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13 Best Jobs For Former Business Owners


If you’ve launched a business before, you’ve already got a leg up as a business development pro, marketer, or project manager. Even if things didn’t pan out, the experience you gained is invaluable—those skills make you a prime candidate in the job market.

1. Project Manager

This is the single best job for former entrepreneurs. Your entrepreneurial experience has given you a toolkit that’s perfect for managing projects. You’re used to overseeing the various aspects of a business, from budgeting to team coordination. That’s what project management is all about. Your ability to navigate challenges and lead teams through complex tasks will make you an asset in this role.

2. Director of Operations

Even though bigger companies want specialists, they also recognize the need for generalists—those who are willing to take risks and see the bigger picture. That’s where you fit in.

As a former business owner, your hands-on experience with the ins and outs of running a business makes you an ideal candidate for a Director of Operations role. You understand the day-to-day challenges and can drive improvements across various departments.

3. Franchise Owner

Transitioning from a business owner to a franchise owner can be a seamless move, especially since there are franchises that are nearly self-sufficient. With systems and processes already established, these types of franchises allow you to step into a leadership role without the heavy lifting of starting from scratch.

Your experience in business management equips you with the knowledge to oversee operations, manage staff, and maintain the quality of service or products that customers expect from a recognized brand.

4. Sales Director

As I already said, generalists can excel in management roles, especially as a Sales Director. Your gift for seeing the big picture and pulling insights from a variety of fields means you’re set to drive a sales team to success.

Your broad knowledge isn’t just helpful; it’s a superpower in navigating the complexities of sales strategies and customer relationships. You’re the general who can lead from the front, inspire your troops, and win those crucial deals.

5. Program Manager

For a former business owner like you, stepping into the role of Program Manager could feel like a natural transition. It’s a job where your entrepreneurial skill set—your ability to juggle multiple projects, your foresight in planning, and your ability for strategic thinking—comes into full play.

You’re already adept at steering the ship through turbulent waters, and as a Program Manager, you’ll be at the helm of various initiatives, ensuring they align with the business’s vision and objectives.

6. Business Development Manager

If you’ve successfully kicked off your own business before, you’re well-positioned to market yourself as a capable Business Development Manager. This role is all about identifying and seizing new opportunities for growth, something you’re already familiar with.

Your entrepreneurial background means you have a keen eye for potential markets, can strategize effectively to enter them, and build valuable partnerships. These are the very competencies that make a Business Development Manager thrive.

7. Market Research Analyst

Leveraging your entrepreneurial experience, stepping into the role of a Market Research Analyst could be a natural transition. As a business owner, you’ve already honed the ability to understand your market and customer base, which is at the heart of this job.

In this role, you’d be diving into consumer behavior, analyzing market trends, and helping companies make informed decisions based on data. Your talent for spotting patterns and predicting market shifts is a valuable asset in this field.

8. Non-Profit Director 

Taking charge as a Non-Profit Director can be a natural transition for a former business owner. Your entrepreneurial experience in budgeting, leadership, and strategic planning can directly contribute to the success of non-profit initiatives. Moreover, this role allows you to blend business acumen with a passion for social impact.

9. Corporate Trainer 

With your experience as a business owner, stepping into the role of a Corporate Trainer could be seamless. You’d be responsible for educating and developing the skills of employees, drawing on your comprehensive understanding of business operations and people management to enhance workforce capabilities and productivity.

10. Commission Based Sales

You’re already familiar with the importance of understanding client needs, persuasive communication, and closing deals. These abilities are essential in sales, where your earnings reflect the effort and strategy you put into each pitch and negotiation.

11. Real Estate Developer 

Transitioning from business ownership to real estate development can be a natural progression. Your expertise in managing projects, budgets, and teams gives you a solid foundation for overseeing property development projects.

The role demands a good grasp of market trends, an eye for valuable investments, and the ability to manage construction timelines and sales strategies.

12. Instructor 

Taking on the role of an instructor, whether in an academic setting or in industry-specific training, allows you to share the wealth of knowledge you’ve accumulated as a business owner. Your real-world experience can provide invaluable insights to students or trainees looking to understand the intricacies of starting and running a business. 

13. Start a Boring Business

Everyone’s chasing the next big thing, trying to craft a business that dazzles with innovation. Meanwhile, there’s a solid demand for ‘boring’ businesses that many overlook.

Take lawn care, for instance. You grab a lawnmower, and you’re set. More often than not, you can rake in more in a month with this straightforward approach than someone with a trendy app does in a year. It’s all about fulfilling a need, not necessarily inventing a new one.



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