Society Contents

Jobs and Business

Departments of Education subsidize trade schools. At these schools, students are being trained ONLY to work for someone else... and both those students and the government are paying for it. The industries that benefit from this free training may not contribute at all. And yet, one of the motivations for retaining employees and offering those employees better benefits... is that training a replacement would not be cost-effective. And so, this system of training may work against the interests of the "employees." A company has no incentive for retaining its present workers.

Look at your local technical and trade schools, and you will see few programs for management training. It is one thing to learn a skill, it is another to be enabled to advance in that field once you begin working in it. And the lack of management training... keeps many from opening their own small business. This great unseen glass ceiling exists with little challenge to it, but it affects the ability for single-parent families to get to a point where they no longer need assistance from the state.

Management training by itself would enable a person to enter any market and secure a position that pays better wages. Although many companies that formerly had on-site managers have eliminated these higher wage positions and have replaced them with part-time "key holder" clerk positions... there still are companies that have on-site managers. And yet, few graduates from trade schools are given this oversight training.

Much emphasis has been put on earning college degrees in order to better one's circumstances... and yet... not everyone wants to go to college so that they can work in an office for the rest of their lives. And not everyone is comfortable with responsibilities that have possibly harsh or heavy consequences. Many people simply enjoy working with their hands, working with people, or doing basic tasks.

And many people are not attached sentimentally to their jobs or any company. They are working only to pay bills. A "career" doesn't interest them. They have families and friends that fulfill those sentimental needs. All they want... is to do their work and mind their own business.

For the most part, Americans are a very independent people... and yet other cultures are far more open to the practice of owning one's own business... rather than working for hire as an employee. Their streets and markets are filled with small independent businesses. Yet, as independent as we are in America, we are novices at starting up a small business.

The potential for employment by creating small businesses is huge. The problem is... having a good business model... then, learning the methods of making it a success. Having a plan and a business design is the key to creating jobs and micro-businesses.

Reshaping the face of American businesses

Every manufacturer-- every designer and producer of products-- from small local craft studios to the larger manufacturer-- has a catalog of some sort to display what they produce. If these catalogs were all gathered together, it would create a huge RESOURCE LIBRARY from which individuals could be inspired to buy wholesale... then sell in their own small businesses.

Having access to these catalogs would also inspire other sorts of businesses. Game machines, theaters, coffee shops, etc. could design their own interesting versions of businesses to offer to potential customers. From the design of their chairs, dishes, lighting fixtures... to services that could be offered with these products... just viewing catalogs would inspire the creation of interesting and unique small businesses. Knowing what is available would inspire what can be possible.

Large corporations profit because there is a huge market for what they provide. Yet, these mega-stores can't possibly carry everything available on the market. Within that huge market is room for the creation of small businesses... of the same sort, but with an original idea. As the population increases, the creation of new small businesses will not negatively impact those already established.

These small businesses could be formed through a project of the SBA that uses a "Revolving Fund." With a revolving fund, a certain amount of money is set aside for a program... which takes the initial steps to performing its mandate. Clients who have formed businesses from the program will begin to pay money back into it. As those monies are paid back into the fund, they are used to sponsor new activities within the mandate of that program. The micro-business programs in other countries are similar to this on a smaller scale. These businesses don't need to generate millions of dollars... only enough to support a family.

More than just dole out money to people, the program would walk clients through the process of starting up a small business and maintaining it. It would provide advisors for them within the community to nurture them through the developing process. This process could involve requiring a monthly report on the incomes of these start-up entrepreneurs, supplementing those incomes to a nominal level to insure that each person can maintain a minimal lifestyle. Only after an entrepreneur has sustained an income through their chosen business plan, will the oversight be lessened and then eventually removed.

Working with a counselor, individuals could choose products that would have a market in their own communities-- or in a new location where development is actively going on. Some products would provide a way of creating other types of businesses... rental equipment for instance. In the end, jobs would propagate from both these new small businesses and also from the production and manufacturing sector.

Initiating the project

The managers of this fund would take a census of the country... every town and county... requesting that the mayors and citizens let their needs be known.
  • What does the community want to have in their town?
  • What does it really need?
  • How many vacant homes are there? their cost to purchase?
  • How well are elderly being cared for?
  • How good is the infrastructure: water, sewage, electrical, phone, cable?
  • How many business sites are vacant?
  • On a scale 1-10 how conservative or progressive is the community?

    This information would be pooled by SBA accountants... and categorized by counties and states. The financial status of each state would be entered as a determining factor. Thus... a picture could be drawn about employment opportunities, business opportunities, and the type of products that would have a market there. It would know if counties needed an infrastructure boost... to support the basics of government services with a tax base.

    The program would actively recruit groups of people to influx into an area in order to revitalize its economy. A network would be set up to connect those needs of a town or city with people who are interested in those opportunities. Skilled workers (plumbers, electricians, etc) in one area could be recruited to another area with a shortage of those particularly skilled workers.

    County SBA fund offices would have a RESOURCE LIBRARY in which would be found catalogs of every product made in the U.S. Clients would take a basic management and record-keeping course (1 month's time), and another course that applies to the specific area they choose-- food safety, etiquette, retail strategy, etc. (another month's time). In conjunction with these classes, a client will begin working with a counselor to decide what service or business he will design.

    Some new small businesses will become producers of wholesale goods... and have a catalog of their products in the RESOURCE LIBRARY, too. There would also be lists and notices of needed services that are currently known and available in the area, or other areas... and the status of rural revitalization projects going on around the country. Needs matching needs.

    Rural revitalization!

