What is Home Business?
As of now, I am sitting on my couch, sipping a cup of my favorite green tea. I am feeling comfortable in the casual clothes and soon will be picking up my little one from school and -oh yes – before you think that I am having a day off at work let me tell you that I am working at my full-time home-based business.
In my post – A Beginner’s Guide To Home Based Business I will be covering everything you need to know to start creating a successful home-based business.
Working from home was hard to imagine a decade back but with the advancement in technology, this is becoming an increasingly popular reality.
Whether it’s a regular job in which employees are allowed to work remotely for a couple of days every week or a self-owned business operated from house premises, home-based working has gained momentum and shown a steady rise over the years.
- Data from the US Census revealed that 5.2% of American workers or 8 million people worked at home in 2017. In 2000 this percentage was 3.3% which increased to 5% in 2016
- In 2016 TUC (Trade Union Congress) of UK revealed that working from home has increased by 19% (a fifth ) over the past decade.
This rise has been fueled by improved internet connectivity and the demand for more flexible work environments.
Following the much-discussed debate that whether working from home boost’s or drains productivity, the results have been astonishing as they show an overall boost in productivity.
In this post, I will focus particularly on home-based businesses.
Like the name suggests, a home business is a business operated from the business owner’s home or place of residence. They are generally found to be small scale businesses but can be any size or type.
Traditionally, operators of home businesses have been found to reside on the first floor or backyard of their homes while using the ground floor or front yard as a customer service counter, office or a store.
However, any free space such as a spare bedroom, garage, dorm room or basement can be put to use as your home office depending on the type of home business you are looking to start.
Well known brand companies like as Apple, Baskin-Robbins, Hallmark cards, Lillian Vernon catalog, and Purex began their business journey in the same way.
History of Home Based Businesses- How it Has Evolved?
Home based business is a modern terminology used in the current context and has replaced the old term cottage industry.
There is not a set date as to when home businesses exactly started operating as it’s presumably as old as human civilization.
However, the terminology gained popularity in the United States in the late 1970s when a study was conducted to find what businesses were conducted by women in the US in their homes.
Numerous problems and issues were experienced by the operators of home-based businesses throughout the nation during this period.
The National Alliance of Home-based Businesswomen was formed in 1980 to tackle the laws that made home business operations difficult. Several articles highlighting stories of women running home-based businesses, information on home business creation, conduct and compliance in line with the law and such issues were published by national magazines.
At present in the United States legal requirements for home-based businesses vary depending upon the type and location of the business.
However, today the number of home-based businesses continue to grow massively. The internet makes operating a virtual company from home easier, feasible and more popular than ever.
What a Home Business is About? – Things to Know Beforehand
There are various things to consider before initiating a home business venture.
How Will You Keep Your Business Separate From home?
Bringing the workplace into your home requires lots of balancing and prioritizing skills on your part. You have to successfully balance and constantly juggle between the time you invest in your business and family needs and responsibilities.
If you are planning to start a home business for some reasons like to look after your kids or an elderly family member you can choose to put a vantage point against your privacy so that you can constantly keep an eye on them while working.
If otherwise, then it will be sensible to keep personal and professional spaces independent from each other to maintain harmonious domestic relations within the family. So choosing the exact location of your home office or workstation is very crucial.
It will be great if you can manage to have your home office in a separate space like a spare/guest room, garage or a basement.
As the home office is located inside your home you also have to factor in the noise, socializing and family visitor patterns as an uncalled-for guest at work time will surely be a hindrance to your business.
How Will You Create and Maintain a Professional Image Of Your Business?
Constantly maintaining a positive and professional image is a must for any type of successful business.
This is especially important if you have a noisy neighbor, a barking dog or a bunch of kids always seeking your attention or watching television at a high volume.
It is ideal to locate your home office in a spare space with a soundproof door if this is the case.
If your business requires your customers to visit your home office it is sensible to have a separate entrance or keep your office as close to an entrance as possible to save unnecessary time and hassle.
Nevertheless, if your customers have to walk through your home to get to your home office you need to make sure that this walkthrough area is clean, tidy and uncluttered by personal household items like kids toys, laundry, etc.
Are You Allowed to Operate a Business From Your Home?
