Small Business Makes a Comeback
The Return of Small Business
I am sure the next big thing is going to be the reemergence of the cottage industry. We have lost so much in the last few years that there's no place to go but up. The economic downturn was terribly hard on virtually everyone and much harder on some more than others. While looking for different ways to make money I discovered HubPages. What I am noticing through my readings on HubPages is that many people have taken up the art of entrepreneurship. Think about Etsy and Ebay, just a few examples of what is out there. More and more people are making things or offering services and the economic market seems to be ripe for this.
Just by the mere act of sharing hubs on social media we are generating revenue. Its a wide open honest way of marketing. Readers will only click on ads which are of interest to them. It looks like we aren't ready to give up the American Dream (yey)! The economy can be redefined by hundreds of individual actions; and one action leads to another. I'm not knocking corporations, because I think they do have their place. They just got totally out of hand because checks and balances were removed. I think the possibility of a blend of individual cottage industries alongside the corporations could sustain each other. We can definitely learn from all entities whether "good" or "bad". Don't kid yourself, small cottage industries have just as much ability to do something which is morally abhorrent to us as the big boys. They just probably can't do as much damage.
That being said, I am beginning to spot a trend among my friends and family, that I hope will become more dominant as time goes by. This is what it is: people are pulling together instead of falling apart; they are coming up with innovative workable ideas that benefit the environment, economy, families and cities/hometowns. There is now a huge "green" industry; automakers being at the forefront. Call me crazy, but, this economic crisis may have been the best thing that has happened to this country in a long time. The suffering that individuals and families have gone through is horrendous, and I am not minimizing this. But, it forced us to open our eyes wide and really think about the future and address countless problems that have been swept under the rug for years. Pour these ideas into the money stream and new markets begin to emerge.
Endless Possibilities to do Good
There are literally hundreds of ways to make money and help your neighbor at the same time. Here's an example: you have a friend that is out of a job. He or she needs to be brought up to speed on their computer skills. You tutor them for awhile and this helps immensely in your friend's job search. She/he is now more marketable and, in the near future they find a higher paying job. Maybe you didn't charge your friend for your tutoring services. This is not a major problem in the long run. They won't forget the favor you did for them and they will pass your name around. Then, because of one unselfish act on your part, your services are now a valuable commodity for which you can charge whatever you feel is fair. The referrals you receive will probably be in your neighborhood. So now, if you work with one of those referrals, you are helping to strengthen your immediate neighborhood by strengthening the potential employment pool. But, the most wonderful thing that happens because of your one act of kindness is the ripple effect. If you perform honest good work, your name will be dropped (in a good way!). Like a pebble dropped into still waters the ripples will spread out across the water reaching more and more people. If you think about it, you may have a talent which can be turned into a moneymaker. We are finally realizing that it is truly up to us to determine our future.
I think small business has been pushed aside for far too long in favor of leveraged buyouts of companies, which basically homogenized the workforce. This created the climate which preceded our economic meltdown with disastrous results. Large companies and conglomerates are not intrinsically "evil", but in my opinion they should only be a piece of the pie, not the whole pie. The small businesses of the world are the seeds of economic stability, the infrastructure if you think about it. I will relate this to a garden or a group of animals. Our differences make us stronger, not weaker. If you put too much of one type of plant, or animal in one place it can become wiped out overnight by disease. Diversification is a safeguard that should not be forgotten. I am of the strong belief that everybody has a talent and these talents can be harnassed into a sideline that can grow. Here's another example: say you love fruit preserves and you decide to make your own. They turn out pretty great and you strongly consider selling these preserves. Its not as daunting as you may think. You probably have jelly jars laying around in your recycle bin. You could gather them up for your preserves. Then you'll need the fruit..go to the local farmer's market and get some fruit. You have now helped your local farmers to stay in business by buying their fruit. The local towns that host the farmer's market also make money. Everybody wins. Every time you buy locally, you stimulate the economy. Now say your mini business starts to take off. You'll need labels and maybe a spiffy design for your labels, oh, who does labels? Your local graphic designer, go talk to them now. You have just made another business connection and helped yourself to suceed and you have helped to move the economy forward. Everything works in tandem. One hand feeds the other. In short, stop farming the work out. We have enough talent in our towns and cities to get the work done right here. Use what you've got. Don't think there are greener pastures. We have everything we need right here. This is why I think the next big thing is the entrepreneurial spirit returning with a bang.
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