A Thing of The Past or The Wave of The Future?

By: Denise Hall

The world of small businesses started crashing down in the recent past and continues to do so. Not long ago many home businesses were thriving, but now they're caving in to a faltering economy.

Let's take, for example, handmade crafts. While crafting was a lucrative home-based business as little as two or three years ago, it's seen nothing but a decline in sales since then. Many crafters have gone completely out of business in the past year alone.

Why? Because the average American has less money to spend on luxuries and unnecessary items. The 'down-sized' world we live in today has caused a snowball effect in many aspects of our lives.

Let's continue to use the example of handmade crafts. Craft supplies are a necessary expense, of course. And for those who travel each weekend to sell their wares at out-of-town craft shows, there are other expenses to take into consideration.

The average cost for one craft show can easily run $75-$100, not including the cost of the supplies.

And so the crafter starts a vicious circle. S/he spends money trying to make money, but doesn't make enough to cover the expenses, let alone turn a profit.

On the other hand, many other small businesses are booming. The Internet has given many people the opportunity to start and build successful home-based businesses, with very few overhead costs.

There are plenty of businesses that can be operated from home using little more than a computer and the Internet. While the craft business used to require the 'personal' approach, it can now become less so.

Crafters who can no longer afford to travel to sell their products, can sell via a website instead. More people are shopping online than ever before. Now they don't have to wait to attend the local craft show to buy their handmade goodies. They can simply visit their favorite website at their convenience.

I used crafts as one example only. There are many other businesses in the same boat. But with a little effort and know-how, small business owners can turn their failing businesses into successful Internet businesses.

Business owners who currently rent office space can eliminate that expense by turning a room in their home into an office. Naturally, if clients need to be seen personally for services, that wouldn't work. But if it's possible, changing the location of the office will put more profits in the pockets of the business owner.

Small businesses *can* still survive. They just might have to adapt to changing times. So go with the flow!

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