Have you checked whether you can run a home business or are even allowed to hang your business signboard at your home?
This could act as a possible deterrent in your journey to create your home-based office.
You should consider zoning laws and ordinances by your local council and restrictions placed by homeowners & housing associations as they determine whether and how flexibly you can operate a home business.
Also, if you are a small business with a certain number of employees you have to be sure about their parking arrangements and restrictions.
While communities have updated their zoning laws to recognize that a computer-based business isn’t similar to a noisy car garage or fast food outlet many communities fully ban or limit home businesses of certain types.
So it’s a must to check out what type of commercial activity is allowed in your neighborhood if you are planning to start a home-based business.
You can easily find this information by visiting the website or office of your local council/zoning authority or housing association, where it is readily available.
It’s extremely important to find out the do’s and dont’s and to get along with your neighbors as a disapproving neighbor can put a real crimp in your home business and you might land up yourself with a termination order from the authorities and have to suddenly shift or close down.
So it’s advisable to maintain cordial relations with your neighbors in such a case to ensure the smooth running of your home business.
Here is a list of the things you can do so that people notice and take your business seriously :
Do not use P.O Box addresses as your business won’t sound trustworthy and you won’t be able to receive FedEx or UPS deliveries at P.O Box addresses. Make sure you have a professional business address where all of your business mail and packages are delivered.
You can do this by hiring a mail receiving service, using a street address from a business district or renting from an office suite complex. Before doing this you have to make sure that the authorities don’t carry out physical checks of your business premises before granting a business license.
All of your business paperwork like brochures, invoices, business cards, and letterheads needs to have a professionally consistent quality look. If you are creative enough then you can design them or you can even hire a professional to design them for you. Don’t forget to correlate your material with your business website for a trendy look.
You may be surprised by the home office supplies you’ll need to run your home business.
Get all of your home office supplies like stamps, envelopes, printer paper, paperclips, file organizers, desk accessories, letter trays, binder clips and the like.
Also get your home office equipment like computer, laptop, printers, fax machines, shredders, and buy your home office furniture like chairs, office desk, drawers and cabinets keeping in mind your requirements, space availability, budget, and business needs.
This is just a general list and you have to decide which of this you actually need to purchase as you might already have these stuff with you or can do without it for now.
I would suggest you use your own discretion and be frugal on such expenses during the initial stages of starting your home business.
The only reason to mention this list is to give you a reminder so that you don’t encounter a roadblock of any type once your home business is up and running.
If you live in an inconvenient location, have parking restrictions or are short of space, organize off-site meetings with your business clients, either at client’s location or a convenient spot like a hotel or restaurant.
Make sure you let your friends, relatives, and regular family visitors know that you are operating a home-based business and just like any other business it requires your undivided attention, time, and presence.
If they find you at home (working on your business of course ) that does not mean you are free and available for doing school runs for their kids, looking after their pet or socializing.
Especially, if you are into an online home business where you have to work on your laptop then in the initial phase, there will be high chances that you won’t be taken seriously as you will find many people still alien to this idea of working.
Hence it’s very important to pass on this message loud and clear and draw the line at the start itself to save you from embarrassment later.
I am telling this from my own personal experience as I faced the same problems initially and it took a great deal to get this message across. So I don’t want you to face the same dilemma which I did as I was unaware initially.
Devise an effective plan to look after your kids or doing school runs. It’s very important to so that you can work with maximum efficiency and focus.
You can think of hiring a nanny, put them in a daycare or at a relatives house while you are working. You can’t work with full efficiency with children hanging on your back, can you?
Wear professional business attire and dress professionally. This is very important especially if your business requires you to deal with customers/clients as it shows them how serious and disciplined you are about your work and business image.
The only exception here is if you are into an online home business wherein you have to work on your laptop not requiring any sort of customer/client interaction.
Have a separate phone line dedicated to business-related calls. Having a business phone line (different to a residential line) will display a professional image and will enable your business to be listed in Yellow Pages.
This will help people find your business by name. Make sure you install this business phone line somewhere away from domestic noises like personal household chit chats, laughter or debates.
Reply to your business calls professionally and give it a human touch. Always use your company name and if someone else is answering the phone make sure they do the same.
