We frequently read these days about college graduates being unable to find employment in the fields for which they studied and then, as a result, have to seek jobs for which they are overqualified.
As a parent, have you ever thought about trying to help your college graduate son or daughter open his or her own business? An adult child does not have to be a college graduate, of course, to open a new business.
Operating a business does require certain skill sets and personality characteristics, but many people possess such skills and traits: independence, energy, desire, and the ability to think and concentrate. Hiring a good attorney and accountant also helps.
Opening a business does carry a heavy risk of failure. About half of all new businesses fail within five years or less. You can search the Internet for the reasons startups fail. But with proper planning, and execution of that planning, the risk of failure can be reduced greatly – if not eliminated.
So, as a parent, what can you do to help your child open and operate a successful business?
First, think small; big can come later – with success. Many different businesses can be started for $500, or even less. Second, you may have to shell out a few bucks. And, third, consider letting your child stay in the nest a little longer, until he or she can get a business going.
Here are but a few types of businesses that can be opened on the cheap:
- Services for senior citizens. The 65-and-older population in the United States jumped 15.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, compared with a 9.7 percent increase for the total U.S. population. People age 65 and older now make up 13 percent of the overall population, compared with 12.4 percent in 2000 and 4.1 percent in 1900. And people are living longer every day. They need, and many can afford, all types of services: Errand running, shopping help, household help, yard work, help with computers, etc.
- Flea market operator. Buyers go to flea markets to find bargains, interesting items, and collectibles. Flea markets are popular throughout the country. You can become a flea market entrepreneur. All you need is a good product to sell. You can buy items at yards sales to resell at a flea market or you can purchase your stock online. Search the Web for "items to sell at a flea market."
- Language translation services. Did you know that China is the largest English-speaking nation in the world? Some linguistic experts say that by the year 2025 more Chinese could be speaking English than people speaking English as a first language in the rest of the world combined. We all know that China has business tentacles that stretch around the globe. Still, many Chinese have difficulty understanding the English language, with all its nuances and double meanings. Open a translation service on the Internet.
- Services for children. Children, like senior citizens, afford great opportunities for business services. Making money in the children's arena might be very easy if you live in the right neighborhood. There are many types of businesses you can launch that are kid-oriented. Many can be launched with $500 or less. Party businesses are fun, and the only experience required is that you've thrown a few parties for kids in the past and know what they entail: a theme, invitations, balloons and decorations, food, and entertainment.
- Paint wholesaling. Many foreign countries, China included, are setting up shop in the United States, and they all need outlets in this country where they can sell their wares, including paint. Selling paint can be an art, but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the differences between enamel and Latex, "inside" and "outside" paints, color shades, etc. Plus, selling paint can be a fun and rewarding business. Start in the garage of your parents' home, and then graduate to a retail shop.
You can search the Internet for "how to operate a business successfully," and just about any other topic you can imagine. For starters, you can search on "best small businesses to open."
The writer of this article quit an upper-echelon editorial job with a large daily newspaper in order to open a business-writing service, a risky venture at its best. He spent $135 for a used desk, $30 for a two-drawer filing cabinet, $10 for a telephone extension cord, and about $8 for stationery. His gross income soared into six figures in less than five years. It can be done, and we are here to help you.