So you want to start your own business …

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When you think about what makes someone a successful entrepreneur, words like “independent,” “risk-taker” and “savvy” probably come to mind. But, according to a study released today by CityMax, a small business website company, there might be some other, more concrete qualities to add to the list.

The survey, released to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place around the world from November 15 -21, surveyed more than 25,000 online entrepreneurs in North America, and found that:

  • In general, male online entrepreneurs gross an average of $7,735 more per year than their female counterparts
  • American small-business owners make an average of $8 USD more per online sale than Canadian entrepreneurs
  • Online entrepreneurs ages 18-29 earn the most per sale ($152.58), followed by those ages 50+ ($102.43) and those 30-49 ($101.23).
  • The most successful online entrepreneurs in the U.S. reside in Texas, Colorado and Nevada.

Yet, no matter where they live or how old they are, there are some things that most entrepreneurs seem to have in common:

  • More than 87 percent went to at least some college
  • More than 85 percent use social media for their business
  • More than 54 percent work less than 20 hours per week on their online business

If a 20-hour workweek and the chance to be your own boss sounds like heaven in a nutshell, this week may be the perfect time to explore your options for starting your own business. Events are being held worldwide, meant to encourage and educate both active and aspiring small-business owners. An Internet search for “Global Entrepreneurship Week” should bring up dozens of local and national websites where you can find events in your area, but here’s a quick list to get you started:  UnleashingIdeas.org, Global Entrepreneurship Week USA, Chicago Entrepreneurship Week, Sacramento Entrepreneurship Week, Tennessee Entrepreneurship Week, Stanford University E-Week, Northeastern University Entrepreneurship Week and Arizona State University E-Week.

If you can’t find an event in your area — or don’t have time to attend one — you can find out more about becoming an entrepreneur by exploring the below resources:

Are you a successful entrepreneur? Do you want to start your own business? Tell us your story in the comments section, below.

42 Comments
  1. My husband and I want to start our own photography business after several years of working for a large company. But we’re both in our late 50′s and have little savings left after putting 4 kids through college and helping the kids through various periods of unemployment these last few years. The alternative is to stay where we’re unappreciated, overworked, and underpaid since neither one of us can find another job at our age. At this point we’re trying to learn the business end of things and gathering our courage to take that final step.

    • I have to say “you only live once.” If you “believe” you both can do it, try it. You might however, want to start your business venture with a “part-time” emphasis. What I mean is to market your business and see how much business you actually get. Then, try to schedule your business after your regular jobs (5 pm) and on the weekends. Once you have built up enough clientele or “word of mouth” gets around and you cannot complete everything during the weekends and after-hours, you should at that time devote all of your time to your business. IF you don’t try, then you will go through the rest of your life guessing and second-guessing your decisions. You both obviously have the talent and the experience, go for it!! Good Luck!!

      • I agree that anyone looking to go into business theirself should start off small – part time. The only problem might be if your current boss doesn’t like the competion. Starting slow alows you to learn the business end and get your name circulated. Expect long hours while you are working 2 jobs, save your money to help with the slow hours that might be at the start of your full time operation. I beleive anyone that is determined and knowledgable in the field they enter, has a good chance at having a succesful buisness.

        I was a little suprized at the facts in the article. I only have a high school education and didn’t learn how to use a computer until after I retired. I spent over 1/3 of my career self employeed. It was a small but profitable business. I routinely turned down work because I couldn’t get enough competent help to insure that the quality of work didn’t suffer.

    • I am an entrepreneur. I have a couple graduate degrees and work for a multi-national company, but the whole entrepreneurship is new to me. With the help of the Internet, though, it’s easy to find answers to almost anything. That’s what gave me the courage. For the business minded folks, Common People Services, LLC (http://www.commonpeopleservices.com) is enabling numerous opportunities through the innovative solution “SharedMall”. Check out the brochure (http://www.sharedmall.com/flyer.html) a list of business opportunities enabled. It’s great that Careerbuilder is encouraging us all with such articles. I had never looked into franchise opportunities. Glad to see it in this article.

    • To start a successful small business, be absolutely sure to speak to a SCORE councelor in your community. Score stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives. Counceling is free and available throughout the US. Just look it up in your local phone book. I am a SCORE councelor. I can pretty much guarantee that most Score councelors will provide valuable advice and startup mentoring.

    • DO IT!!!!! After doing everything you mentioned, you can definitely handle it. My best tips would be: find a way to target your audience through channels, and build a team with smart, hard workers!!! Best of luck and don’t wait! Plan to work WAY more than you do now, but because it’s something you love, and part of your dream. 110% is required EVERY day.

    • You might want to look into a small-business loan from the government to get the capital necessary to get your business off the ground. Good luck!

