Are you in the market for a Home-Based or Other Small Business Opportunity? Maybe it’s because you haven’t yet landed that dream job you hoped for after graduating college. Or, you’ve lost faith in what was once the more traditional standard for employment, where employee loyalty was reciprocated by employers. Perhaps, you’ve always been someone who takes the initiative and works hard so you can reap the benefits that only being your own boss can bring. So, the words of wisdom for recent graduates – You may be graduating from high school, and you know college just isn’t right for you. But, you also know you have the drive, determination and dedication that being an entrepreneur requires, and you want greater control of what happens in your professional and, ultimately, your financial future.
As a new or soon-to-be graduate who is interested in owning your own business, you’re not alone. The most recent Gallup Poll on the subject shows that 72% of young people would prefer to start their own business rather than work for someone else. Further Gallup data illustrates quite strongly that pursuing that dream can really pay off, as 83% of small business owners say they would do it all over again. In addition, three out of four feel confident that owning their own business has been more financially advantageous than working for another company in the same field could have ever been.
That’s all encouraging, but as a newly minted, self-proclaimed entrepreneur just out of school, it’s important to know that not all home-based or other small business opportunities are created equal. Your academic years may have come or be coming to a close, but your learning has really just begun. To be a truly successful entrepreneur takes careful planning, and part of any thorough planning process means seeking advice from those who have gone before you. In fact, when asked what the most important lessons they learned were when they were starting out, today’s small business owners said that asking for more advice from experienced small business owners was second only to wishing they had secured more start-up capital. Everybody knows that you need money to start and sustain a business, but far too many overlook the critical need to create a well conceived business plan and establish networks of support so that they can stick with it.
Things You Should Watch Out and Look For
Experts say to beware of “get rich quick” schemes, many of which are aimed at young people just out of school. There are a number of business opportunities out there that are designed to draw uninformed people into their multi-level marketing operation for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the operation itself and the people who run it. The actual exchange of goods and services is secondary and often practically non-existent.
“Do your homework,” says Marc Miller, President of DirtyBlinds.com, whose company has been very successful in the blind refurbishment business and provides business opportunities to ambitious entrepreneurs who want to join what is rapidly becoming a burgeoning industry. “You have to investigate the industry you’re interested in to ensure it’s legitimate, and that conditions are right for you to succeed.” Miller goes on to explain that all industries experience a pioneering, infancy and institutionalization phase. “Young people who’ve never been in business before have trouble grasping that cycle,” he says, “and as a result, they often miss out on a tremendous opportunity.” Having been a pioneer in his industry starting out twenty years ago, Miller feels confident that today’s younger entrepreneurs, given the right combination of training, support and drive, stand to reap huge rewards. “This industry is crawling its way out of infancy,” he says, “and young people who start now stand to benefit the most over the long haul.”
The younger you are, the higher your tolerance for financial and personal risk. There is no better time to pursue your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur than when you are young and not yet tied to a paycheck. Add to that a spouse and a family to support down the road, and pursuing your long-held dream and doing all the hard work necessary to make it successful becomes not impossible, but certainly more difficult.
Youth and all its unbridled optimism is free, but financial resources are often another matter altogether. The good news is that, unlike most franchising opportunities, many home-based and other small business opportunities require relatively low up-front entry costs and little, if any, mandatory and continuous investment. So, if your credit is decent, Miller says financing should not be a barrier. “There are so many ways to get money today,” he says. “There are grants and loans of all kinds, so I tell people never to use their own money, even if they have it.” Miller’s company is exemplary and prides itself on the extent to which it not only offers extensive training and 24/7 support to its clients, but its willingness to assist the right candidate in getting started financially as well.
So, some words of wisdom for recent graduates: If you’re young and you want to be your own boss, pursuing a home-based or other small business opportunity that you are passionate about may be the smartest move you ever make. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Marc Miller hopes the motto his mentor shared with him many years back will guide you as it has him if you decide to take the plunge, “Smart people are smart because they listen to smart people, but brilliant people are brilliant because they listen to wise people.”
Spoken like a man who’s been there, done that and done it well.
SOURCE: Gallup Poll data 2005-6.