Starting A Business After Being Downsized – Fantasy or Reality?

One of the dreams of most working individuals, if they were to be honest, would be to have their own business. Perhaps for you in a perfect world you would have such a business that allowed you to pick the days and hours you showed up at the office. For others the ideal situation would be to have no bosses and no employees. Unfortunately, over the last few years many folks were downsized and faced with changing directions in life.

If you are one of those individuals who has experienced a downsizing I hope and pray that you and your family are weathering the storm. I believe it is just a passing storm and sunny days are ahead. The difficulty is when you are in the storm all you see is doom and gloom. Hang in there and don’t give up.

As you know the US economy has been struggling since 2008 with millions of workers either unable to find work or significantly under employed. We sure do miss the good old days of March 2007 when the unemployment rate was 4.4%. Looking back it is clear that we were heading for a downtime as the housing bubble was ripe for bursting and the normally stable financial institutions were taking too many risks for the sake of maximizing shareholder profits. Thus the perfect economic storm came together to create the near global economic depression.

Unfortunately all of this lead to many folks losing their jobs, homes and hope for a bright future.

Losing your job brings along with it many fears and hopes and in some cases relief. I have heard many folks say that they were glad that it finally happened. For many folks working in an environment when everyday that you go to work you think it might be your last day is stressful. The day that the unpleasant news arrives at your office or cubicle brings both sadness and anger. Although you might have been expecting to get downsized, when it actually happens you feel like you have just been punched it the gut.

So once reality sets in and you have had a few days to digest what has happened to you, what do you do next? Do you pursue that dream that has been in your head to start your own business or try to get back in to a 9 to 9 job (9 to 5 is a thing of the past)?

Well you could get yourself a franchise and start building your future nest egg that way. The problem with buying a franchise is that the startup costs, are often too high. What I have found is that folks often look at he franchise fee and think that owning a business is doable. They many times overlook or fail to realize that addition funding is required to open and maintain the business.

For example, let’s say that you wanted to open up a subway. At a minimum you would need about $50,000 cash to get started. Then you need to get financing in the range of $92,000 to $315, 000. The actual costs would depend on the location and whether you are building or acquiring someone else’s property and equipment. So if you have the upfront cash required and can obtain the financing you are in business.

For many folks who want to go the small business route, generally there is some borrowing from retirement plans or taking out a second mortgage on their house. The challenges associated with starting a small business without adequate financing is emotionally and physically trying. Generally, companies providing financing insist that you have some stake in the game and thus require you to risk more than your time and effort.

The other issue with opening up a franchise is that you have no idea if you are going to like it. Many folks find out quickly that in order for the business to succeed a great deal of sacrificing is required. The owner is usually the first to arrive and the last one to leave.

There is a website called Franchise.com where you can get a better sense of the financial and personal commitments required to open up a franchise.

So if you don’t have funds to open up a new business is your only option to get back into the 9 to 9 grind? Well, obviously if you have bills to pay and need a little food periodically, you have to do what you have to do.

You also have an opportunity to go into business for and by yourself via the internet. Quite simply there are billions of individuals on the internet everyday. Believe it or not it’s relatively cheap to start an online business. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the internet. You just have to understand the basics of what customers are searching for and how to get it to them.

The great thing about building an online business is that you literally can get started in days rather than months or years. You can create one at your kitchen table and not spend your severance pay or retirement funds doing so.

I hope that you understand that you have choices if you have been downsized or if you are underemployed. If opening up a franchise is your heart’s desire and you have the means to do so, I would suggest you get started as soon as you can but proceed cautiously.

Internet Marketing Startup – Devote At Least 90 Minutes To Your Business After Work

You should devote at least 90 minutes to your business after work. In other words, when you get home from your regular job, you should try to work for at least 90 minutes on your various Internet marketing projects. It really helps if you can just focus on one project at a time. The reason why that is so important is because you have a limited amount of time to work with. It makes no sense to try to cram too much into short period of time.

You don’t necessarily have to do all of this worked in many you walk in. After all, you’ve probably had a long day and need some rest. In addition, you may need to eat something. Of course, you also want to spend a little bit of time with your wife and family. However, you do need to try to devote at least 90 minutes of time to working on your Internet marketing business. As we said a moment ago, if you are focused on just one or two things, you can get a lot more done in the 90 minute period of time. Therefore, you may seriously want to think about creating a business plan that helps you focus on just a small handful of activities.

Here is the bottom line: if you are somebody who is interested in making a lot of money on the Internet, then you really need to seriously think about devoting a minimum of 90 minutes to working on your business after you get home from work.

Small Business Is Hard Enough: The Challenges of a Small Business After a Disaster

Disasters, I know we all hate that word. As humans we gird ourselves and simply say, “It won’t happen to me”. But the data shows that it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when is it going to happen.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% to 60% of small businesses fail following a major disaster. The number of presidentially declared disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, many disasters don’t affect a large number of people like these declared events do. In fact, fire is the leading business disaster.

If that is not bad enough, researchers estimate that approximately: half of business do not survive their first 5 years and 8 out of 10 fail within the first 3 years after a disaster.*

Small Businesses have unique challenges that are quite different from their larger counterpart. Since 52 % of businesses are operated from the owner’s home or property their ability to recover is harder simply because they have to focus to two recovery efforts. There is never enough time to get them both done quickly and easily. If their business is in their home, there is no place for the work to continue. The property damage for a small business owner impacts BOTH the family and their business.

While owning a small business may seem like the American Dream, owning a small business has many challenges. But after a disaster the challenges become more profound. There seems to be recurring views of these owners both before and after the disaster.

Here are 7 challenges Small Business Owners face after a disaster:

1. Illusion of Security

2. Nothing could be done to protect against this

3. Complete 360-degree disaster for the individual

4. Self-imposed limits

5. Imprudent use of financial resources

6. Not understanding what is happening to their customer base

7. Assumption everything will get back to normal

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. The largest challenge for small business owner is planning.

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters, and by creating a plan for action should a disaster strike. By keeping those plans updated, you can help ensure the survival of your business.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

I know, not another plan! Who has time for that?

Resilience is different from preparedness. Where preparedness is something that you do; resilience is something that you become. In becoming more resilient, you as the owner should take intentional action. Do one thing today. (Just one thing). Do you back up your data? No, then get that done. Do you have an emergency contact list for your employees, suppliers, major clients? No, then get that done. Do you review you insurance policy every year with your agent? No, then get that done. Little by little, doing one thing moves you closer.

You’ve finally achieved your dream. Don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.