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Career Transition & New Ventures

Discussion in 'Working Women' started by SGBV, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Hi all,

    As you all know that i am with a wonderful career, that has also become my identity and greatest support system in my life. I love my job, and I progress so well in it. This career is my passion!!!
    However, on the downside, my career demands a lot of my personal time, specially i am expected to travel much, stay away from home frequently and so on.
    With growing little kids, and an elderly mother I feel I should really try balancing my work & family time now.
    For this, I should plan. I should find an alternative method to bring money home, while living out my passion.

    My aim is to establish a consultancy company, and do freelancing on Ex Col basis.
    This way I could live out my passion - doing the same job, yet on my own terms (flexibility).
    But this needs a lot of establishment, and I am working on it.

    In parallel, I want to establish a real business to earn a stable income for the family. If the business picks up, I will be able to slowly switch off from my fixed term career to be home permanently.

    I have some FDs, some offer to get low interest loan, some real good networks and I believe these could make best investments to start up a new business!

    I have a couple of ideas. I would love to hear your opinion on them.

    1- To start on-line or whole sale cloth business in my home. I have a villa type home with extra space!
    I prefer this, because opening a store/display etc would cost a lot of money.
    Buy ethnic cloths from South India, and market them through social media platforms.
    There are a lot of demand for ethnic cloths from India. I could also bring matching accesaries from India and Thailand/China

    2- Utilize the extra rooms/space at home for tourism business. I have about 5 extra rooms in the first & second floors of my house. I could also build another 4-5 rooms adjoining to the compound wall if needed.
    I plan to organize these rooms as luxury, semi & normal for the tourists to stay on a daily basis. I live very close to one of a famous tourist place in Sri Lanka; hence I could market my place through AirBnB or Booking.com facilities. I also could employ guides, and make deals with "rent-a-car" people for a comprehensive package.
    Appointing a maid cum cook to look after the needs of the rooms/guests wouldn't be a problem.

    3. Renting out all the extra rooms/newly build ones for paying guests. There are lady Drs, teachers, Gvt officials (mainly females) come to work in my city from far places. I could very well find links to get them here.
    Giving them rooms, food, services such as laundry/cleaning, travelling etc can get me additional income.

    4. Since I travel a lot, I know the places where they make local products which are pure, traditional & healthy. These products have a lot of demand in big cities, even among the Sri Lankan diasporas living in Canada or UK.
    Just that, these producers have contacts to reach out to these market places.
    I could be a middle man, rather middle woman & market their products with an income. Perhaps, I could re-pack their products in attractive packets, and with a brand so that it sells on its own.
    The products are like pure rice flour, coconut oil, sesame oil, palmyrah products, traditional sweets, etc...

    What do you think?
     
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  2. EverydayBloom

    EverydayBloom Silver IL'ite

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    Great ideas @SGBV

    I personally like 2 and 3, as it can be kicked right away with minimal effort from your side, as there are rooms available to accommodate the guests!!

    Option 4 seems unique and booming as there very less middle man marketers who is bringing the unique products, but this needs lots of networking!!

    Option 1 is very common, there are loads and loads of pages available in social media (FB and Instagram) who is already doing third party/direct selling and if you really want this, then it demands lot of your time and networking...
     
    MalStrom likes this.
  3. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Hey, Thanks a lot.
    In fact, option 1 was in my plans since a long time. But I am hesitant to take the first step knowing the competition and the amount of time/networking that I will have to put on to excel in it.
    That's why I am not sure. But I have a 3 cousins, who are jobless, yet very reliable people with hands-on experience in this field (Getting ethnic cloths and accesaries from south India, and selling). They lack the capital; so I thought of giving them an opportunity with the money. But as you said, this can wait till things are clear and smooth from all the ends.

    The tourism and/or PG idea came from my mom. She would always scold me for wasting money & assets for nothing. meaning, building a villa type of a home, and keeping all the extra rooms empty, since we are a small family of 4+ mom. Our relatives/guests are mostly from the same locality; hence no one actually stays over.
    So, as you suggest, it would be a great idea to rent off these space for the tourists or PGs depending on the circumstance.

    Thanks!!!
     
  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    I agree that #2 and 3 are the best choices to get started right away. The clothing and accessories market is very, very saturated. You will have to offer something truly unique otherwise you will simply be competing with large wholesalers and your margins will be thin.
     
    shravs3 likes this.
  5. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Option 2 and 3 looks good!
    If you want to take risk then Option 4 is best.
     
  6. sonal1611

    sonal1611 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi SGBV ,

    For 1) U need active participation .. need to promote a lot on social media ... Amazon/Flipkart time seller sites.. .. Can be done.. One of my frnd left her job n doing this.. Selling traditional Hand loom ( especially Chanderi / Katha work .. more it sold in central India ) ,.. N she is doing really good...

    2) Can be done thru BNB .. Need to monitor on guest to guest basis.. Can be done if you hire some care taker. who will take care of your rooms in your not so active presence.