    • Pam, are those 4 children you sacrificed for AFTER becoming adults in any situation to assist you as you grow older? If none of them are on their own legs, then I don’t think I would try for this dream, but if any of them took your support and ran with it and are doing well, at least you know that if times get hard (I mean, REALLY hard, not just “we’re $200 short this month and can’t pay for the cell phone”) you can ask to lean against them for awhile, and if the dream goes bust, you can always live with them.

      Something REALLY important to realize is that the photography world is changing very quickly in this digital world. Stock photography is almost exclusively used in advertising (at pennies per use, a fraction of the old circulation pay rate) and digital cameras are taking the control away from special event photographers. They no longer have negatives they can control, and their copyrighted images can be scanned and duplicated so easily that no one will ever request reprints from the true owner of the media (you) so there will be lost revenue there.

  2. Just a note of correction. There are a couple typos in your clever article about the number of things NOT to say in an interview.

    1) yourself is one word
    2) tenets not tenants (tenants are residents or lessees)

    Important to be brilliant in print!

  3. For those thinking of start a new business I might you check out the new program by Michael E Gerber called ORIGINATION – New Venture Development. Here’s a promotional letter they’ve sent out.

    ****************************************************************************************

    Thinking About Starting a Business?

    Well, you’re not alone. According to the Research Institute of the Global Entrepreneurship Center: 137,000 new businesses will be started this year worldwide each and every day!

    The problem is, most of those start ups will fail. In the United States alone, a study completed by Inc. magazine and the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) revealed that 80 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. Why do so many small businesses fail? Why do so many individuals like you, who want to go out on their own, who want to become their own boss, struggle so hard, and yet fail to realize their objectives? The answer is simple: They simply don’t know how to do it. They simply don’t know what it takes to start, run and grow a successful small business. And that’s where we come in.

    Our company, ORIGINATION, is the single most successful Start Up Company around. We teach people just like you what you need to do, but BEFORE you start your new business, BEFORE you invest your hard-earned money, BEFORE you go to all the trouble to write your business plan, BEFORE you take the risk like the other 137 thou- sand other small business start ups will take today, only to fail before they reach their fifth anniversary.

    In short, ORIGINATION says, you don’t have to fail in a business of your own: you simply have to learn how to do it RIGHT.

    And that’s where we come in.

    ORIGINATION is the product of Michael E. Gerber, the man INC Magazine calls “The World’s #1 Small Business Guru. ”

    ORIGINATION is in the business of teaching you how to…

    • START your new business;
    • DESIGN it to work;
    • CREATE the system through which to attract new customers to you, and then;
    • BUILD the turn key process to convert those customers into positive cash flow.

    ORIGINATION will teach you how to do that WITHOUT making a major investment, WITHOUT borrowing money you can’t afford to pay back, WITHOUT taking the leap so many millions are taking, right now, every single day, with no hope whatsoever of successfully realizing their OBJECTIVES.

    Yes, you CAN START a new business of your own, like so many successful entrepreneurs have before you.

    Yes, you CAN achieve your independence from a job that isn’t going anywhere, isn’t providing you with the growth opportunities you crave, isn’t giving you the freedom to make your own decisions, to take the time you want to do the things you want to do, for yourself, for your family, for your future.

    At ORIGINATION, we’ll teach you how, and then we’ll help you do it every step of the way. As Michael E. Gerber says, “There’s no reason whatsoever to fail in business. All you need to do is learn how to do it.”

    ORIGINATION will show you how. And then help you on your way. To find out more, visit us at http://www.michaelegerber.com/origination. There’s nothing like the feeling of being SUCCESSFULLY independent and having earned it.

    We’re ORIGINATION. We’ll Show You How.

  4. I have so many business ideas but have faile bcoz of money, i have finished university bt my job pays me just to survive hence i hardly save any money. i tthought of gettg a loan but have no collateral security. please advise me on what to do or if any one can support me both financially and ideawise on my E-MAIL Namukisaeve@gmail.com

  5. In a difficult economy many people are desperate to find solutions to their income needs. As a result scams have proliferated like raindrops in April. Everywhere you turn someone is offering you the” ideal moneymaking solution” to your problems. I have heard how to get rich in real estate, how to cash in on the cash flow business, and how to work from home part time and make a fortune with just a few hours per day. All I can say is the only people making money with these gimicks are the ones selling them.

    How do I know this? Simple. I have been a victim several times myself and now have the experience (and a closet full of useless C%@P to prove it) to recognize a rip off when I see it. Also I tried to start a small business and failed simply becasue I “assumed there would be a demand for my services.” I should have tested the waters first to see if it was worth the effort and investment.

    As my late father said on several occasions “if it looks too good to be true it probably is.” The Small Business Association will tell you clearly that there are a number of things that you need to do to be successful and you don’t have to pay someone to find them out. All you have to do is look them up. Also you must be willing to devote your mind, body, and soul to a business venture in order to give it the best chance to grow and develop. There are very few ‘free lunches’ in this world. The harsh reality is that you reap what you sow. If you aren’t ready and willing to give it your all then chances are very good that your results will be mediocre at best.

