If you think your gardening, cooking, photography, writing skills are more than just a hobby, then you are what is defined as – The Homepreneur. In the U.S there are an increasing number of home-based businesspeople, at an estimated 6.6 million home-based enterprises. These businesses are no longer considered less successful or respectful than big companies. In India, the rise of home enterprises can be traced back to telecommuting in the 1980s and increasing use of internet in 1990s. These businesses are also employing private sector workers, part-time workers, home-makers, and students, thus making a commercial space out of home. With the new smartphones, tablet PCs this home business trend has received tremendous encouragement.
Steve King, who has researched extensively on home businesses, says, “We’re seeing more and more home-based businesses that are real businesses.” King and his wife Carolyn Ockels analyzed U.S Census data and Small Business Administration research, and data from the Small Business Success Index. They found that 43% of home-based businesses provide at least half of the owners’ household income. 35% have revenue above $125,000, as opposed to 75% of non-home based businesses. On an average they employ two people and altogether they employ more than 13 million people.
Some companies use their home as headquarters, while others use the clients’ offices or homes. Home-based industries are spread over construction, retail, personal services, and even education. It is not obligatory for the businesses to have an office to be taken seriously. In fact it gives a more personal touch to the business, making it more approachable.
The obvious gains for a home business are the low cost of setting up and the small initial investment. Another perk is the emergent and extensive world of social media, where advertising can be done at minimum prices and it reaches a wide variety of people. The comfort of having your own rules and timings is second to nothing. There is nothing better in the world than being your own boss! The best thing about being a homepreneur is the amount of time you get with the family and doing what you like.
As many perks a homepreneur has, there is also a downside to operating from home turf. There are plenty of distractions at home, which is and always will be, home. Since the boundary between home and work is thin, they overlap more often than not, and maintaining a balance between that is tricky. If you are a homepreneur, you cannot afford to sit around, do nothing and still get paid. You have to take initiative and innovate yourself as there is no one to brain storm and lead, but you.
Since you are responsible for the entire business, taking days off will be more of a pain and every break you take will have to be earned. The snag to home businesses is the low pay at the beginning, till the business reaches its customers and users. You will have to burden all the responsibility of buying and repairing the equipment and raw material, so, tread carefully. And more so, you need to be well aware of the trends of the business which is based out of your home.
In times to come, it is safe to predict that small home-based enterprises will play a large role in the economy in the times to come. If you are ready to shoulder the responsibility of home and business from one place, then you are an ideal homepreneur.