What federal stimulus means for small businesses by ProQuest


Christopher Biddle, vice president of communications with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association in Trenton, said a more robust SBA program is a potential boon to small businesses in the state.

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                                ‘I wanted to be my own boss’
              Entrepreneurs warn that starting a new company takes time, a smart business strategy and a whole lot of money

                                                                                                              Steven J. Dundas
                 BY JOÃO-PIERRE S. RUTH                   chance to try on a new hat.
      LOUIS WAGMAN knows firsthand how                         “Now is probably the best time in the
      challenging it can be to leave a corporate job      history of business to start a business,” she
      to launch your own business. The president          said. “There are more support structures
      of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Network             and opportunities out there than ever
      made the jump after 25 years in the work-           before.” Robin also teaches classes on start-
      place, and said while the rewards are great,        ing businesses at New York University.
      the risks are often not examined carefully               Robin said the availability of information
      enough before making the leap.                      on the Web, as well as through business
           A sudden layoff can be the trigger for         groups and organizations, can help lay the
      some professionals to become their own              foundation. If starting a formal business is not
      bosses, but starting a company isn’t the            an immediate possibility, Robin said taking
      answer for everyone, and Wagman and oth-            on freelance work remains another option.
      ers advise caution before hanging a shingle              “If you want to be a stay-at-home
      outside one’s door.                                 mom and only work from 10 to 2, there’s so
           Launching a new business can breathe           much out there in terms of getting the
      new life into the career of a professional, who     information you want and connecting with
      may seize the newfound                              the people,” she said.
      time to embrace entre-                                   Robin said the affordability of office tech-
      preneurship and pledge                              nology makes it possible for even the solo
      never to rejoin the cor-                            business owner to create a professional
      porate scene, Wagman                                appearance. For instance, she said, telephone-
      said. His New Jersey                                answering systems run between $30 and $40
      Entrepreneurs Network,                              per month, and include individual extensions
      in Princeton, is a non-                             and professional-sounding voice greetings.
      profit association of            Stacy Robin             “Historically, that was exorbitantly
      entrepreneurs and potential investors.              expensive,” Robin said. “A lot of [equipment
           Wagman started his one-man manage-             providers] are realizing that products need
      ment consultancy, Technology Management             to be geared towards small business. They
      Associates, in 1997 in Princeton. “Enough           need to sell it a price that is reasonable for
      was enough. I wanted to be my own boss,” he         small businesses.”
      said, but he warned that starting a business             Some would-be entrepreneurs contin-
      requires effort and time to get established.        ue to actively look for new jobs while dab-
           “It’s certainly not the road to riches in      bling as new business owners, Wagman said.
      the first few years. The majority of 
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