Home Based Business-Why Earning Money From Home Is Easier Than You Think!
By: Samik on October 2, 2015
Been laid-off, put to pasture or presumed proverbial scatterbrained-mom? Are you a stay-at-home mom (or dad) who’s wondering how you can help pay a few bills or more adventurously kick-start that entrepreneurial dream of yours? Starting a home based business is the ideal way of doing this.
Needless to say, many of today’s most successful brand names were established by stay-at-home moms Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein), (Dorothy) Gerber, and Mrs. (Debbi) Fields, to name but a few.
As many as 52 percents of U.S. companies operate as home businesses and at last count, (according to the census) there were over 30,000 million-dollar, home-based businesses run by solo entrepreneurs. Even though building one may be tricky, it obviously isn’t impossible.
Your home environment – what types of businesses can grow and thrive here?
According to the same survey:
• there were over 200,000 entrepreneurs with sales ranging from $500,000 – $999,999 per annum, and
• there were over 400,000 entrepreneurs raking in between $250,000 – $499,999 per annum.
Whether you want to climb into a home based business or whether you want to start an on-site one with employees, the fundamentals are similar — the “fundamentals” mean those which influence success.
It’s not necessary to run a large company to earn a fat check. If you’re cut out to be a solopreneur, you have that added advantage while being your own boss.
Average people have launched these businesses and turned opportunities into million-dollar success stories. Let’s highlight five ways they leveraged their situation or skills to build their own home-based business.
1. Your everyday problems: conceive a product based on these.
Katherine Krug suffered severe back pain while working long hours at her desk. Unable to find a good solution to the severe back pain she suffered as a result of working long hours at her desk, Katherine Krug created a prototype strap to help provide back support (with help from industrial designers).
She then entered her prototype on Kickstarter and raised $1.2 million from supporters. This million-dollar company is now run by her as a mompreneur from her home in San Francisco.
Similarly, a stay-at-home mom, Kelly Lester, built her business based on an everyday problem she thought she had that involved her three children. Wanting a quick and easy way to pack lunches for them, together with the fascination she had with a Japenese style of food packing called “bento” boxes, Lester combined the two that eventually grew into what we know as Lester’s $ 1 million-plus lunchbox business.
You too may be frustrated with something in your daily life. Keep your eyes and ears open to inspiration – you never know when it may strike. Most successful home based business, both big and small, were established because of a personal problem that their founders faced.
2. Understand a niche and set up your own online store.
Let’s have a look at the business built by 20-something solopreneur Allen Walton. If you have the insight into what people are looking for relating to certain product categories, you can consider taking a feather out of his cap.
Walton knew what clients were looking for when it came to security products as he’d worked at a local security camera store. Armed with the information, the experience gained selecting right inventory, and $1,000 in savings, he built his own online spy camera shop.
Having certain knowledge about your niche, i.e. understanding what customers are looking for, will help you kickstart your own online store. You have choices depending on your technical knowledge: you can either set up your own website, we recommend using the WordPress Woocommerce tool; or you can outsource the work to a freelance developer who has the skills.
According to U.S. Census data, one of the largest categories of business in which highly successful entrepreneurs work, not surprisingly, is in the retail segment.
3. Technology: it’s useful, advance and polish those skills.
You’re making use of your skills in the physical world, but if you leverage technology, you can obviously reach a far wider audience than you can by physically reaching out. This scenario is limited by your time and effort (the number of people you can reach).
Personal trainer Dan Mezheritsky ascended his own venture by utilizing his in-house personal training and business franchising set of skills. He was ingenious in building a customized software which automated many functions.
On a similar scale, Rachel Charlupski used mobile phones to help increase her babysitting business into a database/network that includes some staggering 1,500 babysitters. Charlupski was a solo babysitter in Phoenix when she started out, looking to make money by offering services to hotel guests.
On the product market, what started as a small woman’s clothing boutique craft sales – from Liverpool, California, Alicia Shaffer expanded her headband-making business to millions of online clients. She launched both an Etsy store and standalone online store, which together has brought in very close to a million dollars.
The message is clear, technology can be used smartly to help you advance to an international audience, especially if you have existing skills in any particular industry.
4. Create an online course.
Perhaps you have a skill that you can teach other people? Possibly even start your very own online course academy? There are tons of options available for you to host your courses. If you have technical skills, you could use WordPress to build one using the Sensei theme to create a learning management system. Or, you could use other platforms, like as Fedora or Udemy.
An example in this regard would be John Azzi and Eliot Arntz. In 2014, they earned over $1 million for their course on developing the new Swift programming language and the iOS 8 app development.
A former high school math teacher from England (Cambridge), Rob Percival, found similar such success – netting over $1 million in less than a year – with his four courses on various programming topics.
Have a think – what kind of course could you create? Those with well-defined outcomes – meaning courses that help people improve their job skills or earn more money, tend to do well.
