By Peter Justen –
When I’m asked to speak on small business, it always amazes me how few people realize the role small business plays in our economy. Here are some interesting stats from the Small Business Administration.
- Small businesses Generate $5 Trillion in business in the US
- Represent 99% of all employer firms
- Pay 44% of total US payroll
- 68% of employment
- Employ 50% of private sector employees
These are the numbers that helped build our country, that keep our economy running strong, that create the jobs. We don’t need bailouts or government assistance…all we need is the opportunity and the drive to make it happen.
And we have that…
There has never been a better time to start your own business. The proliferation of the internet has been a great equalizer, knocking down traditional barriers to entry, making it easier, faster and cheaper to start and build your own business than ever before.
Let’s think about some of the tools, what they can do for you and their costs.
- How to incorporate your great idea? Try the Company Corporation (http://www.incorporate.com/). Their prices to incorporate start at $79 and they will walk you through the entire process
- Website. It still amazes me that some of the businesses I speak with don’t have a website! The cost of putting up a decent site has dropped dramatically over the last few years, with many sites offering low cost templates to get you started. Try Network Solutions (http://www.networksolutions.com) where you can register a domain name for under $10 bucks and you can build a website for free…no geek skills required!
Now that we are incorporated and have a site that tells the world what we do, it’s time to tell them!
- Media. From Twitter (www.twitter.com) to Facebook (www.facebook.com) it’s easier and cheaper than ever to get the word out. Build a base of potential buyers using the strength and power of their millions of users.
- Marketing. Groupon (www.groupon.com) and Living Social (www.livingsocial.com) are only two examples of the dozens of sites that will take your product to market for free and share the revenue with you.
- Employees. Gone are the days when you had to hire full time employees to help build your Company. A much better and very common practice is to use part time or contract employees to do specific tasks. You can have one person working on the marketing on your site, another working on the social media, another working with on you on tweaking your message. Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) and Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) are both great resources for finding immediate talent to use when you need them.
- Office space. Almost a thing of the past. Outsource your marketing, staffing, web development and web presence. Who needs an office? You need a computer, an internet connection and the drive and desire to succeed. Bricks and mortar are no longer a requirement, but in many cases a hindrance.
So what are you waiting for? America was built by people who had a dream…and the desire to make it a reality. It’s time to get started.
About the Author: Peter Justen is the Founder of FivePlus, a cloud based financial dashboard for small businesses (www.fiveplus.co) He is considered a subject matter expert in small business, and has been interviewed by leading publications including Forbes.com, WSJ, INC, Entrepreneur, PC Magazine, PC World, and FOX News Radio. Peter was profiled by Smart CEO Magazine as one of the “20 Leaders We Admire in Washington, D.C.”, and was singled out by the Government of Finland in their study on innovation as a “Shining example of US Innovation”.