Are you ready to call it quits? You’re not alone. A record number of workers—4.4 million—quit their jobs this past September alone. Analysts are calling this phenomenon, where American workers are leaving their jobs by the millions each month, “The Great Resignation,” and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon.
Not only that, the Great Resignation is affecting more women than men, with 5.5% of women quitting in August compared to 4.4% of men. And while some may be seeking greener employment pastures, many are likely taking the opportunity to open up a business on their own. After all, the number of women-owned businesses has grown five times the national average since 2007.
If you’re ready to strike out on your own in 2022, it seems like there’s never been a better time. Here are five businesses for women entrepreneurs to consider in 2022.
1. Create Online Courses
If you’ve worked in your industry for years and now find yourself wondering how to capitalize on your knowledge, becoming an online course creator is an excellent option to consider.
In a Forbes interview, Joseph Michael of EasyCourseCreation.com says, “You don’t have to know everything or even be a huge expert. You just have to know more than most people and be able to portray your lessons in an educational and informative way.”
How to Get Started:
Step 1: Brainstorm your areas of expertise. What advice are friends, family, or coworkers always coming to you for? Keep in mind that expert-level knowledge in any niche is fair game, from potty training to coding to DIY home projects.
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the medium by taking some online courses yourself. A great place to start is digital course creator expert Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy.
Step 3: Narrow the subject of your course and choose a format. Amy Porterfield recommends choosing one of three types of digital courses:
-A signature course, which is “specific, detailed and includes the entire framework for a total transformation”
-A spotlight course which “takes a deeper dive and offers specific and hyper-detailed information into just one specific area”
-A starter course, which is a “jumping-off point where you help your student get started in your area of expertise”
Step 4: Start writing. Time to write down your hard-won expertise and create your course.
Bonus: Once you’ve established yourself as an authority in your chosen field, you can expand your offerings to include more courses, books, and even merchandise.
2. Become a Realtor
With high demand contributing to staggering price surges—median home sales prices are up nearly 20% compared to a year ago—the real estate market has been a hot one since the start of the pandemic, reports FactSet.com. And in today’s competitive housing market, realtors are especially valuable. 87% of homebuyers reported using a real estate agent in 2021.
All it takes to become a realtor is to pass the licensing exam and activate your license. If you live in places like Austin, Texas, or Nashville, Tennessee, where the housing market is experiencing unprecedented growth, there is tremendous potential for a high income with relatively little investment upfront. Not only that, a career in real estate offers considerable flexibility, which is perfect if you want to work part-time or if you’re balancing work with obligations at home, for example.
How to get started:
Once you have your license, it’s time to focus on growing your clientele. The real estate marketing experts at The Paperless Agent offer a 21-day plan to fill your pipeline with sales in four virtual steps.
Step 1: Set up a CRM (customer relationship management) system to store your leads, track your activities with them, and keep the details of all your conversations.
Step 2: Develop an irresistible “asset” containing useful real estate information or a tool such as a home budget worksheet that will be attractive to potential clients.
Step 3: Start conversations with people you know, reminding them that you now have your real estate license, and share your tool.
Step 4: Start a targeted outreach program. Aim to contact 30% of your database at a time with voicemails, direct messaging in apps like Facebook Messenger, as you follow up on the assets you sent. When you make contact, ask questions to build rapport and see if there’s anything you can do to be of service to them. This will make you top of mind the next time they have a conversation about real estate.
3. Start an Online Bookkeeping Service
Whether you have extensive accounting or bookkeeping experience or you’re just a natural when it comes to crunching numbers, an online bookkeeping service can be a great side hustle or full-time business. Consider the number of small businesses and entrepreneur opportunities that have launched this year alone. Then remember that every one of them needs bookkeeping help.
According to Indeed.com, “Bookkeeping is one of the highest-paying jobs you can do remotely. It is also an interesting career for anyone who is interested in finance but does not want to meet the requirements to become an accountant.”
How to get started:
Step 1: Consider getting certified. Unlike accountants, bookkeepers aren’t required to be certified. Still, in order to position yourself as an expert, it’s a great idea to become a certified public bookkeeper (or CPB) or get certified with a particular software product such as QuickBooks to position yourself as an expert.
Step 2: Pick a bookkeeping package and train extensively in it. While you may have expert-level knowledge of accounting or bookkeeping, becoming skilled in your virtual tools is an entirely different animal. This will help you service your clients better and work more efficiently.
Step 3: Develop a unique selling proposition for your business. Perhaps you have experience in a specific industry or are particularly helpful at helping new female business entrepreneurs get their bookkeeping in order.
Step 4: Network to grow your clientele. Reach out into your network and schedule lunches or share your expertise on LinkedIn and Facebook and let everyone know you’re officially in business. Don’t have much experience? You can start off doing bookkeeping for free or at bargain rates for friends or non-profit organizations in order to learn the ropes and build testimonials.
4. Become a Virtual Assistant
With remote work exploding, even before the pandemic, with a 44% growth over the five years before the COVID-19 crisis, more and more businesses are hiring virtual help for business support.
“The great thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you don’t need a degree to get started, and you can make a lucrative income if you do it right,” writes Kat Brancato for CleverGirlFinance.com. You can also perform many virtual assistant duties on evenings or weekends if you’re seeking a flexible schedule.
Virtual assistants can perform a wide range of tasks for businesses, including managing emails and calendars, bookkeeping, social media support, content creation, customer service support, and much more. It’s just a matter of picking something you’re good at and enjoy doing.
How to get started:
Step 1: Decide what services you want to offer. Brancato suggests narrowing down your services to 3 to 5 at the beginning: “People pay more for a specialist than they do a generalist so trust me, this will pay off and prevent you from overwhelming yourself with options.”
Step 2: Work out your pricing. Virtual assistants can make anywhere from $10 to $60 an hour, writes Brancato. Take a look at other virtual assistant websites to see what the going rates are for your particular services. Also consider offering packages or working on a monthly retainer to earn a higher hourly rate.
Step 3: Build out a website. Include your resume or relevant experience, testimonials from previous employers, and a list of the services you offer. Check out other virtual assistants’ websites for inspiration.
Step 4: Build your clientele. Reach into your network to see if any businesses are in need of help. Consider checking out job listing sites such as Upwork and Indeed.
5. Open an E-Commerce Store
Largely due to the pandemic, there are more online consumers right now than ever before: In 2021, there were an estimated 2.14 billion global buyers online, which means that 27.2% of the world’s population is shopping online. This makes 2022 the perfect time to capitalize on the recent e-commerce trends with an online store of your own.
How to get started:
Here are some tips from the e-commerce experts at Shopify:
Step 1: Decide what you’re going to sell then obtain your product(s).
Step 2: Do your research. Perform a competitive analysis to find out how you can get an edge over the competition, then write a business plan.
Step 3: Set up your business. Decide on a business or brand name, a domain name, and create a logo and color palette.
Step 4: Build your online store. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle or costs of building one from scratch, Shopify is a great option.
Step 5: Pick your sales channels. Popular channels include Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.
Step 6: Study up on shipping and fulfillment. Create a policy for handling returns.
Step 7: Launch your store. Use email marketing and social media to continue to drive traffic to your store.
Ready, Set, Go for It
The pandemic has given women the perfect opportunity to reevaluate their careers and ask themselves what they really want out of life. If you have entrepreneurial aspirations that were put on hold by life circumstances or if you’ve just been waiting for the right time, 2022 is the perfect year to bet on yourself and see what you’re capable of.
“2022 is the perfect year to bet on yourself and see what you’re capable of.”
Image: Courtesy of Jesse Relkin
Featured image: Smith House Photo