Home based business trends continue to rise as more individuals start their companies at home.
There are a variety of obvious reasons why this is happening -- the cost of business entry is lower, the technology allows it, there is less hassle than having an office setting, and commute time is turned into more productive work hours.
1. Home Based Business Trends - Ownership Is Growing
According to the U.S. Census, the current trend for the majority of businesses is to start their business from home -- this is both men and women.
More than half of the business owners who responded to the U.S. Census indicated they worked primarily from their home.
These businesses provide both services and goods to their customer base and are viable home businesses making financial contributions to their family income.
2. Technology Advances
The second home based business trends are the advent of the internet and the easy access to office technology.
It hasn't been that long ago, when we had to go "to the office" to access the computers and large office equipment that is now available to us right in the comfort of our own home (and much smaller versions which are affordable and take up minimal space.
The internet is quickly changing the dynamics
of the work place and allowing the small business person to compete work in a
variety of ways. Many entrepreneurs can work from home, on the road, or in the coffee shop of their choice.
Computers, office equipment, and a variety of small machinery can be purchased and set-up with minimal space requirements and cost. In certain cases, you don’t even need a machine any longer because you can purchase online services (e.g. e-fax, e-postage, etc.)
Consider these interesting home based business trends – more than 50% of all small businesses are operated from home and 6.6 million of these businesses supply 50+% of the total household income.
The U.S. Census has confirmed that most
businesses are now personally financed with 17.5% starting for as little
as $5,000. This is a terrific home based business trend!
By funding the business yourself and using your home, this allows for 70% of the home based business to survive their first 3 years as opposed to their counterparts who have store fronts and only a 30% survivability rate.
What a huge advantage it is to start your business in your home!
For those of us who have started other businesses, this is an exciting home based business trend because it allows the small business owner to get a start without a lot of financing or debt.
Minimizing debt and start-up funds will give your business the chance to grow and flourish without the pressures of an overwhelming debt load which can dramatically alter the amount of funds available to grow your business and take advantage of opportunities which present themselves throughout your first years in business.
4. Consumers are Changing Their Purchasing Habits
Consumers are shifting their purchasing habits and are now buying goods/services locally, online, and through mail order. This home based business trend allows you to capture your customers at their convenience. They lead busy lives and are now considering greener and more time saving alternatives than driving across town to an overcrowded mall.
Many top home based business ideas will involve the internet to varying degrees whether to search the internet, communicate via email/text, or utilize freeware.
I personally use the internet more extensively with advanced internet services, creating websites/blogs, and interacting with readers through social media.
The wonderful thing about the internet is it's reducing the global geographical boundaries which makes it easier for me to reach my target audience, market in new ways we didn't have 10 years ago, and reach national/international customers. I know in my daily life, the use of websites and mail order services have become common and much more acceptable than just 5 years ago.
I've also quickly noticed the importance of these changes to my customers who want their needs met much more rapidly (within hours or minutes vs. days or weeks).
We're also seeing the addition of mobile wallets and a variety of payment options making purchasing goods/services readily available for the average consumer.
Opportunities - Home Based Business Trends:
1) Your Home – you already have a place you call “home”. Use some of your space to generate income by pursuing your home based business.
2) Local vs. Global Markets - when I'm considering a new home based business, I make sure to look at the demographics of my customers and where they will come from.
We always want to consider the specific market for products/services -- whether they will appeal only to younger consumers or seniors; local customers, regional,
or global? This is a very important piece of information which requires some foresight, planning, and research to develop your business plan and who you plan to target with your marketing efforts.
3) Inexpensive Sophisticated Tools – I'm so excited about the new user-friendly “plug ‘n play” computer hardware and software available today along with the easy access to business machines/systems which are perfect for working directly from your home.
4) Minimal Cost – A home based business requires less capital at start-up since your initial overhead costs will be lower than businesses requiring a store front and a long-term lease or purchase.
5) Minimal Business Risk – with less start-up costs, the financial risk is greatly reduced. This one sole fact is helping approximately 70% of the home based start-ups succeed compared to their store front counterparts. An awesome "jump" in the success ratio for your business!
6) Flexibility – you determine what hours you want to work – controlling when, where, and how you work on your business.
7) Home Businesses Are Viable Businesses - entrepreneurs are learning they don't need office space to be taken seriously any longer. It's no longer an issue and home based businesses are being accepted as the norm.
Technology – as we're all aware, the fast-paced technology world changes rapidly. This is definitely a challenge for a small business person who wears "all the hats in the company".
Without a sophisticated IT department at our disposal, it's easy to get lost in the technology. Continuous learning is required or we'll be left behind in the dust. This is evidenced by the many small companies who still don't even have a basic website, let alone other types of technology.
Instant Customer Needs – other home based business trends include the challenging ability to meet your customer's demands when and where they present themselves. We're now in an instantaneous world where we need to meet our customer's demands in minutes.
We can no longer wait to respond to our customers in hours/days. They will find someone who can respond now! This will continue to represent a challenge for the small entrepreneur who doesn't have staff. It'll require creative solutions to make sure you're customers receive a satisfactory response in a timely manner.
Working From Home – while this is a fun option, it’s important to realize the WORK (capital “W”) aspect. When working from home, it’s easy to do everything but the work which will pay you (e.g. clean the house, do the laundry, take care of the children, straighten the office, etc.) and then wonder why there is no income.
Avoid this by establishing a work ‘place’ and specific schedule (even if flexible) for when you will work your business. Then stick to it – making sure “revenue generating activities” are performed during these times.
Reminder: No Revenue Generating Activity, No Income!
It’s that simple!!!
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