About This Venture
Welcome to washingtonpost.com's Small Business blog. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This feature will offer an inside look at small businesses and their challenges and opportunities. I will talk to experts who can help guide small businesses (from start-ups to well-established) navigate today's digital and physical marketplaces.
After talking to scores of small business owners in preparing to start this blog, it seems the main reasons people choose to set up shop -- either online or in the physical world -- involve more flexibility in schedules, greater independence and a need to share great ideas and passions with the world.
The United States has about 6 million small employers, with about 90 percent of them employing fewer than 20 people. At any given time, about 7 percent of the U.S. population is in the process of starting a small business, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
Most entrepreneurs come out of the arts and sciences and have been educators, engineers, inventors, musicians or practitioners like doctors. They aren't necessarily equipped with MBAs and often have to turn to others for business know-how, say small business experts.
An ongoing series of "how do I" pieces in this space will aim to help you find the lawyer, accountant or realtor that's best for you. And partly thanks to my location in the Washington area, I'll be stopping by Capitol Hill frequently to keep you abreast of what lawmakers are up to that might affect you.
Most entrepreneurs, by definition, are risk takers. Maybe you took that step some time ago and have been working to keep your business afloat, or maybe you have a wildly successful story to tell. Or you might be thinking that it's time to ditch "working for the man" to be your own boss.
I've been both an editor and a reporter for more than 15 years and have covered a wide range of issues, including business of all sizes, technology, politics, entertainment, education and the environment. I've also worked for businesses of all sizes, and not just in media. Among the many part-time jobs at small businesses that helped me fuel other passions, I worked as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant, punched a cash register and bagged groceries in a boutique grocery store, answered phones in a telecommunications consultancy and worked as a secretary for a small firm on a large construction site.
I hope readers will offer comments and suggestions to encourage a forum of ideas that can be shared and built upon. The small business community is disparate, busy and often on the road, but you'll likely find that many of you face similar challenges no matter how unique you are.
Among the highlights of this blog's inaugural week, we'll take a look at a small firm that struggled with finding the right location, offer help in determining whether your product or idea should be patented, and check in with the head of the Small Business Administration.
-- Sharon McLoone
By Sharon McLoone |
July 9, 2007; 11:33 AM ET
Next: An Artsy Approach to Finding the Sweet Spot
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