By Ron Wolfe

When I resumed writing this column on Aug. 8, 2002, I wrote: "It has been often stated that the business of America is business." If this is true, it follows that " the business of SouthShore is business. This column will deal with topics and issues considered to be important to the business communities of SouthShore."

It occurs to me that there are many business-minded persons living in SouthShore who may wish to position themselves to take advantage of the economic development and expansion coming our way. This includes existing SouthShore merchants and those persons who may wish to pursue the American dream of being in business for themselves by owning and operating a small business.

Do you realize that even though you may not own a business, you are now in business for yourself?

Webster’s dictionary defines business as: "One’s occupation, profession or trade".

If you are profitably employed by selling your services to an employer who is willing to pay you an agreed upon wage, you are now in business for yourself. Your business product is skilled labor and your owner/employer supplies the capital required to support business operations.

One of the keys to your future is the term, "profitably employed". If you can produce results that exceed the value of the wages being paid to you by the owner/employer, you are "profitably employed". This benefits the owner/employer by providing a return on the invested capital and justifies ownership of the business. No employer is in the business of making jobs for people by breaking even on their services. An employer must make a profit on your services to stay in business. You must produce more than you are being paid to hold your job or employment.

By building on your foundation of profitable employment you can determine whether owning your own business is for you. If you are able to enjoy continuing income from your services rendered, plus an investment return on your capital, owning your own business may be right for you.

Going into business by owning your own business is risky and many persons should spare themselves the risk. However, when the business elements and individual personality is right, there is nothing to compare with pursuing the American Dream by going into business for yourself.

There is no question about it, the rewards are often greater for the person who succeeds in their own business, than for someone who succeeds but works for someone else. There is a sense of security that one can never attain by working for another.

The financial gains, independence and sense of accomplishment realized from owning a successful business is reserved for a select few persons and is available to those who believe in themselves and the free enterprise system. The opportunity to be "your own boss" is appealing to many persons, but only a few are able to handle the responsibility for making all of the decisions. Business failure has depleted savings, strained family relationships and destroyed the self-confidence of otherwise capable persons. These persons should have remained profitably employed.

Owning and managing your own business is a good idea, providing you know what it takes and are able to prepare a written business plan. The owning part is simply the application of money. The managing part is seeing that the money grows, by making the right business decisions. Whether you own an existing business or want to start one, the written business plan is your road map to business success.

In addition to writing this column, I provide business advisory services to the owners and managers of existing businesses and to those who want to start a business. You can learn more about these services by visiting my web site at

Readers who wish to receive a free outline of a business plan are requested to mail a No. 10 sized, self-addressed and stamped envelope (37 cents) to: The Voice of SouthShore, P.O. Box 476, Ruskin, FL 33575. Phone: 273-8976. Email:

 Observer News Front Page