The number one issue for newly released inmates is surviving financially. It’s extremely difficult to find a job and/or housing with a criminal record because of employer discrimination. While there are multiple organizations that help inmates re-enter society and find jobs and housing, sometimes starting your own business is the quickest way to make a living until something permanent occurs. The following entrepreneur ex-con business ideas are possible and pretty easy to accomplish.
Business start ups seem challenging because there is always the question of how to obtain clients. Social media is the best way to expose people to your new business. It’s also the best way to establish yourself as an industry expert. Posting videos on social media platforms such as Periscope, YouTube, Instagram live, and Facebook live will draw people to your channel or page. This will show them that you are knowledgeable about your industry. You can also go to industry events and pass out your business card. Networking at an event where your clients will be present is a gold mine of opportunity. Obtaining email addresses and other contact information is important. These suggestions will help you gain clients faster than word of mouth. If you’re ready to start a business and need suggestions, here are 4 ideas for starting a business post-prison.
Many inmates worked out on a daily basis while incarcerated. There’s no need to stop once you’ve been released. In fact the muscles you’ve gained and the weight you’ve lost is just what someone is looking for. There are many people in the community that go to gyms and are making no progress. They are in need of help and you can help them.
Write down what you’ve been doing to help yourself gain muscle or lose weight in certain body parts. Use a couple of friends and try your work out plan on them for a few months and detail the progress. You can use that information to become a tried and true personal trainer. Don’t forget to track their progress with journals and photos.
Prison isn’t for everyone and you know exactly who it’s not for since you were there. You can mentor and coach those who are heading in the wrong direction. Many programs are looking for speakers and mentors to give their testimony or tell their stories to troubled youth or young adults.
Write a short business plan, think of a company name, and file your paperwork with the state and your local city hall. Write down all of the things you wished someone told you or you wished you’d listen to before you were incarcerated. Write down all of your mistakes and put them into a presentation or note cards. Then send emails to various social service agencies letting them know that your business mentors troubled adolescents and you’d love to speak at an event.
If you worked in the prison meal system, then you’re probably a good enough cook to make meals for other people. There are many people who don’t have time to make food for themselves and instead of eating at fast food restaurants, they would love a home cooked meal. There are also elderly people who don’t have family or friends to check up on them regularly. You could bring a couple of small sample meals to your potential clients homes and give them your business cards. Let them know you are establishing your business and would like their patronage. Some families may even use your services when they are too busy with kids homework or sports/hobby activities.
Another way to look at being a personal chef is to create meal plans for those who have restricted diets. Health concerns are hard to live by when you don’t know what a low sodium diet, low sugar diet, or lactose-free diet consists of.
Laundry Pick Up
If you truly desire to start a business without a lot of starting funds, then creativity is required. Everyone has done laundry and you most likely have done your own laundry in prison. In fact, some of you have already started a business while in prison when you would wash other inmates clothing. The same is useful post-prison. You may not even have to go the laundromat to wash your clients clothes, but those that don’t have access to a washer or dryer in their residence would most likely be the people that use your business. You could also give business cards to those who have to pick up dry cleaning regularly. Look for those individuals who always have on suits or “Sunday morning” dresses.
Starting a business can seem like a frightening task, but if you take it step by step you’ll accomplish more than you thought you could. Using talents and knowledge you already have makes it even easier to go after your dreams and establish yourself financially. You don’t have to let your former prison sentence follow you for the rest of your life. You can take control.