It’s great if you can have someone to answer your business calls in your absence as clients always prefer to interact with a human rather than computerized automated messages.
Use voicemail services to answer business calls. It will be a challenge if your little one answers your business phone calls, isn’t it?
If you can’t answer your business calls, it’s advisable to record your calls using a virtual voicemail service provider to give your clients a more personal service. They can take a message, transfer your business calls to you on your email or an app, and even have a personal greeting for your business to answer.
They provide smart and effective communication tools for your home business. Virtual voicemail providers like FreedomVoice and Virtual PBX are quite popular and almost all types of small businesses use these services nowadays.
Future of Home Business – What’s In Store For You?
Growth in technology and the internet has changed the way we do business. The number of internet users around the world is increasing at a rapid rate. In 2017, 46.8% of the world population was using the internet. This figure increased to 48.9% in 2018 and is projected to grow to 53.7% in 2021.
The basic idea of commuting and attending a physical workplace is being replaced by the concept of operating businesses from the comfort of your home.
Through the internet, it’s easily possible to create a virtual office or a marketplace and operate an entire business from your home. As you save time and energy you can maintain an equal balance between work and family.
If you are looking for a home business opportunity then you are a pioneer in redesigning the approach to conduct business. With the increasing penetration of the internet over the globe, you are surely going to reap the financial rewards you are looking for.
We are at present experiencing the age of Information Revolution similar to Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions that took place in the past. Those who can leverage the power of the internet are the ones who will be at the forefront.
As you look for a home based business opportunity, you belong to those who have unearthed the great potential internet has to offer.
Whatever your profession or background you come from, everyone has an equal opportunity in the online world. If you have something to offer to an international audience then you already have the opportunity.
It’s just about what you can provide. You have to let the world know that you have something to offer and you are in business to do so. For one such amazing business idea, I recommend you go through my article – How to Sell Designer Clothes Online & Start a Lucrative Home Based Business
It’s the quality and the way in which you promote your product, that will predict the size or scale of your home business. You just have to learn to leverage the opportunity presented to billions of people globally.
And be rest assured – opportunities are everywhere. You just have to continually look for them and identify the one for you.
Looking For An Opportunity? – Click Here
It’s all about helping people. So make it your business to help people and solve their problems. If the product or service you offer will solve someone’s problem, that person will be more interested to buy than you are to sell. Provide what they need and they will be providing you with what you need. It’s the best way to create a successful long-running home business.
A working laptop and internet connection is what you need to connect instantly with the entire world as businesses are no longer location specific.
You can provide valuable services like writing, transcription and even start your own affiliate marketing business online, promoting third party products to a global audience while working from your couch or traveling. You can go through my post How To Make Money By Blogging For Beginners to know everything you need, to start an online home-based business that can generate you a full-time passive income.
It’s an innovative way to earn a living as you get all the freedom and flexibility as you are your own boss and can work while holidaying or pursuing a hobby.
According to Euromonitor International, e-commerce is estimated to become the largest retail sales channel throughout the world, accounting for 14% of total retail sales by 2021, outgrowing sales through traditional channels like supermarkets and independent retail stores.
Today it’s easily possible to purchase everything from clothes to groceries, electronics to baby care through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and private websites. Also, popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are directing a considerable share of sales on these platforms.
When To Start Your Home Business?
If you are thinking of starting your own home-based entrepreneurship then the best time to do this is NOW.
There never is a perfect time. The only perfect time is the time when you Start.
So Start Now.
You can not go back and make a brand new start. But you can start now and make a brand new ending. So start now.
The best way is to begin your home business alongside your current job or occupation. Many people who are running successful home-based businesses today started in the same way.
There are numerous opportunities out there and you just have to select the one that suits you. But make sure you do not take too long in selecting one.
If you want to start an online affiliate marketing business without paying a dime, then my top recommended program for you is Wealthy Affiliate.
And once you have identified an opportunity, just don’t look back and give it all you can and in no time you will find yourself getting a grip over it and before you know you will start having your own share of success.
All The Best!
If you do have any comments or questions please feel free to ask them in the comments section below and I will get back to you much sooner than you think!