No Job? Create Some.

Ben Bernanke says that the recession is very likely over, but since employment is a trailing economic indicator, it may take some time before the unemployment rate goes down.

In the meantime, it’s an excellent environment in which to start a new business.

Owning your own business has some advantages, too. According to Plumbing for Joy? Be Your Own Boss, the September 2009 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index showed that business owners have a higher average overall well-being than any other group of professions. That’s in spite of the long hours (For the Self-Employed, It’s an Endless Workweek) and risks of failure that business owners contend with.

There are two main reasons why I believe business owners score high for well-being:

  1. Autonomy – you make your own decisions
  2. Your results are tied to your efforts, and your efforts are tied to your results

Those are great reasons to start a business any time, but why now? High vacancy rates mean you should be able to get a deal on office space or a storefront. High unemployment means you should be able to build a top-notch staff. The Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance created PhiladelphiaRetail.com, which includes listings of available space in Center City and helpful information on starting a business, including issues like permits, licenses, taxes, and financing (one of the more intimidating aspects of starting a business).

Starting a new business doesn’t necessarily involve renting a storefront or hiring employees. It could be as simple as doing freelance work via a site like Elance.com, or starting a falafel cart (my falafel tip, borrowed from Jerusalem Garden: use more parsley!).

Running a business does require taking some risk, and the autonomy that some business owners savor could be a bitter pill for other people. You need to be irrepressibly optimistic and confident: remember that Henry Ford’s first two attempts to start an automobile manufacturing company failed. For the right personality, though, it could be an incredibly rewarding alternative to the traditional job hunt.

What are you business ideas?

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One Response to “No Job? Create Some.”

  1. [...] I have to say, I have a hard time sympathizing with one of the real estate agents mentioned, Jill Galloway, who said her income would drop 60% from the usual $200,000-250,000, forcing her to seek other sources of income. Imagine, having to eke by on a mere $80,000-$100,000 a year! But I do admire her can-do spirit: she opened a retail store, rent-free, because the landlord didn’t want to many vacant storefronts in his building. She sells showroom overruns and pays cost when the item sells. It’s a lost-cost, low-risk enterprise. She’s a savvy entrepreneur. (If you want to follow her route, check out out earlier post, No Job? Create Some.) [...]

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