    3) Best idea. As my parents are doing the same in my home town. Not much effort needed.. Need to setup once. if U want to give fully furnished way. Else , easy to handle. Do proper police verification n all on ur Paying Guests..

    4) Not much idea. But I think ppl prefer to have organic food now a days.. N I remember may be not correctly as u have some coconut plantation.. not sure though..
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  7. MadhuRK

    MadhuRK Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi @SGBV

    I'm a software engineer and I'm an aspiring startup founder. So as I looked at your question, I was asking "What advice would I give if it was myself ?" So please take my words with a pinch of salt.

    The only "proof-of-the-pudding" for any business whether it is an enterprise startup or a clothing line business is the customer-demand.

    You have mentioned 4 business lines if I may call them that way: Consultancy in your area of passion, Clothes business/showroom in your own home, Tourism-renting say via AirBnB, Selling unique niche localized products. All of them sound good.

    I would say dive deep into these in any order you like and get a taste for the waters straight away. That is, forget about ideas and sell as if you have the product. This will give you a sense of the barrier to entry for each one of these, the road to your goals, whether you like the interactions, the transactions and whether you have the mental capacity and tolerance for such things at this stage in your life. See what sticks to the wall. See if you like how it is hanging there.

    For example, in the case of consultancy, start talking straight away to potential customers, even other peers who are doing this line of work. Send feelers to the likes of "Hey the same thing I'm doing for you via org-X, I'm willing to do it via my own private company at 50% lesser charge. I'll also be a dedicated resource focused on your work 100%. Will you pay me Y amount of money to do this ? " Ask, ask them straight away and listen to the answer. Don't dream in la-la land and wonder about what your prospects are. Hear it straight from the horse's mouth. Let the rubber hit the road. I'm sure you can conceive of parallel scenarios for every line of work you are talking about here. Open an Airbnb account, see how many decent guests sign-up to stay with you. Open that Etsy store as a US business and try selling your ethnic wear, ask your friends to help you out. Be sporty, be adventurous and be playful while you try figuring this out. I call this CDD = Customer-driven development. When you cook a feast, the leftovers tell you what was good and what was not. When you cook an idea in your head, your future customers will tell you whether you are thinking about something they want or not.

    As much as we all love to start a business and gain financial independence, control over our time, flexibility to attend to children and parents and the entire Nirvana package, very few of us have the magic sauce to get through what it takes in-order to get there. Some of us just don't want that risk at all. I can tell you, after a decade of being a salaried employee and leading a relatively comfortable life on a pay-check, I question my sanity in taking such a big risk, foregoing everything for the sake of a startup and living life in a vulnerable and insecure state. As I'm getting older, I want to reduce the amount of crap in my mental space and deal with more sensible choices. That is, my tolerance for annoyances has really gone down. But that is the default state for all entrepreneurs. The amount of schmoozing and talking and selling one has to do is immense. Just giving you the other side of this story.

    Enjoy your journey always.
     
    SGBV likes this.
  8. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Thanks again everyone.... I too think option 2 & 3 or both combined together makes sense, as they are easy to start with, requires minimal investment and efforts.
    Just that, I need to have clearance from Police and other records straight if I am to host foreigners or PGs at home.
    I think I could do that easily.

    @MadhuRK
    Thanks for your detailed response. However, I beg to differ at few areas.
    1- I can't establish a private consultancy when I am working as a full time staff with my organization according to our ethics. So, establishing a freelancing consultancy career while I am still at work is impossible. All I could do is to assess the potentials, and opportunities as well as the market challenges/competition and hence improve the way I am planing to present myself/my company.
    I could also grow my network with the hope of getting links for the future - that I am working on.
    But as you rightly said, it is still a grey area. Though I wanted to continue this, I can't truly depend on it.

    That's where the other materialist business ideas came up.
    Given the fact that I must use up my hard earned savings & bank loan as capital, I don't wanna risk with the money if I am not so sure.
    Basically i can't study the market or the customer's POV by risking my savings. It can be a plain do or die situation, and it is not worth the risk.

    However, I shall try something as others have rightly explained with minimal investment, and greater networking. Airbnb or hosting PGs in the existing space, and some social media hype (paid ads etc..) could do the magic. Even the initial revenue may not be attractive, I could still try to continue it. Because there would be hardly anything to lose.

    So, as you rightly said, I am hoping to complete the interior works of those extra rooms, take pics and advertise locally through social media and local guides. Besides, I am gonna register with booking.com and Airbnb.
    I could start doing some survey through these local guides in relation to the accommodation demands of these tourists, and I may offer the services accordingly.
    Slowly but steadily I may introduce organic items to be sold for these tourists, and even selling ethnic wears too.
    It can run as a comprehensive business if I am blessed with the right team down the line.

    Wish me luck....
     
  9. YoGirl

    YoGirl Gold IL'ite

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    What about investing in stocks? Digital
    Marketing? Fitness?
     

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