Have you thought about starting your own business? In today’s business climate being self-employed may not be the risk it was only a few years ago—on the contrary, working for yourself may be the most secure position available, but what kind of business? To begin with you must be qualified, and experience is important. Take what you know, solve a problem or fill a niche and need—voila! You have a start-up.

To Your Door

John Cannon is an auto mechanic, a darn good one, and he had an idea. People are so busy they sometimes hold off on maintenance and repairs on their cars because they don’t have time to deal with it; why not bring the service to them?  So that’s exactly what he did—to your door car repair at home or office. My Car Doc has been in business 10 years. What are your special skills and knowledge and how can you deliver them more conveniently?


It’s a global economy. What happens here affects China, Scandinavia, and South Africa and vice versa. Are you bi-lingual? If so, your skills may be more in demand than you know. Not only for face-to-face and online meetings, but copy; web copy, advertising copy, and training copy. While some languages may be more in demand than others, if you have language skills somebody needs your help.


Where does your experience and expertise lie? In 2009 many organizations eliminated or cut back on in-house services including human resources, marketing, and finance. If you have business related specialized knowledge and know-how, there’s a business waiting for you to solve its problem.


Contract work is nothing new or easy. Like consulting, the hard part is finding the time and methods to market to the folks who need your help. The best approach may be what two of my friends, both photographers, have done. They started part time and built a client base as well as a reputation for outstanding service. Paul D’Andrea has been on his own for a little over two years, before that he worked six years at Exact Target. Now he’s so busy he doesn’t have time for friends. (Yes, that was a shot.) Josh Humble continues to work with us here at TKO Graphix, and we hope he always does, but he’s opened a lot of doors by providing outstanding work to his clients.

Employee Monitoring

Okay, I know it sounds like big brother, but it’s important, and it could save businesses and employees. Let’s say a business is restricted in what it can say and share on-line by compliance regulations. Is one 20 minute training session and a policy in the employee handbook enough to prevent…breaking the law? Would you bet on it? Monitoring and training employee social media for a mid-size to large company could be a full time occupation. Companies may have problems tracking company vehicles, time-clocks, or efficiency. Are you their answer?

These are only a few examples of parlaying specific skills into a small business. Take what you know, look for problems your skills and experience can solve, and find the folks who need you. They will appreciate it, and they will pay you for it. Are you self-employed; how did you decide what business path to follow?

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