Many people have fallen prey to the trend of companies with the largest buying power putting all of the little guys out of business. So, when Wal-Mart comes to town most of the smaller stores offering like wares are hard pressed to compete. Many of us started and successfully operated our own businesses only to be run out of business by some behemoth that offered all you did at less than half the price.
In light of this trend, there are many people out there who, after years of running a business, are looking for work. Some of the lucky ones actually sold their business for a profit but the majority of people can no longer make ends meet on the meager salary their business provides. So, how do you enter the workforce after years of running a business?
Create a resume
The first thing you need to do is create a resume that shows that you have not lost the skills to work in the corporate world. You do this by highlighting all of the responsibilities you had as a small business owner that relate to the position you are looking for.
If you are looking for something in finance, stress all the budgeting, balancing and reconciling experience you gained in your small business. If you are looking for something in Marketing, stress all the experience you gained in marketing your business.
Prepare for the question that you know is coming
Once you identify that you ran your own business, you will have to prepare for questions related to why you are no longer in business. If you sold your business then you have less to worry about. If not, then you will have to address this issue and be as up front and honest as possible.
If you sit back and evaluate the reason behind closing your business, nine times out of ten you will see that it was caused by another larger company entering your territory and stealing your thunder. What you must do is fashion answers to show that instead of being bitter, you see it as a learning experience.
Allay the fear of leaving
One of the greatest fears that companies have when they interview someone who ran their own business is that this person is going to jump ship the first chance they get to open another business. Your job is to lay out your situation (family, expenses, etc) so that people are convinced that while you enjoyed working for yourself, you are now ready for the more stable position that corporations usually offer.
Be sure to stress all of the most important benefits of working for another company versus working for yourself. Factors like Health Insurance, paid days off and many of the other benefits are easily expressed as staying points.
All in all, you want to create an image and a resume that says, look at all of the experience I gained from running my business, see how much it will contribute to the company that is hiring, see that I am not bitter about closing my business but instead eager to learn more in a new position, and finally, see that I am not looking for the next business opportunity that comes to the door to quit my regular job. Good luck!