Business advisors say the road to economic recovery is through the success of small businesses. In this sluggish job market they are the first to hire employees before major corporations, like Kraft,
My father was the consummate entrepreneur who epitomized the essence of a small business owner. Displaced by a number of jobs in his 20’s, with two children to raise and a wife to provide for, he made a decision at an early age that he wanted to have control of his own career.
He decided that the only way to do this was to form his own business. He partnered with a guy who had a business and added products to the company, eventually forming another firm that they became partners in. My father’s main business was in the off-premise storage/recovery of computer tapes, along with using his architectural background to design computer rooms.
I believe in the spirit of the entrepreneur. The rewards of having control of your career are abundant. Yet, it’s not for everyone. If you are creative, willing to work hard, have some sales aptitude and can manage you own time, you may consider starting your own company. You’ll also need to spend some of your money for start up and be able to take a risk, but at least you’ll be building something of your own.
You’ll also need an idea for a service or product, a business plan, and a team of advisors. A unique concept also helps or something that fills the need of a business or consumer. Meet Robin and Mark Levine who had just that, an idea that filled a need that they built a business on. They supply bubble wrap/packaging materials (www.bubblefast.com) to small businesses that need it for shipping product.
Robin started the business in Gurnee with her late CPA husband, Alan, in 1999. After only a couple of years in business, her than 43-yr. old husband had a heart attack which proved to be congenital. Left with two daughters to raise, Robin was on her own to run the business. The community rallied around her and this is where she met her current business partner and husband, Mark.
Together they have built the business by focusing on exceptional customer service for their 4,000 clients over the years. They have had a newsletter in place for ten years which Mark says, “They are not selling their service, per se, but their family.” He says that the small companies that they do business with like them because they are, “one of them”.
I asked Robin and Mark what it was like working together not only as business partners, but also as husband and wife. The both admitted that there are challenges at times, but not because they don’t like working side by side. They complement one another in business and have their set tasks they excel in. They both say that their business is their life. Robin said, “It gives us the flexibility to attend our children’s school conference or help a friend in need, something we wouldn’t have at a large firm.”
The drawback of their business at this venture is the inability to take time off for a vacation. They only take a couple of weekends off from their business a year, but would like more time. They hope they can grow their business to a point they can hire someone to cover for them, so they can take more time off.
Being your own boss has terrific rewards with flexibility and opportunity to make your own decisions. It also takes 150% commitment and belief in what you do to make it a success. Most of the small business owners I know, wouldn’t trade their life for the world! Job hunters, maybe instead of hunting for a new job, you should be looking for an idea for your own business and employ yourself!