Business Startup: Opportunity Or Disaster?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Current economy provides pluses and minuses for new ventures.

Dan Leonard has been in the banking industry for more than 35 years. He currently is chief executive of Triad Financial, an auto finance company that has ceased to do new business and is slowly liquidating its loan portfolio.

After that, Leonard is out of a job at age 60.

Not willing or able to retire, Leonard is starting a business. He recently bought an Orange County franchise of UNITS Mobile Storage in Lake Forest, which leases storage containers to people who either are moving or out of space. Once they fill the container, UNITS will transport it or store it.

"I've loved my corporate career," Leonard said. "But I looked at my investment portfolio. I don't have a lot of comfort in that. My wife and I wanted to stay in Southern California. So I looked for a business that would allow me to work, serve my community and spend time with my family." Millions of Americans have been thrown out of work during this recession. Whether they like it or not, many of them are starting or buying businesses.

Their job opportunities are diminished: SurePayroll, an online payroll service, reports that companies' use of outside contractors instead of employees hit a record high in April.

A recent Harris Poll found that 37 percent of Americans surveyed were considering or were already running a business.

California ranks 5th among states in new business formation, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, and the Santa Ana-Long Beach-Los Angeles region has one of the highest rates of startups among the nation's largest metropolitan areas.

"I've always been fascinated by franchising," Leonard said, "but if the economy had remained strong I probably would have played out my career in the corporate world." Many new business owners, like Leonard, view their ventures as opportunity more than necessity.

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Units Mobile Storage
234 Seven Farms Drive Suite 111B
Daniel Island, SC

Phone: (843) 571-2377
Toll Free: 1-866-569-UNIT
Fax: (843) 571-2375

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