If you have been following me thus far by reading my earlier home-based business articles, then I wish to congratulate you for taking this step. I believe you have a heart on this subject and probably thinking about starting one soon.
According to the researches by home business network Enterprise Nation, there are more than 2.1 million home-based businesses operate in the UK with the combined turnover of these businesses well over £364 billion. What this means to us?
Seriously, I want you to take from me that owning your own home-based business could be the most rewarding part of your entire career or your life. The rewards are not just financially but the chance to do something that you love to do and have control over it in the long run. Nevertheless, there are things that you need to take note of, for example on how to get started, managing your money, problems to avoid, the good and the bad about starting a home-based business and how to move ahead as well.
I have a friend who was made redundant from her high paying corporate job few years ago and has used her savings to start her own home-based business selling personalised gift card and has continued to run her business from home ever since. I understand from her that her home-based business was not being affected even when she moved from her home country in US to Singapore. For her, running her business from home has given her the opportunity to fit around the needs of her family and that she can personally take care of her 3 young children to and from school every day, guide them in their school work and spend time with them during their school holidays. She told me that she had missed all these while she was employed. Her life is less stressful now compared to work under someone else and can afford to go and do shopping as and when she likes.
But first, where shall we run a home-based business? It is obvious that a ‘home-based business’ is a business in your home. If so, and by this definition, whether you do all your business at home or you do it on your customers’ premises, so long the centre of your operations is based in your home, it is considered as a home-based business.
Determining the kind of home-based business you want to have
Now is the time for you to think seriously what kind of home-based business that you want to start and what is the best way to market your products or services.
In reality, you will be presented with two types of home-based business to consider:
Start your small home business from scratch – this is where you can find boundless of possibilities of which you can tailor your unique ability and interest to offer to the existing markets. In general, home businesses that start from scratch tend to be more successful over the long run than buying a business; OR
Buy a business – this encompasses franchises, business opportunities and direct selling opportunities. I will elaborate in details later what each of them is about but for now, you may just want to know that:
- A franchise is a written contract in which one business grants another business the right to distribute its products or services. Some common home-based franchises include ActionCoach that provides coaching, training and mentoring service for SME business owners, Availl is known for care and nursing services, Bar Sport for Sports Bar and so on. Look around you, you will find that there are plenty successful home-based businesses model on this concept.
- Business opportunity basically refers to an idea, a product, a system or a service that someone develops and offers to sell to others to help them start their own similar businesses. This home-based business model allows your customers and clients to pay you directly when you deliver a product or service to them. It looks similar to franchising but it is not, one example of this is ClosetMaid that offers storage and organisational products. We will go into greater details of this home business model later.
- Direct Selling involves getting products or services from the providers and then sell them directly to the consumers without a home business owner need to have a retail store. When we talk about direct selling, we can either mean single-level selling/marketing or a multi-level selling/marketing. The difference between them is that one involved a simple one way direct selling while the other involves recruiting downlines/others to help a party (herein refers to as a sponsor) to sell the products and services. In a multi-level selling/marketing, both the downlines and the sponsor will earn the commission from the sales as well as from those who have joined the program after they did
That is all for now and I will go into managing money in my later article.
To you small home-based business success,
Tan Kok Hui