. If you create materials and hope your clients buy it, that's not a good strategy," she said. "A good business is created in response to a need in the marketplace, so you want to find out what they need."
6. Mentors. You should work with a women's business coach who has also had experience running a business. "A woman may be more aware of special programs for minority-owned businesses," she said. "Most men don't think about those opportunities." A list of such opportunities is printed in her book, "Full Time Woman; Part Time Career." "Business coaches also have a system in place to ensure client's success when starting a business."
About Karen Terry
Karen Terry operated her own business for 12 years before becoming a coach. She built a successful training practice in the high-tech fields of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as a certified software instructor. Previously, she was employed by the two industry leaders in those fields, so she has worked both in and out of the corporate world.
When she was self-employed, many women (and some men) approached Karen, wanting to learn how to start their own businesses. Many of the women were new moms, who sought a flexible or part-time career they could have while raising a family. Karen would offer advice and informally coach them through the process of going out on their own and/or starting a business. This experience led her to write her award-winning second book, "Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career."
Now Karen has officially formalized her training by becoming a Certified Life Coach (CLC). Although her clientele is diverse, she specializes in new or fairly new women entrepreneurs.
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