    The small towns in our country are suffering from the loss of their populations. Homes can be had in these communities for a few thousand dollars. In order to create a healthy eco-system in communities, you need owners of businesses and you need customers. Rebuilding these little towns by encouraging unemployed families to move there... in groups so that the market can become vital... will create an entirely new group of interactive businesses.

    Rural areas should take note of the concept used by the Florida Orange Growers... that eliminated the middleman and took those profits for themselves, saving their farms. Employing local residents, rural areas could produce many kinds of food products from their crops... using family recipes for breads, cakes, pickles, canned goods... to be marketed in their nearby cities. (better than "national brands"!)

    Business Partnerships are ideal in that they would allow backup for any emergencies and workloads. Clients would have a class to learn the ways to make a partnership work, and counselors could walk them through the difficulties that arise as the business builds. Partnerships are ideal for handicapped persons to join with another person or group.

    The U.S. Patent Office should be streamlined and organized to work patents swiftly. The SBA fund can approve the cost of drafting blueprints for promising inventions, so they can be submitted for a patent. A new influx of interesting products made in America could help to improve our trade deficits. The SBA fund will work with inventors to find ways to get their products on the market.

    Every embassy of the United States should also carry a RESOURCE LIBRARY of American-made products.

    State and local licensing agencies should completely revamp their outdated requirements for certain types of businesses, so that they are realistic for micro-businesses and small entrepreneurs. These simplified regulations would be made easily available to anyone looking to develop a small business.

    These business loans would be small, and easy to pay back to the fund-- less than a degree in a university might cost. All monies must be accounted for. The key to the success of the fund is in the initial counseling and the advisory follow-up. The fund will contract with successful business-owners or retired businessmen in the community (at perhaps $100 a-month per client) to monitor and assist the new business-owner as he works out the kinks of his business. This advisor would also assist in requesting a supplemental loan, if needed.

    Commercial equipment can be rented, perhaps from a "needed rental business" list in a community. Restaurant equipment and other professional types of equipment can be rented to these new entrepreneurs as they start their businesses. The managers of the fund will work with counselors to suggest other types of businesses that complement the needs within the fund. Clients will see this notice in the library and want to choose to run such a business that will have a guaranteed need.

    Counseling will continue until the loans are repaid, after which, hopefully, a relationship will have formed with the advisor who could be called on now and then. Classes would be available, too, about taking the next step-- expansion.

    Creating markets for goods

    The formation of co-ops that pool their resources... buying luxury items or large practical items... sharing between the group would immensely expand the sales of American made products. It would increase the consumer base that can buy large ticket items. A blueprint for forming co-ops could be made available to the public.

    JOB EXAMPLES: (just to start with)

    1. Snack bars: Any building, business, or office where 30 or more people work should be encouraged to have an in-house snack bar. With a simple kitchen and a serving bar, one or two people could serve fresh breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and drinks-- a better choice than vending machines or rushed lunches. Contractors need only take a basic course in food safety, retail skills, and applicable law-- and love to cook.

    2. Private taxis: Drivers and clients know each other. Taxi clientele can register, for a fee, and schedule commutes or rides which they'll pay for as a fee or per mile. This could provide services for such things as picking kids up from school, taking kids to ballet or soccer, avoiding parking problems when shopping, avoiding having to drive after a night on the town... done on an appointment-only basis. This could be a partnership with several people running it alternately 24-hours a day.

    3. Teen employment: Create a temporary employment agency for teens 12-18 years old. Private citizens would contract for housecleaning, spring-cleaning, yard work, car washing and detailing, window washing, pet baths... and other tasks that could use their assistance.

    4. Beautification: Encourage businesses and home owners to improve the value of their property with landscaping, repairs, or improvements, as well as power-washing driveways, adding sidewalks, mending fences, adding patios. Encourage successful businesses to donate gardens to public areas and parks, and to pay a contractor to maintain it on a yearly basis. The business could display their name and service-- making it an advertising expense. Generous donors could supply local parks with playground equipment, installed by a contractor.

    5. Advertising: The handicapped or elderly could supplement their income by becoming an advertising agent for one business, or work through a temporary employment agency for these special people... wearing hats or T-shirts to ball games, malls, and other events... displaying ads on their cars or homes... giving away free samples at stores or malls. When they have a need, there should be someone willing and ready to hire them.

    6. Home Services: To allow the elderly to stay in their own homes, Medicaid should sponsor contractors with simple nursing skills to spend part of each day tending to the needs of these people-- making sure medicine is taken and that they are clean-- that they have food to eat and the house is safe. These easy special skills can be learned quickly.

    Counselors at the SBA fund would work to make a good fit for clients and the community. Even handicapped, retired persons, and others could be a partner in a business-- answering the phone, cleaning equipment, or running a cash register-- with people that are proven trustworthy, so that the handicapped are not taken advantage of.

    I can envision a future where all workers will be contractors-- both employer and worker agreeing to the "conditions of employment"--oops-- call it "contract parameters." This would make everyone's life more predictable... employers who must train their employees, as well as employees who depend on having a particular income and whose careers can follow their own design. The contracts assure that no one can be fired without preparation to replace that income... and no one can quit without allowing the owner to train someone.

    The benefits of managing one's own business, and controlling one's own destiny, are many. People with children can design a business that allows them to keep infants with them, or to be with their school-aged children after school. Children would learn business concepts and contribute to this family business; they would learn social skills, task skills, and a sense of responsibility matched with truly earned money. It reinforces families, in a natural and spontaneous way... and lifts up the whole society. Control over one's own time, and truly making one's own decisions-- IS... the dream we'd all like to live.

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