Have you recently lost your job and need to do something that will produce some income? Do you have plenty of experience and knowledge that you can draw upon to produce the desired salary? You may already be associated with a core group of people who will become your initial customers.
What type of business should I start? This is the easiest decision if you have years of experience in a job. You can harness that experience and be your own boss with a bit of effort and commitment. Experience in corporate advertising could result in your own advertising firm. With years of computer support and training you could start a computer consulting business.
First steps: You should contact your city or county and state where your business will be located. They will be able to provide the rules and regulations set up to govern your type of business. Your first purchase is likely a business license. The contacts made within local and state government will be able to provide guidance in additional processes and paperwork. They will also give you instruction on other necessary licenses and permits.
Who to contact for assistance: The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) provides support to the small business owner. Another excellent place to visit for small business advice is www.score.org. There is a wiki available at www.smallbusiness.com. In addition to learning from others you can add your own experiences to provide assistance to future small business owners. The most effective resource that I have found is the small business center at the local community college.
Reaching potential customers: Learning about effective advertising methods can consume an entire career. Look at it from the viewpoint of your customer. Would you expect your customer to be traveling nearby major highways? Your best advertising mode may be billboards. Would your customers be in the local colleges? Flyers would be a truly economical, and probably quite effective, solution. As funds become available, an advertising agency can provide an effective solution to grow your business.
What should I do to maintain my knowledge? Business classes are an excellent source of additional training. These also provide networking opportunities which will bring you into contact with other small business owners who may be interested in your offerings and may act as a mentor to answer any questions you may have.