HOUSTON - More people are starting their own businesses now that they've been laid off this year. Many are starting small businesses or becoming independent contractors.
Applications for employer identification numbers required to start businesses surpassed 3.2 million this year. That's up from 2.7 million from this time last year, according to the Census Bureau.
"I got thrown into the space of starting this clothing business. By 18-years-old, we did $1 million in sales. By 19, we had a $9.5 million licensing deal for STARTER apparel," said entrepreneur and angel investor Dan Fleyshman.
Fleyshman started the STARTER clothing line in his teens, becoming the youngest business founder to take a company public at age 23. He also launched the Who's Your Daddy energy drink, Victory Poker, and Elevator Studio, a social media marketing firm.
He says entrepreneurs should choose a business selling something they love, are good at, and that will save people time.
"Do I like to talk about sports cars? Do I like to teach guitar? Do I like to fix glasses or fix electronics?" he suggests.
He says you'll need to create a website, social media pages, a corporation, and open a bank account.
Then entrepreneurs should start reaching out to people and businesses who need their product or service.
"Social media is the easiest and it's free. But you're going out to each individual platform. That may look like social media, but it's not technically social media. That's Google, that's Yelp, that's forums, that's blogs," said Fleyshman.
You'll need funding, enough to sustain your business through lean times.
"There's crowdfunding. You can use Kickstarter, GoFundMe, different crowdfunding type sites. There are bank loans but bank loans are going to be more difficult now for traditional loans. But for micro-loans, they're actually very active," he said.
He also suggests asking people you know to be angel investors.
The secret to success, he says, is to be relentless.
"There were lawsuits and headaches. Our manufacturer passed away, shipments didn't show up, there were a lot of war stories along the way. But the relentless keyword was, no matter what it was, I didn't sit on the floor and cry about it. I just worked through it," said Fleyshman.
Fleyshman co-created the 100 Million Academy this year, an online platform for entrepreneurs where experts teach about their success.