When I was a teenager I wanted to go into the medical profession when I grew up. Then, following the old adage of “those who can’t do, teach” I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. My teachers talked me out of it. “It’s a terrible job.” They told me. I’ve always had a knack for writing, but that never struck me as a career choice.
It was after my first year of college that I decided that I wanted my own business. But that would take money and my family and I were poor. So I went to work for a restaurant chain called Church’s Chicken. They had a program where you could own your own restaurant after 6 years./
It went like this: you got paid a base salary, a percentage of the sales, and a profit bonus. That profit bonus went towards a fund that you used to buy the franchise. The only problem was that all of the stores that I worked in weren’t making that much profit. I figured that it would take me 20 years instead of 6 to buy my own store. So I quit and went to a different restaurant company.
I ended up managing restaurants for some 30 years, but the idea of owning a small business stuck with me. Then I met Jim, a fellow restaurant manager. We were siting around one day discussing how we could make some extra money. He suggested we go into the lawn care business.
The company that we worked for had 53 restaurants. There was plenty of lawn work to go around. We worked at lawn care part-time for 8 years. When the summers ended we did maintenance like refinishing chairs, rooftop maintenance, and replacing drywall. We did pretty well because we charged all of the materials and tools to the company, so we had no overhead.
But in today’s business climate, not all small businesses are making it, especially the ones that are just starting up. New restaurants have a failure rate of 50% the first year they are in business, for example.
According to St. Louis News Today: “Six out of 10 small business owners nationwide intend to increase capital spending but delay hiring in a defensive move that reflects their lingering concerns about the U.S. economy, according to the PNC Economic Outlook survey’s newest findings.”
One out of ten of these small business owners plan to hire additional employees because of the tax credit trhat they can receive that is part of the stimulus package.
Most of the small business owners worry that their sales will drop and the demand for services will wane during this economic recession. So unless you have your customers already in place when you start out like we did, you may want to think long and hard before starting your own business in this climate.