Can't Find a Boss, So Become One

by Teena Rose

With the unemployment rate hovering around 6%, jobs requiring well-trained and educated employees are becoming more difficult to find. Jobseekers seem to be looking longer and pursuing harder to secure a position paying a salary worthy of their career stature. The Internet has opened a number of opportunities for jobseekers; therefore, some 9 to 5 positions are being replaced by telecommute and contract positions or being outsourced to small businesses.

Home-based businesses have seen the most growth, according to the American Association of Home-Based Businesses, growing to over 24 million strong. Over 5 million are run by women, according to the 1997 U.S. Census Bureau, with 16% possessing employees. A fair percentage are often started and operated as home businesses, enabling strong financial roots to be planted before taking on the overhead incurred from being office-based. The evolving workforce is also enabling many small businesses to remain at home because some clientele are comfortable dealing with "the little guy" rather than larger corporations.

SELECTING A BUSINESS. A person just can't start "any" business. For example, starting a thumbtack business and immediately designing and launching a website will hardly draw a lot of attention — it's likely that buyers will run to a local department or hardware store. Choosing a business that matches your interests or skills level, coupled with what consumers and businesses show a need for, will make a great combination for a successful business.

Choosing the type of product or service will likely be dictated by the types of things you've been good at accomplishing. For instance, a high-end and well-known salesperson may start a training facility that conducts seminars on topics, such as business development, revenue producing, and lead generating tactics. It would be a great business choice for this person, because selling is a topic that he or she knows a great deal about. Moreover, these tactics and techniques would be of great interest to businesses looking to develop a high-producing sales team. In addition, these same seminars would be pertinent to individual sales pros that are seeking advanced career training.

Many types of e-businesses will favor well in today's economy, such as online auctions, desktop publishing, and website design. For a detailed list of authentic and profitable business opportunities, visit or purchase the latest copy of 101 Home-Based Businesses for Women (also applicable to men) written by Priscilla Y. Huff and published by Prima Publishing.

UNDERSTANDING FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY. Most individuals who operate small businesses will be the first to tell you that it can be very demanding, especially those who are actively involved in networking and business development activities. Rather than working 40 hours, typical of a full-time job, a businessperson often works 50-75 hours — initially, because there are a number of business logistics to be set up; and later on, to stay on top of new orders, on-going client projects, marketing, and administrative duties.

Running a business does come with some freedom, so that it won't consume your entire life. Leaving the office to handle personal matters, such as picking up a sick child from school or running home for lunch, is a benefit that many parents would enjoy. The freedom won by separating oneself from the control of an employer can be a great stress reliever.

START OUT PART-TIME. Starting a small business does require a large amount of dedication. That's why so many decide to begin it as a part-time venture--to ensure a slow yet persistent approach to the start-up without allocating a lot of time or capital during the initial months.

Taking a part-time approach initially produces slow business growth; however, it also provides a much-needed learning curve as well. You'll discover there's a significant amount to learn about, in those first months — from licensing and contracts to advertising and taxes.

The library is a great place to read and absorb relative information to ensure all facets of your business are completed accurately, the first time.

STRETCHING DOLLARS WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW. At one time, studies showed that an estimated 80% of small businesses would fold within the first five years. One of the largest culprits is lack of funding and the inability to make money stretch.

One of the key factors business owners should focus on is ensuring that a minimal amount of money will blanket many areas. Doing this can be done by examining all outgoing expenses.

In my eyes, a small business is best started while a person is working at a full-time job. Although the commitment can be overwhelming, this income serves as the backbone, without putting a financial strain on a family's revenues during the first year or so. A business owner can always opt to leave his or her permanent position once the business holds some financial solvency and starts to demand more time.

More families are seeking alternatives to the typical 9 to 5 position, allowing more time to be spent at home with the kids. Selecting and starting a small, home-based business is a great start.

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About the Author

Teena Rose is author of How to Start a Résumé Business  It is available as a downloadable book that teaches individuals how to start and run a home- or office-based résumé service.

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