Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Edwards | March 5, 2012

Ask Dr. E – Should You Become an Entrepreneur During a Recession

Are you stressed, overwhelmed, undecided or need direction?

Get your life, career, business, relationship and most pressing questions answered. Let Dr. E help you get moving in the direction of your dreams.


Dr. E, I lost my job and I am having a hard time figuring out what to do next. I was given a severance package and I get unemployment. I used to work as a retail specialist but I always wanted to open my own consulting business.  I am scared because I don’t want to use up all my savings starting the business but I also don’t want to work another 20 years doing a job I hate.  Please help – Potential Entrepreneur

Dear Potential

I applaud you for wanting to take the leap to become an entrepreneur. Since you didn’t tell me what type of business you want to open, here are some general ideas that can help get you going in the right direction.

First do you have a vision for your company? If not take some time to work on that. The vision is the overall premise that will drive everything that you do. It will keep you focused and steadfast during the ups and downs of your entrepreneurial journey. Some additional questions you should answer: What kind of company will it be? What is the main purpose of the company?  What will you call it? Next you should do some research and look at other companies in the field. Who is your competition? Who are your potential customers?  Then you must focus on your company offerings. What skills, products or services will you offer clients? And at what cost?

You don’t have to go it alone but do your homework.  There are a number of books on starting your own business. There are business books that address specific business types for example woman owned, home based, consulting or internet based. Go to the library and let the librarian help you conduct a search for books on starting a business. You should also get some motivational and inspirational business books to keep you inspired along the way. Books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be by Jack Canfield, and The One Minute Millionaire by Victor Hanson are really helpful.

Use free resources to help you learn about developing the business. Check out the Small Business Administration’s website There you will find help with writing a business plan, information on laws, zoning, licensing, funding, etc. You can even find an office in your area and go speak with a business counselor or get free training. Colleges, universities and professional organizations might have classes to help you develop and grow your business. Use the internet to check out their offerings. Online courses are also a great option to gain experience and education to help you successfully run the business.

Before you begin to sink your savings into the business, develop a realistic budget to get started. In many cases you can start with a simple website and business cards. offers free business cards and check with your email provider to see if they offer a free web page. Also take a trip to the Chamber of Commerce in your area; they have lots of tools and resources to help entrepreneurs. Let me know when you get started so I can pass the information along to readers. Good luck!


Dr. Carolyn Edwards is an author, life/career management coach and graduate management professor.

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  1. Hey Drcarolynedwards,
    Thanks, on a related note, Your page titles are one thing that make or break your search engine traffic. Optimizing your title will lead to more traffic. This is nothing new or complex but is frequently ignored. Since your competition is lax here your efforts could pay off in a big way.
    Good Job!

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