In addition to resolutions, changes and new commitments, the New Year is also the best time to strike out on your own and start a small business, according to the head of the African American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey (AACCNJ).
John Harmon, CEO of one of the Garden State chapter of the national organization, said despite the unstable economy, the New Year ushered in a laundry list of new and special tax credits that make entrepreneurship an attractive incentive to potential business owners.
By developing a strategic plan and outlining clear monthly goals and objectives for the year, Harmon said savvy would-be owners are on their way to launching a potentially thriving business. “Research the market for your product and service and get to know the competition,” he says. “Determine what type of corporation you want to establish--a limited liability company or one that is incorporated.”
Harmon’s remarks follow on the heels of a Census Bureau study last year that African-Americans are the fastest growing segment of the business owners in the state. Highlights of the report released early last year showed New Jersey ranked 14th among states in the number of Black-owned businesses between 2002 and 2007. The state had more than 60,000 African-American owned businesses in 2007—a jump of about 40 percent from 2002. Another factoid: African-American owned businesses in the state earned $4.4 billion in 2007—a 36 percent increase from 2002, but well below the national increase of 55 percent.
Finally, Harmon offers three key alternative ways to fund a start-up business in the New Year:
*Purchase order financing: A short-term commercial finance option that provides capital to pay suppliers upfront and save your cash.
*Contract financing: Funding provided to businesses that do not produce their own products. Rather, they contract out manufacturing to other domestic companies.
*Unsecured line of credit: A business credit card based on personal credit and allowing your business to receive financing without collateral.