    Word of advice to you. The next time someone offers to solve some great dilemma in you life for four easy payments of $29.95, take a few minutes to look around and see if you cannot find the answers you need for free from your local library or on the internet. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed in life. All you have to do is not be a sucker and not expect mana from heaven.

  6. I have for a long time wanted to start an online business that I can commit 15 plus hours to a week. I’ve search so many posibilities but with all the scams out there it is difficult to decide which one to try, I don’t have the resource to give my money away to something that is doom to fail.

    If I can find something that will actually work ad have a track record of success based on the individuals drive and efforts then I will go for it.

    Does anyone have a suggestion of finding an online opportunity that actually works!

    • Eric, Search on Google for a recent press release on “SharedMall.com”, published via PRWeb and picked up by Yahoo news, San Francisco Chronicle, and hundreds of other outlets. The release talks about how new job opportunities are being created across the nation. The job opportunities are in the areas of hard sales, online inventory management, and local delivery services. Read the press release first and then call the number on SharedMall (click on my name to go to that site) for guidance on what opportunities might work for you.

  7. My wife and I started an online business. Like mentioned above we use Social Networks and also Etsy.
    When we were getting married early this year she decided to make a tux for our (at the time 3 month old) baby. It ended up being a huge hit at our wedding and i just suggested it to her. She didnt think it would work, but she posted it on Etsy just to prove me wrong. So we came up with designs and a name (Teeny punks) and I think we are at 140 sells now? Something like that anyway… so much for proving me wrong :)

    We dont make a ton of money but she enjoys it. She is a stay at home mom and it gives her something creative to do. Go to Teenypunks.com if you wanna check it out. That takes you to our Facebook page where you can see items, updates, and an album with past customers.
    Or go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/Niksicle?ref=pr_shop_more
    to see more stuff, and see my handsome model of a son :)

  8. My husband & I are very interested in opening a tatoo store in our area. How can we find out start up costs, laws, and average annual income & expenses for this type of business?

    • Having been working on a business plan for the last few months with the intention of opening a studio, I can confidently say that there is not a lot of easily available information. Most of the information I was able to gather related to costs and expenses, and came from a contact in the industry. There is virtually no market related data that I could track down, which means your choice of location is likely going to be based on competition, traffic, and cost, and you will have to guess at how many customers you expect. It would be a good idea to try and get some of this information from existing studios, if you have the contacts.

      Your costs are going to vary greatly depending on how you set your studio up: number of stations, location, etc., and your income will depend entirely on the quality of your artists. I would recommend having the capital to support the business for 6 months assuming zero income. Laws can be found on your state’s website.

    • i helped my buddy open his tattoo shop up with 10,000 dollars the start up is low and the profits with the right artist is very very good. he bought my half of the buisness less than one year in buisness and easily makes 80,000 to 125,000 a year now.

  9. I want to start my own business in the healthcare profession. I just don’t know where to begin with licensing, permits, on staff medical personnel,start-up funds, etc… Does anyone have any suggestions. I live in Maryland.

  10. I’m trying start my own lanscaping company in the Maryland, DC area. Any tips or people I should contact????? I’m grateful (even for a “wish you well”)

  11. My wife has MS so we were looking for a home based business for her to start up since she will eventually not be able to commute to and from a standard job. A friend turned us on to a coffee distribution business that is booming. We have been involved for just over 3 months and our sales and sales team have grown dramatically. Anyone who is interested in getting involved should visit our web site at http://www.healthycoffeenuts.organogold.com and contact us. This is a goldmine waiting to explode. The corporation is only just over 2 years old and has already achieved the 5 million dollar sales mark. We are about to hit critical mass within the next 3 years so this is the rime to get involved!!

  12. Want to own your own business ? Be your own boss ? Work when you would like ? Good luck I strted my own business 15 years ago. I took a big risk cashed in my 401K morgaged my paid for house and started a business .. Guess what You will never be your own boss your customers are now you boss, you dont work less you work more I averaged about 80hrs per week for the first 5 years you dont work when you would like you work when you have too, being there for your customers when they want you, because they are paying the bills. I was lucky along with being in a very specialized business and being very knowledable about his particular business the competition wasnt as bad as in most busnesses and after a lot or work I did very well for a while, only to find now everyone is trying to put there hands in my pockets the customes with slow paying bills the vendors by constantly messing up discount schedules, employees, the goverment, lawyers accountants it is never ending I learned a lot in my 10 years in business and most was about the nature of people, little was good. I did make a lot of money and as a supplier to automotive I just closed my doors when things really started to get bad. Get a pile of your own money out there and sweat getting paid it really ages you. I encourage everyone to follow there dreams but dont do it without knowing the reality of what you do.. Good luck all

    • This sounds like the most honest assessment yet. This whole article screams scam to me. I thought 20 hours sounded like a crock, too. I think it will be just as grueling as you describe it. Still, I’d rather be in the middle of grueling than in the middle of hopeless.

