Art Coley Jr., CEO, The Entrepreneur’s Source
Often, people running a business at home are dismissed as hobbyists, but new research suggests that assumption is far from true. A new analysis by Emergent Research, Homepreneurs: A Vital Economic Force, argues that home-based businesses are not only operating successfully, well established and long lasting, but also making contributions to employment and the economy.
The researchers analyzed data from U.S. Census and the Small Business Success Index, along with Small Business Administration research.
The population of “homepreneurs” is rising steadily. In fact, an estimated 6.6 million home-based enterprises provide at least half of their owners’ household income. Together, these “homepreneurs” employ one in 1- private sector workers, and by many measures they’re just as competitive as their counterparts in commercial spaces.
It’s not hard to see why. Operating a franchise out of your home combines the best of both worlds; providing flexibility and affordability and a low barrier of entry that franchise business ownership can offer.
Ask Sharon Lewis, AdviCoach business coach, who runs her business from her home in Ivorytown, Connecticut. “I now have the flexibility for work and family harmony- my daughter’s last day of Kindergarten was this week and I was able to attend the end of year party at school and still honor my client’s needs,” she says.
Additional good news is that more and more franchisors are either adding home-based options to their franchise programs or are focusing exclusively on the home-based distribution model in order to reduce operational costs.
Here are three questions you should ask yourself before investing in a home-based franchise opportunity:
Do you have a dedicated area to allow focus on your business and expansion as it grows?
Is your home office able to accommodate your business, today, and as it expands? While the dining room table can look inviting, dedicated space, optimally with a door, is paramount to allow for conference calls, focused business thinking, planning and execution time. The key is to create a space that reflects your professional demeanor that provides your business room to grow and prosper for months and years to come.
Do you have an appropriate place for in-person meetings?
Clients, sales partners, and delivery staff might need to pay you a visit. Is your home zoned for business? Will your insurance company cover any accidents? Is your home set-up to accommodate visitors? For many home-based franchisees, the home is not a sufficient place to meet with clients, but it is fairly easy to meet at a client’s place of business, a restaurant, or coffee shop. For larger group meetings or presentations, franchisees can check with their Chamber of Commerce or related professional organization, which often allow members to use the conference room for free.
Is your family prepared for the transition?
Is your business space family and pet free? Do you have a dedicated space, with limited intrusions? Whether it’s keeping your phone and business equipment off limits to others, posting business hours on your door, or hiring a babysitter to watch your children during business hours, it is important to discuss your new enterprise and set boundaries with family members. Failure to communicate needs and expectations can cause unexpected interruptions and potentially lead to resentment among children and spouses.
With more than 75 percent of Americans seeking self-sufficiency, home-based businesses can be the right step for professionals looking for an alternative career path. The key is to ask yourself the right questions before you take the leap into homepreneurship.
About the Author
Dedicated to the advancement and development of those seeking empowerment through self-employment, The Entrepreneur’s Source (TES) President and CEO Art Coley leverages his deep entrepreneurial roots and proven success in franchise brand growth leading the world’s largest and #1 franchise coaching organization dedicated to empowering potential entrepreneurs to achieve their personal and professional goals through self-employment. The Entrepreneur’s Source® is recognized as the industry leader in franchise education, coaching and knowledge of opportunities throughout the country.
To learn more about Art Coley and The Entrepreneur’s Source, please visit: http://www.entrepreneurssource.com/
[Image courtesy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stubacca]