Guest post from Cherie Mclaughlin, Couch Based Biz, has been creating and growing couch-based businesses since her couch was in a dorm room. Through both success and failure, she knows that all it takes to be successful is a willingness to go into it with the understanding that it’s a learn as you go process, and the boldness to step out of your comfort zone and give it a shot.

Lost Income, and No Employment Prospects? Here’s How To Change Your Situation

If you, like many of us, have lost your job because of the pandemic or simply need to earn some extra cash for the holidays, it’s time to get to work. First, you’ll need to work on yourself, and then spend some time deciding what, exactly, you can do to fill your pockets this winter.

Evaluating Yourself

If you tried to no avail to find a new job, second career, or part-time employment, you may be focusing on the wrong industry. Spend some time evaluating your current skill set and looking at new opportunities that match what you’re good at. This is not necessarily what you’ve done in the past. You might, for instance, be an accountant by day but a skilled musician by night. Instead of seeking a 9-5 grind, offer up your services as a music teacher or wedding musician.

When you would rather use your professional experiences to start your own business, you’ll still need to do your research. Search by Burke can help you identify the market viability of your product or service. This information, along with competitor profiles and industry statistics, can give you a leg up when it’s time to enter the world of entrepreneurship.

As you get started as a self-employed individual, you’ll have to navigate the learning curve; taxes, business structure, and marketing are three areas where many new business owners struggle. You might need to launch as an LLC or S corporation, both of which have tax advantages for self-employed individuals. A Kentucky LLC is not difficult to establish, and there’s very little paperwork. You can do it yourself using a formation service, but do make sure you are taking steps to follow local rules and regulations.

When it’s time for marketing, especially in the early days of starting your own business, you’ll want to take a pause to decide where to channel your marketing budget. For example, creating an eye-catching logo and user-friendly website will make your company stand out and legitimize it in the marketplace. Take a look at your most recent sales. Decide what brings in the most profit, and then balance that against what you enjoy the most. When you find what works best for you, your family, and your lifestyle, you’ll be in a better position to create an income stream without sacrificing the things that are most important to you.

Freelancing Is A Way Of Life

When your goal is to earn a side income, it makes the most sense to freelance. Prior to the last decade, freelancers were barely respected. Today, however, being a freelancer commands a certain amount of attention as it is the most flexible way to earn an income. According to Flexjobs, becoming a freelancer isn’t typically something you jump into without planning. If you’re still working, don’t quit your day job. Build a network of people that can help support you by offering referrals and advice, and focus on those skills you have that are most valuable.

Keep in mind here that freelancing, while ripe with benefits, does have drawbacks. You must always be the best at what you do, otherwise, your clients will quickly move along to the next best thing. You may also have to work odd hours to meet deadlines, so you’ll have to create a schedule that helps you stay on track for accomplishing your freelance projects. In addition, each new client will have a new set of demands you have to meet to keep them happy. This is an excellent way to supplement your income without risking your current employment situation. Be cautious, however, if you have signed a non-compete agreement with your current company that your freelancing endeavors do not violate this.

When your bank account gets low, no one else is going to fill it for you. Look for ways to get yourself back to work. Starting your own business and freelancing are great opportunities, you just have to know what you’re good at first.