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Startups strong despite economy

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McLEAN, Va. (2/8/10)--The desire to own a small business hasn’t dwindled, even in today’s economy. About 600,000 businesses are formed every year; roughly half will fail within their first five years. But that reality hasn’t deterred budding entrepreneurs from following their dreams. With can-do attitudes, hordes of potential business owners want to work for themselves (USA Today Jan. 31). Whether you’re pursuing starting a business because of a layoff, you’ve retired from your “normal” job, or have decided to turn your passion into a career, these strategies can help make your small business a success, according to, an online resource for small-business owners:
* Choose your industry wisely. Consider barriers beyond start-up costs such as regulatory hurdles, the need to hire staff or a sales force, and navigating vendor relationships. * Focus on problem, not solution. Many people fall so in love with their product that they become blind to hurdles and criticism. Successful business owners are flexible about finding a solution to a need. * Know when to get help. Don’t try to do something yourself to save money if it’s something a professional can do better, such as drafting legal documents. * Use free or low-cost resources. Take advantage of literature and other resources available on the Internet and in your community about running a small business. Find networking groups that will offer honest feedback about your product or service. Universities and community colleges can offer free or low-cost course work, books, and seminars. * Build credibility. Learn the industry’s nuances and develop relationships with vendors, retailers, and contractors before launching your business. Gather information from industry reports to learn industry best practices. * Apply your strengths. Use knowledge from other jobs and situations when developing your business. You can apply the same business skills in multiple industries.
To learn more, read the “Make the Move to Small-Business Ownership” Turning Point and watch the “Financing Your Small Business” video in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.