Today is a time of great business opportunity. no other time since the beginning of the industrial revolution have individuals been offered so great opportunity to pursue independent business opportunities.
I can hear what you might be thinking, “Are you absolutely insane? I don’t know what planet you live on, but here on Earth in the United States we’re experiencing the worst recession since the 1930’s. We have 10% unemployment (17% if you calculate those who have stopped looking for a job or taken involuntary, early retirement). We have historically high business failures and mortgage defaults. Every day we hear about people right in our own neighborhoods losing their jobs and their homes. So what opportunity are you talking about opportunity mister? The opportunity to go broke?”
No, I’m not nuts or delusional. The opportunity to start your own business is real and it’s never been less expensive to do so. I believe America’s future lies in small, decentralized businesses involved in a variety of markets. The opportunities include a wide range of professional skills and specializations. To take advantage of these, all that’s needed is a PC, a telephone, and Internet access. You can run your business from anywhere, in the comfort of your home to your local coffee shop. The potential market is huge and for the first time ever, businesses as small as one-person operations can participate in global commerce.
Virtually anything you can do in an office job, you can do online. Consulting work of every type as well as most forms of sales, teaching, tutoring, counseling, advising, accounting, representing, marketing, engineering, writing, research, legal work, and retailing can be done either online in a home-based or in a small business office. All that’s required is imagination, courage, positive foresight, and the willingness to risk some time and energy on a new, unproven venture.
Despite what the pundits think, I believe America is bankrupt only in terms of the loss of our “can do” attitudes, our pioneering spirit, and the ability to imagine a bigger, better future. Many of us seem to be stuck waiting for a rescue. We’re waiting for our economy to magically improve. We’re waiting for the government, Wall Street, big business, or the housing market to lead us out of our economic malaise. The solution, however, does not lie elsewhere. The solution is in our own hands.
All we need to do is change our attitudes. We need to stop waiting to be rescued and instead we need to begin a proactive search for our own unique opportunities to flourish. If you don’t have a business, start one this year. Even if you are working a full time job, think about what you can do part-time during your time off.
Instead of worrying about your job and future, do something TODAY that can supplement you present income and perhaps may become your big opportunity. Nothing you can do? HOG WASH… you’re just not thinking hard enough! Think of all the possibilities. Think in terms of your knowledge and experience. Think about how your hobbies and pastimes may be offer potential business opportunities.
If you are already in business for yourself, consider extensions of your current products or service offerings. I run a sales and marketing consultancy. My primary business is ad and exhibit sales representation. The future is in electronic marketing, so I have started the process of educating myself on new the media and electronic marketing. I have acquired a new client that produces iPod and Webcasts and will be selling sponsorships for them starting in just a few weeks.
Although extensions of your present business are probably the best sources for expansion, you can also start an entirely new business based on your hobbies or interests. For example, a CPA friend of mine started an online energy drink and supplementary food business for cross country bicyclists and runners. He started the business purely by chance.
My friend Bill is an avid cross-country bicyclist. He and fellow cyclists regularly go on 100 to 500 mile treks. These grueling rides demand high levels of stamina and energy. Bill found a number of energy bars and drinks that are helpful. However, they are sold in very few specialty stores that are not close by.
He sought alternative online suppliers. The online suppliers also offered additional products also not available in stores. Bill purchased them and shared them with fellow cyclists and other friends involved in aerobic sports. Friends began to ask him to buy these products for them as well. This triggered the idea to start an online sports energy food business. He has been doing this business for more than five years and although he doesn’t make enough to quit his day job, he certainly earns nice supplemental income.
I have another friend who raises pedigreed Doberman show dogs. Recently, Joyce retired from her full time job as a Vice President for a large medical organization to pursue her equestrian passions full-time. Her Doberman enjoy rawhide chews. Concerned about canine health, Joyce purchases only the most sanitary, high quality products on the market. Recently, friends introduced her to new organic chews that her dogs really enjoyed. She inquired about becoming a distributor and is now selling the chews on a drop-ship basis from her Florida condominium.
Think about what you can do or what’s of interest to do. Spend some time on the internet to see what others are doing. Need a further nudge? There are many good resources available to you. I just read an excellent book on internet marketing, entitled Inbound Marketing by Brian Hallign and Dharmesh Shah. The book provides insights on the latest no cost techniques to effectively market your business. Serious reading for anyone serious about their business.
So what are you waiting for? Read the book. Determine what you need. Find a niche. Make a plan, set a goal and just do it. Take action today!
The future is in all our hands. Let’s not let another day pass without considering the possibilities and taking action! Like the Nike slogan states, “Just do it!”

By Laura

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