Work Well and Work Local

Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]

America has always been a country that relied on the citizens to “pull themselves up by their boot straps.” So with the high number of layoffs and staggeringly high unemployment rates, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that 2009 had the most start up companies recorded in the past 14 years, even more than during the peak of the technology boom in 2000.

With so many small businesses starting up, making yours stand out and succeed can be very tricky. Companies in almost every industry are popping up, so to make yours special and unique should be high on your list. One way to do that is to stick to what you know, and to keep things local.

Many of the successful entrepreneurs today are gaining their business through working in industries that they understand, and by working on the streets that they are used to. An example of such a person is Lev Ekster, a food entrepreneur based in New York City. Eskster finished law school expecting to get a job; unfortunately he got out of school at the wrong time. In order to make ends meet while searching for a job, he started selling cup cakes from a truck in New York City. In a city that never sleeps, mobile food vendors are very popular, so by making his business mobile, he is catering to the tastes of locals. Doing this along with making unique and delicious cup cakes–he has made a niche for himself.

Another example (although in another country) is a great case of how this formula works. In India, Dr. BP Agrawal has undertaken two projects that greatly effect local villages. In one project, he has installed rain water collection devices on the rooftops that not only provide those homes with water, but has left over water is pumped into local reservoirs. His other project involves assigning cards to people that have information on their health records. These cards are updated and loaded onto laptop-based networks, creating a large health database, allowing people in other villages to find out how to treat diseases based on past experiences in other villages.

The lessons that can be taken from these two success stories are that working with what you understand, and doing it at a local level can yield great results. So whether you are working to make yourself some money, or being on the forefront of making life better for others, these tactics can lead to you standing out in an ocean of small businesses.

Andrew Sale is an expert writer based in San Diego, California.  He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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