More choose to buy into jobs
Annette Walter was chief operating officer of a fast-growing Baltimore real estate company. Her husband, Shawn, a former construction project manager, had carved a successful career in sales.
But in March, the Hunt Valley, Md., couple walked away from the corporate world of fixed schedules and long commutes and went into business for themselves. They bought a 75-year-old company in Baltimore that distributes wooden and plastic pallets. The Walters will run the business from their home.
“This decision was to benefit our lifestyle,” Annette Walter said. “Shawn and I had realized the opportunity was to create your workplace, not have your work create you. I wanted something that had a little bit more autonomy. And we wanted something that was focused on Shawn and I and was something we could build and grow for our family.”
At a time when workers want greater balance between work and personal lives, some professionals find their perfect job by buying into it. Even in a rocky economy, the timing can be right to buy a business, invest in a franchise or start a company from scratch, experts say, especially for those who have built experience and financial resources working for others and can make the jump.
Some professionals turn to entrepreneurship after becoming frustrated with the job market and what they consider a lack of quality jobs, said Bill Clark, a senior managing partner of the business coaching firm Clark Leadership Group in Baltimore.
“One way to beat that is to do something on your own,” Clark said. “This trend is going to grow. It will continue as more and more people in the job market are unable to find employment, particularly those who are willing to take risks and those comfortable in being creative and finding different ways that they can earn a living. The job market five years ago was pretty plentiful, and there wasn't much reason to risk. Today, it's a whole different ballgame.”
It's still not the best time to start a new business. Demand for goods and services remains tepid in the current economy, said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
“That doesn't bode well for somebody who wants to start their own business,” she said.
Business startups, which tend to rise and fall with the cycle of the overall economy, have fallen steadily since peaking in mid-2006, when more than 650,000 establishments were less than a year old, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Since the recession started in December 2007, business startups have experienced the steepest decline since the early 1990s.
Regardless of whether the economy is strong or weak, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, Clark said.
“It requires being comfortable with taking risk” and approaching business creatively, he said. “If I said to you, ‘I know a great business to get into, and it will cost you $50,000,' and you look at your home and say, ‘I have $50,000 of equity,' a lot of people would say, ‘No, I won't touch that.' Others would say, ‘It looks like a good opportunity; I'll take the risk.' Everyone approaches this differently.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Smartphones expected to overtake desktops for holiday shopping
- Signs of steady U.S. economy: Pay, home sales up, unemployment applications down
- Nutritional supplement makers, led by GNC, want to create voluntary safety standards
- Many Black Friday deals not worth the hassle
- Take steps to make it harder for holiday hackers
- Stocks finish flat before Thanksgiving holiday; energy firms give back some gains
- Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
- Hedge fund Elliott Management grabs 6.4 percent stake in Alcoa
- Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
- Stocks shake off Middle East tensions, drop in consumer confidence
- Mall stores required to open for Thanksgiving