I spoke with a girlfriend of mine yesterday. She has always had the entrepreneurial spirit, which her parents completely helped flourish. At the age of 18 they purchased a hair salon for her; her boyfriend was the stylist, and she ran the rest of the show while going to school for nails.
She eventually moved on from that – and her boyfriend, who still owns the shop – to owning a variety of other companies with her husband. These included a few tire stores, a landscaping company and several other ventures.
When we spoke yesterday she said she is now going into business with her mother. Her mother was always a business type person. She owned a small gift shop on the beach when we were growing up; I remember going there to help out on rainy days, tagging items for sale.
Helping in her mother’s shop took me back to even earlier times when my mom owned a sub shop on the beach in North Carolina. I spent so many days and evenings there, assisting behind the counter, wiping tables, doing dishes or, when bored, bumming money so I could go play Pac Man at the arcade.
Perhaps that is where my business ownership desires began.
As we spoke, my friend told me this story: She and her husband went into a business doing landscaping for a large developer in their fairly small Florida town. As we know, the housing market went bust, and the developer folded, taking with him $300,000 dollars of their money. They are now trying to recover. They’ve downsized cars, gotten rid of what she calls a few ‘toys’ and are hoping to hold on to their house, as they had borrowed this money against it.
Yet she and her mother are starting a new company and hoping that things go better this time around.
Times are definitely tough. I speak to a lot of people who are interested in doing something on their own business-wise but who are scared because of the trying financial times we are now facing.
My business has definitely slowed, and it has changed over the past four to five years. Where once upon a time a client wanted an entire website developed, along with a brochure or newsletter and a press release, they now want a template modified, or a blog set up. These are cheaper alternatives, and when you aren’t sure that your company will survive, this is oftentimes the best way to begin.
I’m venturing out into a new business when we get to our new home. I’ve talked a bit about it, and I will share more when the time comes. While developing the idea for this business, as well as the idea for the business that I hope comes from this one in three to five years, I have been considering the fact that times are tougher, and how this may effect my start up.
While what I will be selling, which is a service, is not expensive, it isn’t a necessity like food, shelter and clothing. My fear? People will not think that they ‘need’ this service and therefore will not purchase it because of the downshift of finances in the household.