By Saralyn Collins
For almost 30 years now, I have operated a home-based business. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I LOVE knowing when I get up in the morning, that my office is only a few feet away. (Yes, I am also painfully aware of the negatives of that statement!)
I have tried an office outside the home over the years and they only lasted a few months at a time. It is understandable if your field of expertise calls for an “official” office but for many of us, setting aside a room at home is the best way to go.
There are positives and negatives in every situation. Thankfully, I am of the personality type that always looks for the positive but I have also learned there are many misconceptions about a home based business. This article does not address all of them. I won’t talk about the obvious tax advantages and things like that. That is for another article.
But let’s talk about the greatest misconceptions.
Separate fact from fiction before you decide to jump in head first.
The home-based business industry is buzzing with new startups, products and services. If you are considering launching a home-based company, it’s a good idea to have all the facts There are a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to run a successful business from home.
Separate fact from fiction, and find out whether these oft-repeated notions are just myths or real facts!
Anyone can start a home-based business.
While anyone can launch a homebased business at virtually any time, not everyone will succeed. It’s not as easy as you might think. So before you jump in head first, make sure you’re in touch with reality.
First of all, building a business from the ground up is a slow and sometimes tedious process. You will not become a millionaire overnight.
There is a lot of information to take in and a lot of junk to filter out. The truth is that running a home-based business is, in most cases, a trial by fire. Lots of people throw in the towel before they ever see any real money.
It doesn’t cost anything to start a home-based business.
If you are offering a service, this might be close to true. Emily Suess, a freelance writer in Indianapolis, launched her business virtually overnight without any startup fees. “I already had a laptop and a highspeed internet connection,” says Suess. “The only thing I needed was to find my first client.”
On the other hand, if you are selling a product, you will have to front the money for materials and supplies. In some instances, services — take catering, for example — require special equipment you’ll have to purchase in advance.
In any event, you will need to invest in your business in order for it to grow. As Suess points out, “It can take a long time to become established if no one knows about you. After only a few jobs, I was putting money back into my business to build a website, create business cards and market myself.”
The trick is promoting and marketing your business wisely. To make it, you will need the presence of mind to determine who the real experts are and who is just trying to make a quick sale. Not every kind of business should spend money on Facebook advertising, for example. And not every self-professed marketing guru can turn leads into sales. Do your homework before you start throwing money at coaches and vendors and anyone who might have something you could use — services or products.
If I build an online business, I can make money while I’m sleeping.
Actually, this can be true. But — and it’s a big but — getting to this point usually requires years of hard work. You have to establish your business, build your reputation (and web traffic), and offer a product or service that sells itself. The best way to approach your home business is to accept the fact that you will get out of it exactly what you put into it.
DO NOT listen to anyone who tells you that you can do any of this overnight. For most, success only comes after many years of hard work, money spent, crises adverted, frustration ignored, sleep missed, grey hairs sprouting and wrinkles growing!
OK, I know that sounds terrible and who would want all that … and more. Let me be the first to tell you — if you are willing to do what it takes to have a successful business, it will definitely be worth it! You just have to decide what “successful” means to you and what you are willing to do to get it!
I can quit my day job in just a few weeks.
This isn’t likely at all. Do not rely on your newly established business to pay the bills the moment you start it. If you have a day job, keep it.
Lots of people build a home-based business while still working full time or part time at another job. This allows you to grow slowly and build stability. Plus, if you make a mistake or two along the way, you can recover without giving up your home or filing for bankruptcy.
If you’re serious about building a home-based business, none of these things should deter you from your dream. However, you need a plan and the ability to see through all the hype. You need to determine who else you need on your team – a CPA, a social media expert, web designer, business strategy coach – who is it that will help guide you to the success you want and deserve?
Starting your own business can be tough, but it can also be very worthwhile. Growing that business after you start it is also possible. It works for so many and it can work for you … If you are willing to.
For more information about how to start or grow your home business, contact Saralyn at 828-649-8011 or Saralyn@SaralynCollins.com. She has almost 30 years experiencing helping people just like you!
If you want to learn some of these strategies quickly, join us at the Biz Magnet lunch & learn the 3rd Thursday of every month.