Did you ever dream of owning your own business? Have you dreamed of being your own boss? Would you like to be in charge of the kind of work you do, the hours you work, your own success? The problem may be that you don’t know how to start. It may be that you’re afraid of the risk. You may wonder where to get the money needed to see your dreams come true. You may dream of operating your business as a career. You may just want to do something you enjoy for extra income.
There are a lot of people out there who have been successful at running their own small or home-based business. Many of them didn’t have a clue where to start, or how to get the necessary money to start. They may have been scared of the risk. They did it, however, and now they’re glad they did. Let’s read about some of them and examine tools available to those who would like to own their own small business.
The idea originated on a vacation for Patricia and Guillermo Gama in 1985, as they were in Florida. While they were there, they found no fresh tortillas in the Sunshine State. It seemed as though Florida was 20 years behind other places in Mexican fare.
After selling everything they had, the Gamas moved from Texas to Florida and opened a Mexican bakery just east of Tampa. What started as a 900 foot business with two employees had grown to a successful business with 48 employees by 1996. The success didn’t stop there, however. The Gamas either had to scale back their tortilla making business or expand.
With help from the Small Business Association and the Tampa Bay Economic Development Corporation, the Gamas obtained a $1million loan. It was worth it, because today El Mirasol Incorporated has 120 employees, who make 2.4 million all natural tortillas daily. Packaged under private labels, the tortillas are shipped to stores and restaurants in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Caribbean countries, and Spain. The bakery has also expanded into a restaurant, and Patricia Gama recently opened what she hopes will be the first of many Mexican restaurants.
The Gamas prove it is possible to make a dream of owning a small business come true.
Lannie Hall, a realtor in Atlanta, knew he had entered a profession in which one realtor dominated the listings, at least as far as for the company hall worked for. The other realtor had been in the market for decades. He didn’t have to do much marketing, because everyone knew him.
It seemed the only way Hall could succeed would be to out market his competitor. The traditional real estate promotions at that time were photocopies of pictures of houses. The descriptions were typed. Hall knew he could do better. Hall’s background was in architectural sales, and he knew better quality materials could be produced, but he didn’t know if he could afford to.
Using the same personal computer, four years later, Lannie Hall is getting more and more business by using iPhoto, iWeb, and pages to create books, websites, brochures, and flyers to market properties for his clients.
That just goes to show you what one small business owner can do with a little initiative and imagination.
Using just a personal computer, Robert A Cowen, a Certified Public Account, saw his business evolve from a one person operation in 1984 to a five person firm serving 100 small and medium businesses. He has clients that have sole proprietorships, who make $200,000 a year, to businesses with 50 employees that make $10 million a year. His company offers a variety of services, including tax preparation and planning, bookkeeping and accounting, compilations and reviews, financial statements, and business consulting.
Did you ever think of freelance writing as a home business? An article on Associated Content last year showed it is possible to earn a living writing for this website. Eileen Coale earns a living by freelance copywriting for websites, and she has her own website: www.eileencoale.com. While she started her freelance writing as a translator, she then went on to writing for newspapers and magazines.
Copywriters can write product descriptions for e-commerce websites, articles for online publications, information for company sites, and sales copy for sales sites. One tool that can help someone in a writing business, whether or not it is copywriting, is the book, The Well-Fed Writer, by Peter Bowerman. There are any number of websites that advertise for copywriters, but it might be a good idea to read Bowerman’s book, or other books about the craft itself before marketing yourself, unless you have experience.
Amilya Antonetti started a small business that eventually grew into a $10 million business-all because she wanted to find a cure for her son’s physical ailments.
Her son, David, as a baby, constantly cried in pain. He also experienced shortness of breath and skin rashes. Although doctors and specialists could not find the cause, she eventually discovered the ailments were caused by chlorine and ammonia from her household cleaning products.
She now markets a line of household cleaning products that are vegetable-based, not synthetic. Her products are safe to use around David.
If you would like to own your own business or just make extra money, first ask yourself if you have an idea that would interest others. Even if you just like to write, you might be able to make extra money by doing that.
The Small Business Administration might be able to help you, as it helped the Gamas. You can find information at http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html. You can find information or resources to help you with taxes, writing a business plan, finding a mentor, start up costs, buying a business, buying a franchise, getting licenses and permits, and on many other topics.
The Small Business Administration also offers specific help for women at: http://www.onlinewbc.gov.
The website, www.entrepreneur.com also gives information about starting a business, money, marketing, sales, advertising, franchises, e-business, home-based businesses, and on many other topics.
Whether you just want to use a skill like writing, teaching music lessons, photography, or another skill to make extra money, or want to own your own business, you might find it is possible after all.