What Do You Do When There are No Jobs?

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Image: Rocky Raybell

What do you do when there are no jobs?  Change the way you do your job hunting.

One way to find out if a company is hiring is to ask them.  Instead of looking for job listings, look for companies who hire people with your skills.  When looking for companies that hire people with your skills, you are taking advantage of the fact that many companies do not use recruiters or advertise their jobs.  They rely on internal referrals and online or walk-in applications.  Some of these companies allow you to apply anytime.  If they do not have an opening, they will call you when they see a need that matches your experience.

Buy a franchise.  When my wife and I moved our family from Texas to California, we hired a professional moving company. The person in charge of the move was a retired Navy captain who owned a moving franchise of a national moving line.

When you buy a franchise, your new company has the products, advertising, and brand recognition of an established business.  Entrepreneur.com lists the top 500 franchises.

Imitate a franchise.  Another approach to starting a business when there are no jobs is to imitate the franchises.  You face some challenges.  You have to find sources for products.  You have to decide what equipment is best for your business.  You have to build brand awareness.  The positives are that you do not have the restrictions of limiting your business to the guidelines of a franchise.  Starbucks and west-coast sensation In-N-Out Burger are two companies that have created quality products by not having to comply to franchise guidelines.

Buy a franchise and break the mold. The greatest success story of a person breaking out of the franchise mold is that of Sam Walton.  He started with a Ben Franklin variety store franchise. Then he ran his store based on the business model of the most successful mass merchant at the time, KMart. Instead of buying from the franchise suppliers, he found from cheaper suppliers and passed the savings on to his customers.

Buy an established business.  With baby boomers nearing retirement, you can find businesses that will disappear if no one buys them.  If you see a business that looks attractive to you, state your interest in buying the business.  If you are a novice, you will want to get guidance.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has information on all aspects of starting, financing, and running a business.

If you have the business experience and financing, you might have a lot of fun.  The late Edwin H. Shutt Jr., who was CEO of Clorox and later Tambrands, became interested in the ownership of a BMW dealership when he was taking his car in for repairs.  A veteran of acquisitions at Clorox and Tambrands, he bought the dealership.

Create a new business.  Do you have a service or a product that you love and that helps other people?  Get busy selling your service or products.

Become a broker.  There are several ways to become a broker.  You can contract with manufacturers to sell their products for them.  You can become an agent on eBay or Craigslist by connecting suppliers with buyers.  The advantage of brokering is that you do not have the cost of inventory and manufacturing.

Become a contractor or third-party service company.  With economic downturns, jobs for some skills drop dramatically.  Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and other construction workers have a difficult time during slow construction periods.  However, some companies hire construction workers for maintenance and ongoing projects.  The point is to use your vision to picture what companies need to hire people with your skills and apply for work with those companies.

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