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Small Talk

Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of starting your own business? Then starting with a microenterprise could be the answer for you.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Start Up.

Jim and Georgia Thompson didn't go into business to get rich. They went into business because it looked better than working for someone else. "It's not exactly that we didn't like the people we were working for," explains Jim, 45. "But we were doing all the work and weren't getting any of the rewards."

So in June 2001, the father-daughter team started JJ&G Electric, a two-person electrical contracting company in Austin, Texas. Both were veteran electricians, and Georgia, 21, had experience running the office at the electrical contractor where they'd both formerly worked. But they quickly found that running a small business was different from wiring a building. "We had the electrical skills. We had the office skills. We also had the people skills," says Jim. "But we had little knowledge of the financial skills and skills of running a business."

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