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Home-Based Business Smarts;Tips for Finding Opportunity, Starting-Up, and (oh yes) Thriving

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Home-Based Business Smarts;Tips for Finding Opportunity, Starting-Up, and (oh yes) Thriving

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: March 4, 2010 Updated: January 5, 2014

Often misperceived as nothing more than hobbyists and part-timers, home-based business owners represent one of the most educated, successful and growing sectors of the small business economy.

And home-based businesses are on the up!

According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, home-based businesses account for an estimated 52% of the 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S.

And, her;s another fact that might surprise you, according to a recent Network Solutions Small Business Success Index (SBSI) survey, home-based businesses are not only growing they have staying power- with nearly half of those surveyed reporting that they had been in business for more than 15 years! (Read more facts from the SBSI survey in *this article by Small Business Trends.)

The relatively high survivability rate perhaps attests to several other facts about home-based business owners- they are highly educated, committed, and savvy business owners who leverage shifts in the economy, demographic changes and advances in technology to sustain smart business growth.

Finding the Right Home-Business Opportunity for You

Home-based businesses are no longer limited in scope to consultants and freelancers. Where there is opportunity, there is money to be made from the home.

In this article from Allbusiness.com''*The Top 25 Home-Based Business Ideastried-and-true home-based business ideas that have growth potential, now and in the future.

And while there may be no sure-fire winners, matching the opportunity to a passion and willingness to execute on your part is critical. Most successful home-based businesses were made that way by their owners being willing to put forth the required effort to get the business off the ground while balancing the ever-demands of home and family life!

Getting Started as a Home-Based Business

If you are interested in starting a business from home, it can be a low-cost, low-risk door-opener into self-employment. But i's always a good idea to test the waters first. Consider starting your business on a part-time basis, while you still have full-employment or an occupation elsewhere.

Most importantly - asses your readiness and do your research. Here are some resources and tips to get you started.

  • Plan your Start-Up - Offering a uniquely 360 degree view on the steps involved in planning and operating a home-based, take a look at this Home-Based Business Guide from Business.gov. The guide includes resources that will help you learn more about working out of your house, starting a home-based business, and managing your business within the law.
  • Due Your Due Diligence: Zoning Laws and Permits Govern Home Businesses Too - While the choice of home-based business type can appear limitless, there are some restrictions on what kind of work can be performed out of your home. For example, some states forbid the use of residential kitchens for commercial food production. Check what restrictions apply in your locality by reviewing these Zoning Laws for Home-Based Businesses.


You'll also need to obtain the right license and permits. This is an area often overlooked by home-based business owners. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to very specific permits - read Licensing Requirements for Home-Based Businesses for more information on what you might need. The government has also created a very handy tool - Permit Me - that lets business owners easily identify the licenses and permits required for their business.

  • What about your Home Owners Association? - If you live in a planned residential neighborhood or complex, your business activities may be restricted to your Homeowners' Association (HOA), Covenants Conditions, and Restrictions rules. This article - Can a Homeowners' Association Ban Your Home-Based Business? - offers some quick facts about the law and your rights.

Additional Resources

*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

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