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Start Your Own Business

As contradictory as it sounds, the worst part of a recession is the best time to start a business. During a recession, money to start a business is cheap and available. Low cost surplus and new business equipment is available. Skilled employees are plentiful and wages are reasonable.

As the economy slows, established businesses layoff experienced workers. As the economy begins to pick up, they're reluctant to hire people until the economic trend is more established. When they do feel confident enough to begin hiring, it takes time to hire and train new workers. This leaves clients looking for new sources.

When thinking of starting a business the most important thing to avoid is paying money for one of the many business opportunity scams being promoted in magazines and on the Internet. You can easily detect a scam because they claim that with their program you can get rich quick with absolutely no work required. They never tell you what the business opportunity involves, that's a secret that you have to send them money to learn.

The most insidious business opportunity scams are pyramid schemes, sometimes called multilevel marketing or matrix-marketing. They actually work similar to the old-fashioned chain letter, where you send money to the name at the top list, then cross it out and put your name at the bottom of the list. Then you make x number of copies of the letter which you mail to friends and relatives.

The people who start the chain letter usually make a little money, but as the number of chain letters out there gets larger and larger, pretty soon all the people stupid enough to send a dollar have already done so, and the pyramid collapses. All the people at the wide base of the pyramid lose their money.

A multilevel marketing scam works the same way. Except instead of putting a dollar in an envelope, you pay a membership fee. Instead of making copies of the letter, you pester friends and relatives to pay the membership fee and join the scam. Pyramid schemes are illegal, so the perpetrators usually come up with some bogus product or service.

Believe me, in a multilevel marketing scam nobody cares if you sell the product or service, in fact if you did, that would annoy everyone because then they would actually have to do some work. They just want you to recruit more suckers into the scam as quickly as possible.

When thinking of starting a business the most important thing to do is choose a business model. There are many business models to choose from. You can sell a product or service. You can sell your own product or service, or somebody else's product or service. You can have a brick-and-mortar store, or you can have an online business (or both).

If you choose an online business model you can start a content Site, a blog, an ezine or newsletter, a social Site, or a classifieds site. There is probably an endless number of business models and entrepreneurs are thinking up new ones every day.

Another thing you might choose to do when starting a business is to create a business plan. A business plan outlines every detail of how you will start and run your business. It takes quite a bit of work to create a complete detailed business plan, but you can also create an abbreviated business plan with less detail. A business plan helps you achieve success by researching first and knowing what to do as you start and run the business. A business plan is usually required if you plan to borrow money to start the business.

If you don't plan to borrow money to start your business, a business plan is not required. Many outrageously successful businesses have been started without a business plan. Two businesses that come to mind are Google and Facebook. Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought of a new way to rank information on the internet. They set up a server with a search box named Google to test the method and their sever traffic skyrocket.

College houses at Harvard had been publishing paper facebooks since the mid-1980s to help students to get to know each other. Mark Zuckerberg put a face book on Harvard's computer network and later on a server open to the Internet and quickly over 900 million people signed up. So you don't really need business plan to start a business, but I would advise doing a lot of thinking and planning before you start your business, which comes out to about the same thing.

When you have your own business, business may be good, or business may be slow, but nobody can kick you to the curb every time things slow down a little, because you're the boss. You're the owner, nobody can fire you and you're not going to fire yourself. But if you're going to start your own business, it can't be just talk and wishful thinking. You actually have to have a plan and be taking action based upon that plan.

If you're interested in starting your own business, check out the Small Business Administration. Another resource for free small business startup counseling, mentoring, training, help, and advice is SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives. Yet Another resource for free small business counseling is Small Business Development Centers which has a local chapter in each area.

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