Friday, July 18, 2008

Bringing Business Home

My friend's wedding is approaching, and my search for a bridesmaid dress continues.  I've written previously that one option I could consider is to search the closets of my friends to find one.  Or, I could turn to micro-business.  Many online sellers collect and market vintage and handmade dresses that I'm sure would look fabulous.

I've written before about micro-businesses, and their many benefits.  For instance, I think they could be a great fit for women who are looking for ways to earn money from home.  Also, with our communities overrun by big-box stores and their generic wares, retail-oriented micro-businesses offer unique variety and craftsmanship, while service-oriented micro-businesses help us meet our needs while also providing an income for a small-time entrepreneur.  Micro-businesses are flexible, they boost a local economy, and they're rewarding.

As you might have guessed by now, micro-business is one of the main components of the SHEconomy.  And there are two ways that you can support micro-business in your community:
1.  start your own, or
2. support the "'micro-efforts" around you

Regarding the first, starting your own micro-business, it is easier than ever to do these days.  I have a friend who picks up items from garage sales and resells them on Ebay.  Voila--micro-business.  Another friend, who stays home with her baby, is planning to earn extra money during the fall by watching a friend's infant.  Micro-business again.  And my neighbor makes her own organic beauty products to sell at local stores and farmers' markets.  You guessed it--micro-business.  

These businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and earn different profit margins.  Some are very lucrative, while others provide spending money or supplemental income.  What all of them have in common is they are operated by women who are taking their creative skills to the marketplace, usually from their homes.

Of course, operating a micro-business is not for everyone.  But supporting them is.  You can make a commitment to micro-business in your community by doing some or all of the following:
*  choosing to purchase goods and services from them when you can
*  hosting micro-business in your home by inviting entrepreneurs and friends together to showcase merchandize, advertise services, or just celebrate the community
*  if you work, consider whether any of your professional connections might be beneficial to a micro-business owner you know, and arrange an introduction
*  encourage a friend, family member or neighbor who might have a talent or skill to consider starting their own venture, and give them lots of cheerleading if they do!

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