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I worked in the healthcare field for over 40 years as a nurse. During these years, when situations arose and our family needed extra income, my husband and I started a temporary business to make end's meet.
My husband worked as a television electrician for over 30 years and partway through his career, his company laid him off for one year. This layoff ended up being a computer glitch! During this layoff, he started his own electronic repair business, and he did well, but when his company called him back to work, he could not keep his newly formed business going, so closed the doors. This temporary business got us through financially.
At this time, I felt I needed to take a leave from nursing. My children were all in elementary school, and I wanted to stay home. I thought that a small children's daycare with a pre-school program would fit my needs and schedule while bringing in money and servicing the community with quality daycare. I received my license for daycare and had the business for eight years, at which time a nursing position came available that I could not turn down. I closed the doors on my daycare and reentered nursing.
In 2004, a friend and I discovered and enjoyed resale shopping. We were sold on a couple of clothing resale shops in the community so much so that we wanted to start our shop. Resale shops were something of a new concept for our community that triggered interest for us.
We knew that many families relied on top name brand clothing that showed little to no use. Name brand clothing uses better material and stitching, thus these clothing items last longer. My resale shop enabled families in my community to buy adult and children's clothing items without paying the 300 percent markup found at most retail stores.
Two months into the business, my friend wanted to leave the company, as it was not her niche. She wanted to work in the traveling nurse industry. I kept the store and changed my full-time nursing to part-time. I was getting ready to leave nursing again when my husband became ill in 2005 and had to take early retirement. I had to close up my store and go back to nursing full-time.
In 2010 I decided to retire early from nursing and enjoy life, doing what I wanted to do when I desired to do it, found only in retirement.
I had already found my niche in 2004, in the clothing resale market, but since I did not want to go that route, I found writing was another niche I loved. I slowly became a freelance writer. I was able to work when I wanted and where I wanted from my laptop. If I wanted to work, I could. If I got too busy and did not want to write, I was free to do that also.
I embraced writing and thought about a book. My dad was well into his 80s and becoming forgetful. He had an amazing life growing up and found his career in the Navy for over 20 years. I needed to get his thoughts on paper before it was too late and the information was lost forever.
I wanted to write an autobiography about my dad, his four brothers, his mother and father, and my dad's fantastic naval career. All four brothers were still alive and well and all of them added memories to my dad's autobiography, Return To The Past, published in 2015 and available on Amazon.
Learn the basic principles of business ownership.
In the current economy of the United States, where so many people have lost their job and cannot find work, many have gone the entrepreneurial route to bring into their home income. Do not be embarrassed or think that you are rowing alone in this boat of a depressed economy. Many people are with you in the same economic struggles.
The most crucial first step is finding a well-accepted business in your community offering a service or product that men and women alike cannot do without on a daily basis. Finding your ideal business in a well-accepted market is not as hard as you think. You need to know your product and service from all perspectives.
Starting a business when the economy is thriving is challenging enough, but when an entrepreneur decides to start a business with weak economic growth, the risks of failure increase. That is unless you are offering to the public something they can use and is affordable.
Business Principles to Remember
One thing to remember when starting a business in any economy is the principles that new business owners must abide by to seek success in that business. Without following some of these basic business principles, your company will likely fail to succeed.
The very first thing a new business owner must do is to find their niche or come up with a business idea that they believe in and that will serve the community and the public.
Your product or service must be something that the consumer either needs or desires to have in their life. Moreover, the public demands services or products they find necessary in their lives. As a business owner, you must believe beyond any doubt that you are offering to the public a very much needed service and or product.
Looking back at my two businesses was good, reliable, loving, and trustworthy daycare. Parents are always looking for quality daycare for their children. This business offered a needed service in my community.
My second business was clothing. Men, women, and children all need clothes. People are always looking for clothing for every need at reasonable prices. Moms appreciate name brand clothing for their family because name brand clothing holds up better to wear and tear. There are not too many mothers in my community who can or want to pay upwards to a 300 percent markup on prices offered in retail stores. Women were especially thrilled to find yet another excellent resale clothing shop that proved to help with their clothing budgets.
Respect is essential to any successful business.
Quality, unparalleled customer service is the foundation of every successful business. This respect also flows over into the realm of respect for each employee. Employees are not going to do the best for your company if they do not respect whom they are working for or believe in your company as a whole. Customers are not going to return to your business if you do not go the extra mile for them and show them respect and consideration.
It is great if you invest your own money into your business. However, many business owners have investors who have invested in companies to help get ideas off the ground.
You and your investors must believe in you and your business plan. Thus, it is up to you as an owner to respect the money your investors have earnestly given to you. Investors' money needs to go:
- Into a prime business location
- Required equipment and services
- Forget the lavish and costly furnishings until you have had success and repaid all investors.
Show daily progress.
There are days an owner just does not want to go to work, and while people, in general, can get away with calling in, you as a business owner do not have this option. When you opened your doors, you promised to the community specific days and hours of operation, and you must abide by your promises.
You need to continue to show excitement and come up with new ideas to help your company prosper. Never give up on your dream and realize there will be difficulties and hurdles to jump.
Come to work with enthusiasm and do not bring family problems to work. Everyone has issues in life, including your employees. Make it a point to listen to your employees and help just one person at least every week. A great business owner must be a great listener, and sometimes being a good listener is all the person needs to get them back on track and a job well-done.
Strive to be a company that offers employees a peaceful and enjoyable work environment. When your employees look forward to coming to work, they give you the best possible efforts. This kind of company environment opens doors to long-term growth, prosperity, and long-term success.