CareerBuilder's latest nationwide survey shows that small businesses – one of the major drivers for economic recovery and job growth – will be hiring in the second half of 2010. Thirty-two percent of companies with 500 or fewer employees plan to add new employees in the months of July through December. Twenty-one percent will hire full-time, 11 percent will hire part-time and 6 percent will hire contractors or temporary workers. Of companies with 50 or fewer employees, 24 percent plan to hire in the second half of 2010. The survey was completed in June 2010 and included more than 1,300 employers in businesses with 500 or fewer employees and more than 4,400 workers.
In addition to new jobs being added, new small businesses may be emerging to serve as a primary or secondary source of income. Of workers who have started a small business in the last year, 96 percent reported that they run a small business in addition to another job. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of workers who were laid off in the last six months and have not found jobs said they are considering starting their own business instead of finding a new job.
"Historically, it has been the small business sector that has created the most jobs at the end of an economic downturn, allowing the overall job market to bounce back faster," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "The intellectual capital that companies were forced to lay off over the last 18-24 months was substantial and it is not surprising that many individuals are using their business skills to create their own opportunities."
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ just over half of all private sector employees and account for more than half of non-farm private gross domestic product. They have also generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
The following is a sample of the new businesses CareerBuilder survey participants indicated they have started over the last year:
2. Board Game Design
3. Cleaning Company
4. Computer Services
5. Craft and Antique Business
6. Ecommerce retail site/EBay
7. Event Planning
8. Freelance Journalist
10. HR Consulting
11. Lawn Service
12. Recycled Yarn Retail Store
13. Scented Candle Business
14. Sports Camp for Kids
Tips for those job seekers considering being their own boss:
Take a consultative approach – Use the knowledge from your past experiences and positions to become a consultant for a particular industry, field or specialty. Reach out to former colleagues, vendors, clients, etc., to let them know that you're in business for yourself.
Establish yourself through contracting – Check out sites like Sologig.com that provide contract and temporary opportunities that will help you build your portfolio and networking contacts.
Leverage social media to promote your services – Promote your personal brand through sites like Facebook, Twitter, Brightfuse.com and others and make sure to include links to past work, testimonials and accomplishments. Start a blog addressing issues within your field of expertise.
Think about direct sales – If you've ever been invited to a plastic-container, makeup or candle party, you've been a part of direct sales. Take what you've learned from those experiences and apply them to being a direct salesperson.
Consider a franchise – Going in on a franchise business with others or on your own can be a great way to dip your foot in the water of owning your own business. Purchasing a franchise typically gives you the right to trademarked names and materials in exchange for a percentage of your profits.