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Self-Employment Assessment

Home-Based Businesses

Resources for Starting a Business

Profiles of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Current Self-Employment Opportunities

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If you're a person with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and you have what it will take to launch and operate a successful business, perhaps self-employment is for you!

Today there's a growing demand for "free agents" -- contractors, consultants, project workers (particularly in technology fields), service providers, and others -- as companies attempt to trim labor and benefit costs.  More and more companies are increasingly using specialists from the "outside" for specific projects.

Or perhaps you desire to operate a home or "cottage" business to produce something or provide a service.  Self-employment opportunities are boundless if you possess the necessary skills and abilities (or can acquire them), are willing to work hard and take risks, and have the time and financial resources needed.

To help determine if this route is best for you, you'll need to do an honest self-assessment to decide what business skills you have, what skills you need, and if you have the desire to learn what you need to know.  

Below are a few sample questions to ask yourself.

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Self-Employment Assessment

Answer "Yes" or "No" to each of the following questions.


____  Do you have a skill or service that is marketable in today's economy?
           (Or can you acquire training needed?)

____  Do you have potential clients or customers?   How many?

____  Are you able to take personal and financial risks?

____  Are you a hard and diligent worker?

____  Do you have good planning and organizational skills?

____  Are you a good decision-maker?

____  Can you handle periods of high stress?

____  Are you willing to put in long hours?

____  Can you handle challenges and persevere during difficult times?

____  Are you highly self-motivated and self-directed?

____  Can you sell yourself to clients and customers?

____  Do you have good business communication and marketing skills?

____  Do you have money to support yourself until your business becomes 
           profitable?  (Be aware this might take a long time, perhaps several years).

____  Do you have money or resources needed to start a business?

____  Do you have the technical skills you need?

____  Do you have needed space to operate and run a business?

____  Can you cover your own health coverage if needed?  (Or would you qualify 
           for a PASS Plan and medical coverage under Social Security?)


If you answered "Yes" to all of these questions, you may be a good candidate for self-employment.  Read on!



Home-Based Businesses

According to the research firm International Data Corporation, home businesses in the United States are expected to top 25 million by 2003, up from 20 million in 2001.  The Internet accounts for much of the growth in home businesses today.

The following home-based businesses are among the Top 10 for ease of entry (start-up), low cost, future demand, and potentially high return according to Microsoft bCentral.


The TOP 10 are:

  1. Internet sales and marketing.   
    Selling company products or your own through the Internet.

  2. Children's products and programs.
    Toys, furniture, educational programs, after-school programs, and
    daycare services.

  3. Information detective or researcher.
    Researching government regulations, company competitors, and
    other information needed by companies lacking time to research

  4. Home inspector.
    Trained and certified home inspectors (who are self-employed,
    independent contractors) to serve real estate companies,
    insurance companies, banks, and general clientele.

  5. Internet webmaster.
    Building web sites for businesses.

  6. Personal assistant.
    Providing assistance to busy company employees -- shopping,
    running errands, and doing other tasks.  This may include other
    services, such as word processing, newsletter writing, web site
    design, and other services needed.

  7. Event planner and organizer.
    Organize weddings, parties, bar mitzvahs, and other events.

  8. Home repairs and landscaping.
    Clean, paint, repair, and landscape homes.  (Real estate agents
    make good contacts!)

  9. Personal coach.
    Provide objective guidance, support, and training assistance to 
    corporate executives, business owners, and others.

  10. Technical support.
    Troubleshoot computer software problems for large and small
    businesses, or offer training and support to small businesses,
    home offices, and residential customers.


This is only a small sample of possibilities.  The following web site provides additional home business and self-employment ideas.

Home Business Ideas and Resources


For additional ideas, check your local library or bookstore for available books on the subject.


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Resources for Starting a Business

Should you wish to start your own business, the following resources offer helpful guidance and information!


The Small Business and Self-Employment Service for People with Disabilities

This is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability and
Employment Policy.  The service provides information, counseling, and 
referral services about self-employment and small business ownership
opportunities for people with disabilities.


Small Business and Self-Employment for People with Disabilities  -  U.S. Department of Labor


Book:   A Business Start-Up Guide For People with Disabilities and
              Chronic Health Conditions
by RoseAnne Herzog, 1998.

Cost:   $21.95, plus $3.50 shipping/handling per book.

Order from:     North Peak Publications
                         P.O. Box 6832
                         Traverse City, MI  49696-6832

         Or call:   1-800-733-9712


U.S. Small Business Administration

Small Business Development Centers - U.S. Small Business Administration 

Self-Employment, Home Based, and Telecommuting Opportunities - Career Resource Library

This is America's Career InfoNet web site.  Great resources!

Self-Employment Assistance Program  (Oregon Employment Department)

The Oregon Self-Employment Assistance Program helps eligible unemployed
workers set up a business on a full-time basis and still receive full unemployment

Self-Employment of the Enterprising Disadvantaged  (SEED)

SEED offers business counseling and training for entrepreneurs with
disabilities, and women, minorities, and seniors.

Starting a Business in Washington - Department of Revenue, State of Washington

The Handicapper Small Business Association

Provides technical assistance and support to people with disabilities
desiring to own a business.  View a list of businesses by category that are 
owned by people with disabilities around the country!

Service Corps of Retired Executives  (SCORE)

SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Counselors provide guidance to aid in the formation, growth, and success
of small businesses.


Local Community Colleges:

Many community colleges offer a variety of credit and non-credit business
development courses and workshops, many sponsored by the Small
Business Administration.  In addition, Oregon community colleges offer
a Small Business Development Center.  

For course schedules and program information, contact your local community 




Check your local public library, college library, local bookstore, or for availability of books on the subject.  Following are just a few titles of the many books available.


The Everything Home-Based Business Book:  Everything You Need to Know to
Start and Run a Successful Home-Based Business
  by Jack Savage, Adams Media
Corporation, 2000.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting an Online Business,  by Frank Fiore,
Que (Alpha Books), 2000.


Home-Based Business for Dummies,  by Paul and Sarah Edwards, and Peter
Economy, IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2000.


Be Your Own Business!  The Definitive Guide to Entrepreneurial Success,
La Verne Ludden (Contributing Editor), Park Avenue, 1998.


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Profiles Of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

The following U.S. Department of Labor web site profiles people with disabilities who have become successfully self-employed!


A Blueprint for Creating and Supporting Entrepreneurial Opportunities for 
Individuals with Disabilities  -  U.S. Department of Labor


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Current Self-Employment Opportunities!

Braille Proofreader

Braille Transcriber

Braille proofreaders and braille transcribers are needed!
There is an opportunity to work from your home by contract
or subcontract arrangement.

The National Library Services for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped of the Library of Congress offers a correspondence
certification training program to individuals interested in becoming
a braille proofreader or braille transcriber.  Braille proofreader
training takes approximately 9-12 months, and braille transcriber
training takes approximately 12-16 months.

A high school education is required.  Persons who are most 
successful at this type of work are highly detail-oriented and
possess good proofreading skills.

For training and career information, contact the:

National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
at 1-800-424-8567.

For additional career and telework or self-employment opportunity
information, contact the company Braille Plus (Located in Salem,
Oregon) at (503) 391-5335.


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