Redundancy levels have increased at a faster rate during the coronavirus pandemic than during the financial crisis of 2008 to 2009. 402,000 people were recorded as redundant in September-November 2020, the highest record in any quarter since 1995.
Being made redundant may mark a definitive shift in your professional life. It brings with it many pressures: the pressure of finding new work and fast, as well the worry of how to support yourself during the redundancy period.
However, whilst redundancy is understandably daunting, it may also be the time for you to consider self-employment and starting a new journey into the world of business. Here at Rotherham Investment & Development Office, we work with our partners to offer a range of services to support the business community, specifically individuals who are looking to start a business.
We’ve curated some tips to help you go from redundancy or facing redundancy to thriving as a self-employed business owner with RIDO’s support.
1. Embrace the change
Being made redundant can be overwhelming, especially given the experience the country has had following the colossal impact made by the COVID-19 pandemic. It throws everything into the air and provokes lots of questions: how will I make the leap into a new job? and should I make a career move? may have run through your mind.
With this change comes another opportunity – starting your own business. But is now the time to go into business? you may be asking yourself. Regardless of whether you’re completely ready to dive into developing a new business or just starting to consider your options, know that this period of change might just be the perfect remedy to finding a new lease of career-related life and reignite a love of the career you’re wanting to pursue through exploring a new business opportunity.
The changes that redundancy brings is not something to fear, but rather something to embrace; the opportunities are endless, and the creativity you can apply to your new adventure should know no boundaries. It’s a scary time, but also possibly an invigorating and inspiring time too.
2. Get creative
Deciding to start a business is the first step, but where do you go from there?
Consider this: Have you always had a business in mind and were just waiting for a reason to turn it into reality? Perhaps you’ve been inspired by someone or something, or you’ve spotted a gap in the market and you’d like to create something that no one has seen before? Or, you might have only recently realised a passion that’s been burning inside you.
Whatever stage you’re at, tap into your skills, prior experience and passions and take some time to consider what sort of business you’d like to run. Once you have an idea, analyse what you’d need to do to make this dream a reality. You may wish to consider whether your business lends itself to being wholly online-run, or whether you’d need a physical store or site to locate the business. Would you run the business alone, or consider getting a business partner? These questions are not intended to scare you, but rather are something to reflect upon and get excited about – your entrepreneurial journey is about to begin!
3. Build a network
Whether you’re looking to transition into a new line of work or launch yourself back into your old one, networking is a productive and effective way to explore new avenues, gain industry insights and ultimately spread the word about your new venture.
Networking, such as at social occasions, business meetings or industry-specific events, offers the opportunity to learn about new opportunities that will help you and your business, offer new ideas for taking your business to a new level, and find people who can provide support in different areas of your business.
Having a group of contacts to call upon for advice and support is a great way to learn from your fellow business owners and find your feet in a new industry, but networking is more than this. If you’re looking to start a business, you may wish to start building a network of potential clients and customers. A great way to do this is building a social media presence and interacting with your ideal audience. We’ve got plenty more advice to offer on social media marketing in our workshops.
4. Seek support
There are many channels of support you can look to when you become redundant. Considering the immediate financial support following your redundancy, you may be entitled to receive the New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, the New Style Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, or Pension Credit.
Looking towards the long-term and the development of a future business, RIDO delivers a business start-up programme as part of the Sheffield City Region Launchpad programme. Whether you’re currently in employment, you’re facing redundancy, your business is still a brewing idea, or you’ve been running it for under 3 years and want to expand, we’re here to welcome you. You will have access to a business advisor and a series of workshops, and our dedicated team is here to help you turn any idea, big or small, into a fully functioning business. Read about our success stories here.
5. Don’t panic
The period after redundancy is a potentially worrying and anxiety-inducing time, but know that you have nothing to fear. If you have recently been made redundant and are looking to start your self-employment journey by setting up your own business, RIDO is here to help with fully funded business support.
Through our business start-up programme, we can help you stand out from the competition, market and sell your products and services, develop an action plan and much more. Plus, you’ll have access to a range of specialist workshops covering all areas of business development, from finance and bookkeeping to social media and branding.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the support RIDO can offer, contact us to speak to an advisor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01709 331133.