America and other democratic countries are run by the energy of entrepreneurs. While our attention is the major employers, especially in an economic crisis, it belies the power of the independent businessperson.
A negative economy drives previously satisfied employees to seek part time income or second jobs. The lure of the independent business opportunities becomes more attractive. Couch potatoes become mouse potatoes as they seek new financial opportunities online.
To become a victim of opportunity one must make decisions on hope and not knowledge. Hype and not focused questions. Fear and not a positive and thoughtful approach for long term success instead of short term hopeful fixes.
The following entrepreneur opportunities are the most prevalent opportunities being presented today:
- Sole proprietorship businesses
- The Internet
Here's a capsized version of each one. I've made significant to large sums of money in each except franchising. But my experience there is as a researcher when I was consulting to Entrepreneur magazine and rewriting and editing their "Entrepreneur's Encyclopedia."
Franchising – An experienced franchisor offers one of the best opportunity odds of success for the small business person. Their businesses, often turnkey, arrives with heavy training, ongoing assistance, co-op advertising and a set of proven procedures the franchisee must follow or lose their franchise.
Cons: A decent to great franchise is very expensive. The big boys have the best territories, if you can get one at all. You are a slave to the business with absentee ownership only a dream for most people that is seldom realized or only after many years in business.
Sole proprietorship's – You can buy existing businesses. Brokers abound. Many have succeeded by taking over an already running store or company.
Cons: Usually expensive for any business that is even somewhat successful. Former owners, even when promoting to stick around are usually long gone as soon as they can get to the beach, which is generally five minutes after escrow closures. Little help and the inexperienced can fail fast, right along with their investments.
Many small non-franchising businesses are personality driven, so if the staff and customers do not refer to the new owners, it can tank pretty fast. You are also a slave to the business with little slack. If you only break even, you can not shift or change if you want to protect your investment.
Internet marketing – There are as many variables with online marketing as keys on your keyboard. It's been called the gold mine of the 21st Century. It's a tool rather than a business. The tool can create more business for stores, restaurants, professional offices and the sale of literally any kind of product.
Independent business people can market other products informally and be paid a commission. You can develop your own digital products or information products and deliver them over the Internet for free in order to promote something or for a fee.
Cons: While easy to begin, most people new to it flounder, trying to find what to do next, or even first. It's a lone wolf business, which can be difficult for those coming from the corporate world, though communities of like minded leaders and marketers are beginning to break out.
MLM / Network Marketing – Long before the Internet, the seed of modern day independent easy-to-enter entrepreneurship Began with what we know as MLM or network marketing. When it first emerged, average people could represent a company's product line in any way they liked.
As the concept of multiple levels emerged, greater inputs became possible. Modern math and computers made it possible to be creative with many variables. Old line companies who were slow to change became dinosaurs to the new dynamic marketing concepts of the MLM businesses
Cons: The bloom died for a time with the advent of high fees charged to just to get into the business. Large responsibilities were being paid for recruiting that involved little or no product sales. It became a business of perpetrators and victims with everyone in a suit.
To stem the tide of victimizing companies, stringent state and federal laws were transferred to protect the independent distributors and customers.
Throughout the 80's to the present, many MLM businesses flourished. However, the attrition rate for many new companies became a corporate field of casualties. Many companies are under funded or operated by ignorant business people who thought all they needed to have been a successful distributor history to run an entire company.
Because the industry grew so rapidly, both with highly successful companies and those that failed, it seemed that not only did everyone know know someone who'd tried and failed but that almost everyone seemed to fall into that mode themselves.
"Oh yeah, I tried that and it did not work at all." Or, "Are you trying another one of those deals!"
Only in the past several years has this industry undertaken a high level air of professionalism.
Modern day marketing – Small independently owned storefront businesses such as grocery, and clothing stores, restaurants and coffee shops have been replaced with the big money world of franchise operations.
The independent business person, the new entrepreneurs, while almost frozen out of traditional businesses have flocked to the Internet and MLM world of opportunity.
The new kid on the block, Internet marketing has a real glow and attraction. However, the new marketing model of the 21st Century has begun to take the known quantity of MLM and mix it with the Internet, creating a form of hybrid marketing that exploding.
A downturn economy is the breeding ground for entrepreneurs. 2008 is no exception.
The focus and structure of a well run and well funded MLM company, mixed with Internet savvy is creating a new breed of newly minted successful entrepreneurs.
It's a great time for open-minded skeptics with entrepreneurial desires.
Cons: This is true for all entrepreneurial ventures – While today, unlike the past, you really can find early cash flow. But all business is filled with hands on work, learning, and more work.
Too many quit too soon. Evidence of one person's success can be proof of the possibilities. Several people succeeding is absolute proof. The difference is in the attitude of the entrepreneurial mindset within you.
If someone says, "Make money while you sleep." Run!
Can that happen? Absolutely. But never forget the work ethnic. You have to start, work and stay with it before you can benefit.
Also see the article; "What's the Blackberry Economy?"
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