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Out of work? Start your own business

June 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
If the recession has left you out of work, one way to get a job is to do it yourself.If you've always dreamed of starting your own business, but don't know how, you could follow in the footsteps of some women who blazed their own trail through the unemployment jungle.

Sidney Miller's friends have always praised her cookies. So when her corporate job gave out, she went to work in the kitchen.

"I was out of a job and in the back of my mind I'm like, 'I guess I should start making cookies because ... Why not?" said Sidney.

She started by using her Facebook friends to test the market and take orders. Her company, "Sid's Viciously Good Cookies," sold 500-dozen cookies in the past three months.

However, Mindie Doney and Julie Pickens take the cake.

The "mompreneurs" came up with a better way to wipe kids' noses. They call it "the boogie wipe." It started in one store and has already gone international.

"It's a wonderful time to start into a business. But you have to have the right attitude about how you're going at it," said Dave Ramsey, The Dave Ramsey Show.

The majority of small businesses started last year with less than $5,000. The good news is technology is making it more affordable to start a business. Outright.com, for example, is the autopilot version of bookkeeping.

"We will help you keep track of your income; we'll track your expenses and deductions; pay estimated taxes throughout the year," said Kevin Reeth, founder and CEO, Outright.com. "We'll help you see how your business is doing."

Instead of spending thousands hiring a Web designer, you can use something called Wix.com.

"One of the first things you want to do is get Web presence," said Reeth. "You can get out there and create a site so people can find you when they're searching for products and services."

Gmail is one of the few free services that can associate your Web site domain. In other words, an e-mail address that reads yourname@gmail.com can become yourname@yourbusiness.com.

For Sidney Miller, starting her own business was more about sweat equity than spending money. However, success has been sweet.

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