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February 2010

My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

You will find this month's article, Is Self-Employment a Good Option for Me? thought-provoking and encouraging.

Career Stimulus Compassion Package
In our desire to help as many people as we can, we launched a new innovative program on January 1, 2010, called Career Stimulus Compassion Package. The response has been incredible so far. The expiration date for this offer is March 31, 2010. In essence, Career Doctor Don will offer totally free career advice if you have been unemployed for over 12 months, 50% off if you have been unemployed for 6-12 months, and 25% off if you have been looking for a job up to 6 months. Proof is required.

Career Doctor Don's Column
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit to read more.

Articles on
Several of our articles will continue to appear on the website The mission of this website is to "Help Garden State Business Grow."

Until we meet again through the magic of email, keep your feedback coming.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

  Is Self-Employment a Good Option for Me?  
Oh! It's so tempting to be your own boss! I am sure many of you have churned that question in your head a number of times. In 2009, many laid off people decided to create jobs for themselves by starting their own businesses. The wait for human resources to call them back was over!

Many of us in the 40+ age category have experienced layoffs, and channeled those experiences as epiphanies for realizing our long-cherished goals of starting our own businesses.

According to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, during 2009, 8.6% of professionals started their own companies, compared with 5.1%, in 2008. That tells us something!

      Boss Nametag
Repeated statistics have shown that after seven years, only a third of start-ups are still in business, according to a study in the Monthly Labor Review. However, this should not discourage the entrepreneurial-minded. In case the business fails, the founder can always go back to working for someone else. In many cases, even failed entrepreneurs are reabsorbed in many small and medium-sized companies, which foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

Before you finally make up your mind, I would suggest you answer some questions honestly.

1. Do you wish to sell a product? Which one?

2. Do you wish to sell a service? Which one?

3. Are you prepared to work long hours?

4. Do you realize that it is hard to predict how much money your business will make?

5. Have you ever worked as a manager for someone else?

6. Do you have any academic training in business?

7. Have you ever owned a business before?

8. Do you know how much startup capital you will need for your business?

9. Have you given sufficient thought as to how much money you will need to reach the break-even point?

10. Have you figured out how much money you will need to invest from your own pocket?

Have you developed a realistic business plan?
11. Have you lined up other sources of funding?

12. Are you planning on getting a partner who will supply some capital as well as providing some complementary expertise to run your business?

13. Do you know how much credit your suppliers will give you?

14. Have you examined the legal ramifications of incorporating your business?

15. Have you done thorough market research on customers and clients for your products and services?

16. Do you have a strategic location for setting up your store or office?

17. Have you explored franchising opportunities thoroughly?

18. Do you have a competent accountant in mind who can keep good financial records and steer your finances?

19. Are you well aware of all permits and licenses (federal, state, local) needed to open up your business?

20. Have you figured out the costs of insurance and security protections?

Business chart

21. Would you consider buying an ongoing business instead of starting a new one?

22. Have you developed a realistic business plan?

23. Have you decided on an advertising and marketing plan?

24. Have you priced your products and services so that they are competitive?

25. Do you have a sound plan for hiring employees?

26. Does your family support you in starting your own business?

27. Is it possible you can make more money with fewer headaches by working for someone else?

28. If you have plans on paper, have you sought the advice of a good lawyer, an accountant and a banker?

29. Can you accept the fact that in spite of meticulous planning and extreme hard work, the economy and luck are intangible factors which can cause a business to succeed or fail?

30. After answering the 29 questions above, do you feel confident that you are the kind of person who can start your dream business and make a go of it through thick and thin?

Then do it! Good luck.

Don Sutaria, also known a "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
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