  13. I have 3 seperate but related veteran clothing and merchandise lines, all my own design(s). How do I get real financing, the banks just seem to pat me on the head, like I am a nusiance and not serious. My personal resources are almost tapped out.
    Thanks

  14. Be careful about who and how you get your financing from many new upstart business go out for venture capital, be careful as your idea and hard work becomes you working for them. They have little interest in you making money only there 20% – 50% return on there money . Banks basicaly only want to lend you money if you dont need it, also depending on how much if any they lend you they want constant acess to your books and can dictate how you basically can run you business.

  15. Honestly if you really want to start a business, do you homework check out the market possibilitiys in your area and then start watching the people who would be your competitors and see what they do. The SBA and the rest of them are nice people but it is truly different when its your money at risk . I personally would prefer to take advise from someone who has done it rather than someone who has read about doing it.. These are two totally different things, and if you do decide to take the risk get a very good accoutant these people shuold be saving you more than you are paying them or they are not good at there job.. Keeping the money after making it is the most important thing and with taxes, insurance, SS and expenses its not always easy

    • Advertising can be expensive. I recommend a Facebook page to start. You can open one for free and spread your business through word of mouth. Facebook also offers advertising for a fee. Also try contacting those “free” papers. Most of the advertisement fees vary, but you should be able to get something for 85-100 dollars. They do reach a lot of homes. Finally look into the coupons mailers. You know the ones that have several businesses in one envelope. You can also create your own flyers and such on places like Vista Print. I also post my photography on Zazzle.com. It’s free to use, people can purchase your products from all over the world, and you get a percentage of the profit. It’s not much, but it’s extra money and all of your images are protected from being downloaded by someone else. I am trying to start my own business and these are the things I have found helpful for advertising so far. They are not that expensive, and they seem to be getting the job done.
      Best of luck to everyone out there. It’s a lot of hard work, but it will be worth it.

  16. 20 hours per week???? Please! more like 60 hour weeks. Any small business owner knows you work 24/7 nonstop. I started my company a year ago and although my schedule is flexible I definitely don’t work just 20/week.

    • I have some down time and slow days, but I also work nights and weekends too. I am constantly talking to people and thinking of ways to get more exposure and more referrals.Yeah there is a price to pay, mainly you are the responsible person when there is an issue, you have to be willing to make the commitment and make the sacrifices. The rewards far outweigh the negatives

    • Everyone has a valid point based on the type of business they have created for themselves. Employees are always a headache but are sometimes necessary if you are looking to grow. I created an online business with drop shipping for all products so no inventory and have established a pay for performance for my first employee by paying a specific amount per order so they can earn as little or as much as they want. If they are good at placing orders they can earn $50/hr working from home but it is built into my budget and I know how much I will make. I don’t come last but my help is paid well…if they want.

  17. Work 20 hrs a week….bahahahaha. This is why so many businesses fail. Working for yourself is much harder than working for someone else. It is a 24/7 gig with some flexibility. You are always the last one to leave at night, work more once you get home and you are the last one paid. Working for yourself has benefits but it comes at a price!

  18. starting ones own buisness isn’t that easy it takes time,commitment,hardwork,and last but not least a demand for what you are selling,and if your luck you might make some money!

  19. 1 – Learn how to sell well – sales is the lifeblood of any business

    2 – Expect to commit 80% or more of your time awake learning and working on building your business

    3 – Have a well organized plan – get help from others who have done it and/or research the hell out of it before you start

    4 – Know how you are going to fund your initial startup costs as well as how you are going to produce enough income to keep the business sustainable until you have your foundation built –

    5- Expect to fail and have a plan to mitigate your failures –

    6 – Learn how to sell well – sales is the lifeblood of any business

  20. First thing I want to say is I hope some of the writers on this thread go back and retake spelling 101. In any business proper spelling and grammer are important to your success. ie. the tattoo artist that spells it tatoo. Do that on some bikers arm and you are in trouble with a capital “T”.
    I myself have run more than one business and sometimes more than one at a time while holding down a full time job. Believe me when I say the worst boss you will ever work for is yourself. When I was at my full time job I felt like I was coasting, yet my mind was going on trying to resolve how to do things when I got off work. At least the full time job didn’t come home with me but left my mind when the place coud no longer be seen in my rearview mirror.
    Now that I have retired I am opening up a full time business again and going back to work for the slave driver boss. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE IT!
    BTW, My better half also operates her own business.
    Good luck to all who venture into the self-employed world. Do your homework and chances are you will succeed. God bless!

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