Home Based Small Business

Is a home based small business for you? An increasing number of people are answering, "Yes." This is especially true of retirees. With early retirement on the increase and longer life-spans, retirees both want and need to work beyond the day they collect that first pension cheque. home based small business

Although it's possible to find traditional employment, retirees are following the international trend and are starting home based small businesses.

The good news is that it is easier than ever to start your own home based business. That means that anyone can do it, including you.

The bad news is that anyone can do it. That means that there is stiff competition.

In British Columbia where I live, 50% of all business start-ups are home based small businesses. But. . .

. . .50% of those fail within two years.

At the ten year mark, 80% of home based businesses have closed down.

There are many reasons for starting a home based small business, and many reasons that they die off. Not every death of a small business is cause for grief. But it is still important to think carefully about whether or not running a home based small business is for you.

Know Yourself

There is no one type of person who will be successful working from home. That said, it pays to know up front what your strengths and weaknesses are. You will also want to be clear about your motivations.

Why do you want to start a home based small business?
  • Do you need money?
  • Do you want to be in charge?
  • Do you want to spend time where other family members are?
  • Do you want to take a hobby to the next step?

Do you have the determination to work in spite of the lead time it usually takes to make any business financially successful? The world is full of get rick quick (GRQ) schemes. A real business takes time to grow. If you need money instantly, a home based small business is unlikely to meet your needs.

Do you get along well enough with others to keep clients and suppliers happy? And on the other side of the equation, can you be clear enough in your policies to keep from being talked out of realistic compensation?

How do you handle criticism? Can you tell legitimate complaints from frivolous ones? Do you learn from mistakes?

Can you take the initiative in situations? When you are the boss, it's all up to you.

How good are you at solving problems? If you are not good at solving problems yourself, do you know who to go to when you need help in a particular area?

Can you stay organized enough to run a small business? Do you know how to keep a set of books or are you willing to learn how?

What is your response to stress?

Examine Your Resources

Besides your personal qualities, what is available to you for your new venture? Will you need, and do you have any of the following?
  • Time
  • Specialized training
  • Contacts within the relevant business community
  • Equipment or supplies
  • Space for the business
  • Financial resources for start-up
  • Support of other family members, especially your spouse

Pulling It All Together

I am thrilled with my own home based small business! I have been in operation for over 3 years and I see no reason to stop until I become physically unable to read or use the keyboard. I expect that I'll continue until my business passes the 10 year mark.

If you think that you might want to join the ranks of successful home based business operators, consider your options carefully.

Count the cost and weigh it against the benefits. A business, any business takes time. Usually there is at least some startup cost. In most cases, time and money are the most important considerations.

If you need help making your decision, use ChooseIt to sort out the pros and cons.

If you have business advice or a story about your own business experience that would help others, please share it.