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Should I Start a Home-Based Business?

Updated on December 31, 2014

Home-Based Business: First Thoughts

Many people love the idea of starting a home-based business. The freedom and flexibility to be your own boss, and to be in the presence of your family more often are all great perks of working from home. However, there is much to consider before your decide a home-based business is the right path for you. Before diving into a home-based business, it is important to ask yourself some very important questions.

Are you in the process of starting a small business?

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Will it Work?

First, it is essential that you have a solid plan for your business. Have similar home-based businesses proven to be successful? That is just one of the questions that you will need to ask yourself, and answer honestly. Before going any further with your business, reflect on these questions below:

  1. What is your product or service?
  2. What kind of demand is there for your product or service?
  3. Do you know who your target market is?
  4. Do you have the knowledge and experience to successfully run a business on your own?

Going back to your business's primary product or service, the chart below compares the two and how each are valuable. By knowing the distinct differences between products and services, you will be able to channel the strengths of each and market them accordingly. For instance, if your business is more about a specific product, such as travel purses, you can identify the key components for effectively producing and marketing your product. On the other hand, if your business focuses more on a service, such as marketing, you will need to understand what makes a service a good service. Understanding the key differences between a good and a service will help you develop a solid business plan and how to put value into the work that you sell to customers.

Tips for Entrepreneurs

It's about the customers - always.
It's about the customers - always. | Source

It's About the Customers - Not You

Starting a home-based business is no walk in the park – it takes serious time and planning. One thing that you must ask yourself is this: are doing it primarily to be your own boss? Many people take the plunge of starting their own business simply so that they can manage themselves – despite this obvious benefit, being your own boss should be last reason you start your own business. Your business should be about your customers and their needs and wants. Your products or services should be the focal point of your business and how they will make a difference in people’s lives – after all, that is the whole reason people buy goods and services: because it helps them, not so that you can be your own boss.

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Business Plan
Business Plan | Source

Will Your Business Last?

Your goods or services should have a clear utility, and should be able to stand the test of time. What this means is that your products or services should not be a fad, something that is popular today, but likely will not be needed or wanted in the future. Also, it is important that your business has exceptional oversight – businesses often fail because of the lack of responsible direction and management. Some of the most common reasons businesses fail, include:

  1. Starting a business for the wrong reasons
  2. Not understanding the market
  3. Inadequate financial planning
  4. Not advertising properly
  5. Bad record-keeping; poor tax responsibility

Your business should provide a product or service that has proven to be useful in the past and present. For instance, if you decide to go into business selling shoes, chances are that your business has a strong chance of making - so long as the other aspects of your business are handled properly (such as marketing and customer satisfaction). Alternatively, if you decide to go into business selling scented postage stamps, there's a very slim chance that your business will last. Are scented postage stamps necessary? Sure they may induce a chuckle out of a few people, but do they provide a utility that most people regularly need? No. You may think that your product idea is crafty and innovative, but unless it will remain wanted and needed by the masses, it will likely not provide you with any profits.

Start Planning Your Business
Start Planning Your Business | Source

Get Started!

Starting a home-based business takes exceptional planning, which includes understanding the laws and regulations for such businesses. From zoning restrictions to accounting requirements, it's essential to understand the laws surrounding home-based businesses and making sure that they are followed.

If you feel that your business has a shot, then get cracking! Today's world if filled with brave entrepreneurs who want to build sturdy businesses for themselves and their families.

© 2014 Marissa D. Carnahan


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    • ienjoythis profile image

      Marissa D. Carnahan 3 years ago from Nevada

      Thank you for the insight, Bill! You're absolutely right about financial back-up. It's definitely necessary to be financially stable before committing full-time to a new business. For most people, it may be best to ease into a new business on a part-time basis. Then once (or if) it takes off, only then can you dedicate yourself full-time.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nice summary. I would add this is not something to be taken lightly. Going it full-time without financial back-up is a recipe for disaster.