Some unemployed workers have decided that the surest way back to a job is to start a business.

In 2009, during the depths of the recession, business start-ups skyrocketed at a rate of 558,000 a month, outpacing rates for the technology boom years of 1999-2000, according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo. organization that promotes entrepreneurship.

On Long Island, the local office of the U.S. Small Business Administration received increasing numbers of inquiries in the first six months of 2009, said Al Titone, the SBA’s deputy district director whose territory includes Long Island.

“Any time there is an economic downturn, you see a lot of layoffs and you get a lot of inquiries,” he said. “They kind of go hand in hand.”

But entrepreneurship isn’t for the feint of heart. It requires money and staying power. The Olive Tree Network, a Utah-based consulting group that helps entrepreneurs assess risks and find funding, believes that would-be businesses can get a firm footing by answering a few basic questions. And the questions should be answered before developing a business plan, the group says. They are:

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  • -What is your product and how does it differ from the competition’s?
  • -What management background or expertise do you provide for the product?
  • -Who will be your customers?
  • -How will you market to them?
  • -Who are your major competitors?
  • -What one-time expenses will you need before opening the business?

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