One of the most popular ways to start a business is to pursue home based business opportunities, and especially online business opportunities. Whether you’re thinking about forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) so you can work as a work-at-home freelancer, Amazon Seller or another marketplace retailer, a home-based caterer or other home-based business opportunities, there are many ways to build a successful business out of your own home by selling your own product or services online.
According to survey data, U.S. home-based business opportunities are surprisingly plentiful and prosperous, so now is a great time to take advantage of starting your own business. Many home-based businesses are succeeding at a high level, and online entrepreneurs are changing the way that the business world works.
Home based business opportunities are everywhere: There are 38 million home-based businesses in the U.S. – this means that starting your own business from home is more common than you might expect! Your neighborhood might be full of home-based entrepreneurs who are succeeding in business on their own terms, working from home and perhaps selling online.
Home-based businesses make great money: Many people have the misguided idea that home-based businesses aren’t “real” businesses – like you’re somehow “less” of a success if you work from home instead of having a brick and mortar storefront. But according to this survey data, business is booming for home-based business entrepreneurs.
A word of caution: If your business is less online and more face-to-face, advertising and marketing can be of paramount importance. One of the major mistakes made by some home-based businesses is not having proper visibility, which leads to less credibility. Once you step into the world of medium and large-sized businesses, the branding of your business becomes critical. Some of the more common, noticeable mistakes are:
- Not having a website
- No marketing materials
- No physical address on business cards or marketing materials
- The word “free” printed on the back of your business cards
- Having a website, but your email address ends in “Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail”.
Home-Based companies are generating big – with total annual revenue of $427 billion per year. And 20 percent of home-based businesses make $100k-$500k per year – that’s a very comfortable income for anyone working from home. You have to remember that if you do start a home-based business and build a great income, you are on your own for health care and other benefits, so that is a consideration.
Home-based businesses are in it for the long haul: Don’t assume that a home-based business is somehow a fly-by-night organization that has less long-term potential – this survey data found that 70 percent of home-based businesses are successful within three years of founding, compared with only 30 percent of regular businesses. This means that your home-based business might even have a better chance of long-term success than a typical brick and mortar business or retail storefront. As long as you can keep finding customers and making sales, your business can keep thriving and growing.
Home based businesses are cheap to start: You might think that you need a lot of money to start a business. And it’s true that having some start-up capital is often a big advantage – it can give you a safety net to use while figuring out how to become profitable, even if you make some mistakes along the way. But according to this data, 44 percent of home based businesses are started for less than $5,000. This is an optimistic sign that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard, you can start making money while operating a business from home, even without a lot of startup capital.
You are not alone: Do you have a dream of starting your own home-based business? Does it feel impossible, like you’re the only one you know who wants who wants to ditch your regular job and do your own thing? Actually, lots of people share your dream – 70 percent of Americans would prefer to be self-employed, and a new home-based business is started every 12 seconds! Don’t feel like you’re all alone or that your business dreams are “crazy” – there are many people just like you who would love to start a business and carve out their own niche in the world where they can succeed.
Women start more home-based businesses: According to Small Biz Trends, women are more likely to operate home-based businesses. 72 percent of women who own startups operate the startups out of their home, compared to only 61 percent of men who own startups. And 68 percent of women of business owners are still running their businesses from their home after 3.5 years, compared to just 53 percent of men. This is a sign that home-based businesses can be a good solution for women entrepreneurs who might have less access to startup capital, or who might be juggling the obligations of work and raising children or caring for family members. Women often want more freedom and flexibility in starting a business, and running a business from home often enables them to have the best of both worlds – a substantial business income but with a flexible schedule.
If you want to start a business, a great strategy might be to run your business from home first. Some solopreneurs do so with the safety net of a full-time job before they decide to cut the “reliable paycheck” cord. Starting a home-based business is an ideal way to save some money and enjoy a more convenient, flexible schedule while you learn how to build a profitable company.
Portions of this posting were contributed by:
Ben Gran, blog writer for incfile.com, International Data Corporation, KJ Henderson-HR Specialist, SBA’s Office of Advocacy, small Biz Trends.