For young people, entrepreneurship is new to the 9 to 5, with 60% of teenagers saying they want to start their own business instead of working a traditional job.
But, given the uncertainty business owners have faced over the past two years, learning from experts who managed to thrive during — and after — the pandemic could be beneficial for Gen Xers.
Jane Labovitch, also known as Princess Etch, is a 30-year-old Etch a Sketch artist who creates intricate portraits and landscapes using a mechanical drawing toy. For the past 6 years, her art has been her primary source of income.
Before the outbreak, Labowicz made a portion of her income by teaching in-person classes and workshops. However, after using social media in 2020, she was able to supplement that income and then some.
“When [the pandemic] When it first happened, I was scared,” Labovitch told CNBC’s Make It. “I immediately lost a lot of work, and the email correspondence I had about promising projects just disappeared. But if there was one thing I did during the outbreak, it was to maintain consistency. Because with the magic of the internet I was able to work with an international audience.
According to Labovitch, here are three things aspiring business owners should keep in mind:
Develop a strategy in social networks
Labowicz says social media is a great tool for building a brand and showcasing what your business has to offer. She uses platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Discord and Twitch to grow her company’s online presence.
“I treat everything I post on the Internet as an advertisement for my services in some way. You never know who’s going to see it, so I’m marketing myself with every piece of work I create. And that’s you. You never know if something you did two years ago will be seen by the right set of eyes and lead to an interesting email in your inbox.”
Labovitch in 2010 Her viewers are able to send her money tips in the app and have a more personal relationship with her.
These live streams not only earned her over 200,000 followers online, but also helped her raise enough money to pay off her final student loan of $13,484.58.
“Tik Tok Roses are the lowest denomination of currency you can donate to a live stream, and the stream receives the equivalent of half a cent per rose,” says Labovitch. “So I did the math and found out I needed 2,696,916 roses.”
It took me 30 days and 117 hours of live streaming to collect enough money. The entire month of April took over my life. And I’ve developed this whole new fan base of people who really want to help me. And my business.”
Find a good, trusted accountant
Being your own boss has its perks, but it also has potential pitfalls, chief among them finances. When people pursue entrepreneurship, content creation, or freelancing, many don’t realize the increased financial responsibilities they will have.
From filing taxes to recording and tracking income and expenses, a trusted accountant can play a vital role in the long-term success of a business.
“If there’s one thing I’d recommend any entrepreneur get involved with and push, it’s an accountant,” says Labovitch. “Every penny is worth the peace of mind knowing that my accountant crosses the tees and does it better than I can.”
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart
The journey to a successful business is not linear. For some, it may take months, while other entrepreneurs need years to get their business off the ground.
Despite these different timelines, the common denominator for all business owners is preparation. According to Labovitch, there are many early entrepreneurship challenges that are not “for the faint of heart,” including lack of health insurance, funding and “instability.”
“I’m in a domestic partnership with my boyfriend because of health insurance,” she says. “And I know many entrepreneurs who are similar to me and do not have this option, or their partners do not work in companies that have enough local partnerships. I know. [several people] “Married because of health insurance.”
“I had to learn about the selling price and be able to calculate not only how much to charge in general, but how much to charge to make sure this was a sustainable endeavor for me. So I didn’t dive in. Full-time entrepreneurship, I eased into it.”
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