How to Know if You Have What It Takes to Be Self-Employed Saturday, May 21 2022 

By Jacob Maslow – Branded Content

Becoming self-employed is much easier today than it once was. Thanks to platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and Fiverr, with the gig economy in full swing, anyone can establish their status as a small business owner and start making cash according to their schedule. But, of course, to thrive in this environment, you’ll need a lot more than just a LinkedIn profile and a few simple skills. You’ll also need a key range of practical resources and soft skills to ensure you can survive the challenges of self-employment. So keep reading if you’re not sure whether this route is the right track for you and your career plans.

The Emotional Side: Are You Mentally Prepared?

You’ll need to address two main points before you become self-employed. First, are you emotionally and mentally prepared, and do you have the practical resources to realize your dream? Let’s start with the emotional side. While anyone can become self-employed these days, not everyone is well-positioned for this job.

Working for yourself can be much pressure, particularly since you’re not guaranteed a regular income. You’ll need to learn to reduce stress and anxiety and constantly fight to find earning opportunities. There may be months when you don’t get enough money to pay for the pills. At the same time, you’ll be under much stress, dealing with taxes and accounts you never had to encounter before and promoting yourself in a competitive environment. So before you go self-employed, ask yourself whether you can handle:

  • Difficult conversations with competitors and unhappy clients
  • Unpredictable income and the constant search for new earning opportunities
  • Promoting yourself and constantly building your portfolio
  • Managing your accounts, finances, and taxes
  • Working extremely long hours, perhaps without a huge income at first

The Practical Side: Do You Have the Resources?

Suppose you discover you have the emotional grit and resiliency to thrive in a self-employed position. In that case, the next step is figuring out if you have the resources required. Even if you’re going to be writing articles or creating graphic design images in your free time for money, you’ll need to invest in your new business initially. For example, it costs money to pay for a business website, computer, and hardware to design your own home office. You might even need to spend money on materials too. However, a small business loan can give you the initial capital you need to start without asking you to use a lifetime’s worth of savings.

Remember, it’s best to keep at least some of your savings around, so you have something to keep you going when your earnings are low. In addition, you’ll need to make sure you can afford the initial costs of starting your business and the dips and changes in your income. Taking the time to calculate how much money you’ll need not just to bring your business idea to life, but also to ensure you can continue to thrive while you wait for your career as a self-employed individual to take off will be essential.

Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //

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Businesses new college grads can start Wednesday, Nov 17 2021 

By Jacob Maslow — Branded Content

Have you ever wondered what kinds of businesses you could start immediately after getting a college diploma? It’s always been true that new grads tend to work for companies to gain experience in the business world, especially if they hold degrees in subjects like liberal arts and education. However, anyone with a business, engineering, science or math diploma can dive straight into the entrepreneurial world.

What are the options, and how difficult is it to gain a foothold in each niche? In addition to e-commerce ventures of all kinds, newly minted graduates start transport operations, financial services, advertising agencies, hedge funds and tax preparation services. Each field has its challenges and rewards. Here are more details about each one.

E-Commerce Merchant Stores

All you need is a computer and an idea to open an e-commerce company. The most successful entrepreneurs in this segment include resellers of high-end, high-tech devices like computers, industrial machinery and large consumer appliances. The beauty of starting with e-commerce is the low cost of entry, the chance to build a client base slowly and the potential financial rewards.

Transport Companies

For those willing to enter the competitive transport industry, to begin with, one or two trucks, a small team of drivers, and several regular clients. Expect modest upfront expenses for vehicles, software and payroll. Next, consider acquiring versatile trucks to carry multiple kinds of goods, and that include refrigeration units. Fortunately, if you take on customers who need refrigerated transportation for their assets, you can achieve cost-effective control with a reefer management solution. That way, the system will deal with complexities like regulatory compliance and monitoring.

Tax Preparation Services

The best tip for navigating tax season is to be well prepared. Tax prep is a huge part of the retail service economy, and two prominent franchise names do aggressive marketing to bring in millions of customers. The good news for individual owners is that many consumers avoid the high-priced chains and seek out small entities. Most who open these services independently spend a good deal of time learning how to use the top software packages.

You don’t need to be an accountant or tax expert if you know how to enter the relevant data and scan each return for errors. The upside is that if you do good work, you can look forward to a loyal customer base. The secret to turning a profit in the taxation sector is using your personal and professional network to get those first few customers on board.

Hedge Funds

Some of today’s wealthiest corporate moguls began their careers as hedge fund managers immediately after completing a four-year degree. Admittedly, success in this lofty realm requires intense networking, vast social connections, financial acumen and exceptional people skills. However, grads need not be wealthy or hold degrees from prestigious universities if they remember to start small and build up the fund one investor at a time. In addition, of course, it’s wise to hold down a day job while amassing clients and marketing your new hedge fund enterprise. Some who opt for this route take additional coursework that includes seminars and tutorials in financial analysis, regulatory management and securities market law.

 

Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow – Cosmic Press

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College of Business receives $2 million grant for research and faculty expansion Monday, Nov 18 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville College of Business announced Nov. 14 that they received a $2 million grant from the Joseph W. Craft III Foundation. The College of Business plans to use this grant to increase research and expand faculty.

This funding will go towards the Center for Free Enterprise to continue its exploration of entrepreneurship’s advancement in the well-being of society. “This helps students see real life applications to what they are studying,” said Stephan Gohmann, director of the Center for Free Enterprise.

“The Center for Free Enterprise is tackling seemingly intractable problems with a fresh perspective and innovative solutions,” said president, CEO and chairman of Alliance Resource Partners LP, Joseph Craft. “It gives students the opportunity to work alongside university scholars to discover how the free enterprise system in the United States preserves our freedom and contributes to the prosperity needed to apply critical thinking to solve the challenges in their own lives, their communities and the world.”

The center will expand by adding two tenure-track faculty in entrepreneurship, up to five doctoral fellows plus staff for the center. Gohmann said doctoral fellows will be recruited within U of L and outside of the university.

It will also partner with the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship to examine ideas related to free enterprise through the lens of principled entrepreneurship. “We will be able to use these synergies for better programming and better classroom experiences for students,” said Gohmann. “This can occur when we bring in speakers who can give talks to the general public and also talks in entrepreneurship classes. Likewise, we often bring in authors of books that our reading groups are reading.”

Since operations began in 2015, the center has hosted speakers on topics such as criminal justice reform, transformation of China, crypto-currency and entrepreneurship in Senegal.

In addition, the center hosts reading groups throughout each semester that attract students from across the university. The purpose is to get students reading and exchanging ideas outside of the classroom. Students who attend these reading sessions also have the opportunity to receive a scholarship if they meet participation requirements.

“Our students benefit from the rich experiences the Center for Free Enterprise provides,” said U of L President Neeli Bendapudi. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to inspire our community’s future business leaders through these generous gifts.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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