Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Many Launching Their Own Small Business

A lot of people see the economic downturn as an opportunity to start their own small businesses.

It's not easy. Statistically speaking more than 50 percent of all new businesses will fail within the first few years, but that means some 50 percent will make it. So why not you?
Elizabeth Becker's hobby photography is now her job, but turning her passion into her own small business, Seaport Photography, was a little harder than she expected.

"The biggest advice I would give to someone is to sit down and write out your budget," said Becker.

Because to make money, you have to spend money, from business cards to establishing your own Web site. According to small business analysts, a web site is critical to success, with more than 70 percent of the population linked to the Internet. A huge help for Becker was a computer program, Microsoft's Office Live Small Business, which set up her Web site for free.

"Someone can go in and actually at no cost with the basic office live get a domain name, get a Web site up and running have e-mail and have a presence in the marketplace," said Becker.
But before the Web site, the cards, and the equipment, first and foremost create a business plan. For Becker, it's not as much fun as taking pictures but critical for any business to succeed.
"It's a challenge not only to have the technical skills to be a photographer the artistic skills but then the skills to run a business, and that's a challenge because you wear an awful lot of hats," said Becker.

A recent survey found that more than 70 percent of Americans would like to start their own business. And believe it or not this economic turmoil could be the perfect time to launch, as long as you do your homework before you get started.



Rachel said...

Interesting post. I want to run a business soon, so I'll keep this post in mind. Becoming, what I hope, an entrepreneur is somewhat new to me, so I can use all the help and advice I can get! I know it'll be tough. Lately I've been thinking about the idea of buying a business instead of starting from scratch. I'm not sure what I should go for. Franchise? Home-based? I don't know. Do you have any suggestions or advice? Thanks!

Gail Robertson said...

Rachel –
You're right. It will be tough running your own business, but if you stick through it, it can be extremely rewarding. If you really do want to be an entrepreneur and buy a business, then I suggest searching the Internet to what is available in your area. There are sites, like BizTrader.com, which are online global marketplaces where you can buy and sell businesses. They can also provide you with additional resources like finding a lender, broker, etc. I also suggest checking out current books and magazines for help and advice. Local small business groups can also be very helpful, and it doesn't hurt to network. Good luck!

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