5. Publish an eBook.
Gone are the days you need a reputable publisher to promote your work. Nowadays, and with minimal expenses, you can publish your own book, then market and distribute it to millions.
Marketplaces such as Kobo Writing Life, Amazon Kindle, Goodreads, etc, offer people platforms where not only can they host ebooks, but they have communities of readers they can market to as well.
Consistency and tenacity is key. The poster girl of self-publishing, Amanda Hocking, has had the opportunity of earning over $2 million from publishing several fiction titles on Amazon. Did you know she was rejected by every literary agent she approached before going the online route?
Need more success stories? Author of 13 books, including bestsellers, Guy Kawasaki, has written a book on how to self-publish an ebook, offering practical and tactical inspiration, advice and help, including a ready-to-use template.
Simple passion isn’t enough to get you going. Your modus operandi needs to include hunger, daily hard work, and constant progress and improvisation.
All that matters at the end of it all – don’t worry if you’ve failed once, twice or even a dozen times – is that you get it right once.
Working from home isn’t for sissies. To be successful, you must be self-motivated, disciplined, and — above all else — a self-starter.
I’m motivated by the reality that my success or failure rests directly on my shoulders, so it’s been relatively easy for me.
If your perception of working from home means having the freedom to wake without setting an alarm, or to forgo shaving, you’re sadly mistaken!
Listen, I won’t deny that working from home has its perks – I set my own hours, I don’t have to commute. Best of all, I am my own boss, answerable to me.
Get the most out of your working from home experience:
1. Start each day professionally.
That means getting up early, taking a shower, getting dressed and having breakfast. Setting similar standards to going to work will put you in a productive mindset.
2. Set up your workspace.
It is crucial that you create a dedicated office space to work in that is private, comfortable, and not exposed to many distractions. This space is yours, so make it personal! You’re going to be spending a lot of time here.
All your tools, like your phone, printer, and computer, should all be in one place. This also means setting up boundaries with the people you share your home with (pets included). Set up rules that everyone understands: ie when you are available and when you aren’t.
3. Give yourself a 30-minute head start.
Start working half an hour earlier than you planned. This time should be used in two ways: to peruse social media and to create a plan for the day. I make a list of the things I need to achieve every morning, for that day, then keep motivated by scratching tasked items off as I go.
I check social media and read the news — it’s fun and prevents me from wasting too much time during the day. I then check back during my lunch break and at the end of the day. There’s no boss looking over your shoulder, but keep it minimal so as not to lose focus.
4. When do you do your best work?
Think about that, and plan accordingly. Being a morning person, I start my day working on the most unpleasant and tricky tasks of the day first. We all have tasks we’re not crazy about doing, whether we’re working for ourselves or someone else. Creative tasks that I enjoy doing, are left for the afternoon.
5. Keep to a strict regime.
The thought of being able to work when it suits you will be tempting, but in the long run, you’ll be much more productive if you stick to the schedule that you set for yourself. From prior experience, this means keeping the same hours every day. Remember, this is work and your hours should correspond with others in your industry. Don’t forget that.
6. Stay connected.
Working from home doesn’t have to be lonely. Get in the habit of using Skype to touch base every day. Every morning, my employees know to get onto Skype for our staff meeting. I’m always sure to ask, “How’s everyone doing – all wine and roses?” We chat about random social issues first.
Your relationships will benefit from checking in with the people you work with, and it really doesn’t take much effort. Besides, being on camera is that added incentive to dress the part, walk the walk, so to speak! People don’t seem so far away when you are able to see them.
7. Check in with your team during the day.
I’ve found that my employees do better when I actively manage them, so I have Skype turned on all day, and I ask my employees to do the same. Assignments are handed out at the beginning of the week but then checked in on often as well.
Please don’t micromanage, but rather keep people accountable. There are a lot of potential distractions, so it’s important — especially for those that work from home. Always set an example by being available to them too.
8. What most people battle with, is to “unwind” “switch off” at the end of the day.
This can be tricky as it’s easy to just keep working the hours you’ve set for yourself have long passed. And your office is just as easy to access on the weekend as it is during the week. Get out, do other hobbies.
If all you do is focus obsessively on your business, it will suffer. You’re bound to work in excess of 40 hours / week, so give yourself a break. The only way you’ll maintain some sanity is to get out of the house over weekends. Taking short breaks throughout the day can also be very helpful.
The benefits of home based business can be extremely rewarding:
• No stressful commuting problems.
• No more office politics.
• The freedom to live (and work from) wherever.
• But there are distractions, and
• It can sometimes be lonely.
But, if you focus on creating your home business with an effective strategy, you’ll be amazed at how accomplished you can be that eventually will give you a big return down the road.
Have any idea? I’d love to hear and respond to your feedback in the comments below!
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