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  • Gloria Martínez

Getting Up: Tips for Founding a Business AfterCareer Setbacks

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

By Gloria Martínez

After a career setback, you might have concerns about re-entering the working world, especially if you want to start your own business, but those who have experienced difficulties in their career often have the best experience to overcome them in the future. It’s time to get up and get stuck in - here are some tips to help.

Overcoming Failure

If you want to move forward confidently after a setback, it’s important to first acknowledge your feelings from your previous endeavors. Addressing any lingering emotions to do with inadequacy, anxiety/fear, and resentment in a safe environment will not only feel cathartic but can help you to progress with new determination. If you find that your prior experiences are completely crippling, it’s sometimes a good idea to seek professional help - the right therapist will be able to work with you to process your trauma and move on.

Using Your Experiences

Provided you have the right mentality to enter (or re-enter) the world of entrepreneurship, there are still many business-related factors to consider first. You might have a strong idea for a product or have spotted a gap in the market but often it’s your experience that will inform the success of the venture. Make sure that you’re entering into an industry that you understand and that you’re confident you’ll be able to navigate - this is especially true if you experienced failure within this industry, as you’ll be more alert to the same hazards moving forward.

Examining Market Factors

You should also aim to carry out plenty of research into the market itself before committing to any decisions. You may find that your idea would have to occupy a high-risk or volatile space. Make sure to carry out a full analysis to test its viability - this means identifying key customer demographics, consumer demand, expected costs, and analyzing competitors. You may find the incumbent brands already do what you plan to but with more resources behind them or that the market is already too well saturated. Knowing all of this before launching could save you lots of time and money.

Practicing Financial Responsibility

The most common pitfalls for small business owners relate to poor financial management. At this early stage, it’s important to create accurate budgets that estimate monthly fixed costs, potential revenue, and variable expenses and then record/assess these on a regular basis. For this reason, state-of-the-art accounting software is a must. Ideally, choosing a cloud invoicing tool will help you to keep accurate books, as well as send invoices to your prospective customers quickly and easily. If you’ve chosen correctly, customers will be able to pay online via the invoice and you’ll be given the option of alerts (for when they’ve viewed/paid) and the ability to schedule invoices for regular payments.

Putting the Plan in Motion

Once you’ve carried out all of your preliminary research, the next step is to formulate a plan that you can use as a guide moving forward - specifically, a business plan. This should contain descriptions of your business, your full market analysis, a financial overview, competitor research, and any other information that you think might help entice investors. Most importantly, it should be clear from your plan what are your objectives (OKRs) and your measurements of success (KPIs).

Founding a business is never easier and it can feel even harder when you’ve already experienced setbacks in your career but, with cautious first steps and plenty of prior studying, there’s no reason why your new venture shouldn’t be your most successful yet.

Pharos Career Consultants was founded by Maria and Sara with the belief that high-quality career and strategic consultancy should be more approachable, personal, and enjoyable. Learn more, at:

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