Starting a business: 'You feel like you are taking a chance'

Starting a business: 'You feel like you are taking a chance' »Play Video
Susanne Bryant

EUGENE, Ore. - Susanne Bryant is her own boss.

"I recommend it," she said of small business ownership, "but you have to be prepared for it."

Bryant and her husband opened Devote 30, a pre-paid wireless store, in October 2009 after he was laid off from a big corporation.

"We found the product. We knew it was something good and nobody else in eugene had these products, and we just went for it," Bryan said, "but it was 20 hours a day planning."

Since then, they've watched their tiny Willamette Street business boom.

"Now, we opened a second store a year and a half later and it's four times as big," Bryant said.

They also hired three employees.

But starting your own business can be risky in any economy.

"You know, you feel like you are taking a chance," Bryant said.

Help is out there for would-be entrepreneurs. The Willamette Valley chapter of Score, a non-profit small business mentoring group, offers free counseling.

"One of the things we stress is the need for a business plan," said Ray Staton, who chairs the local Score chapter. "One of the things that we stress heavily is let's find out whether or not this business is going to make money for you or whether you are throwing good money after bad."

They talk about potential sales, revenue and startup expenses.

The Lane Community College Small Business Center and the Eugene Public Library also offer help.

So in this poor economy, if you don't have a job, is now the time to create your own with a small business?

Staton said yes - if you have a good product.

There is business out there if you know how to reach it," he said.

The Bryants' hard work and planning paid off. They broke even after only a few months and hope to expand to even more locations in the future.