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Home-Based Business Ideas – Think Big, Act and Grow Rich with Unique Business Ideas

We have all seen the inviting headlines: “Home-based Business Ideas That Can Make You Millions”; “The Hottest Home-Based Business Ideas to Use Now!”; “Launch a Successful Home-Based Business with These 10 Can’t-Miss Business Ideas.” The list of such headlines is endless, followed by articles that galvanize the reader’s interest in starting his/her own enterprise with visions of “happily ever after” outcomes.

But the first idea that I must present is that envisioning and dreaming about a home-based business is only a prerequisite towards successful entrepreneurship. Constructive action must follow any home-based business idea!

There exist so many entrepreneurial wannabees who remain in a constant state of immobilization. Such individuals often possess intelligence and creativity, even thinking outside of the box, but remain entrapped in the idea that they cannot pursue a home-based venture due to time or financial constraints. Others feel powerless to take action because they don’t know where to start. Indeed, they are uncertain as to what steps to take, going from inspiration and cognition to actual business production. Still, other aspiring entrepreneurs must confront self-imposed limitations, believing that they are incapable, incompetent souls who are not deserving of acquiring good fortune. Fear often predominates their collective mindset as there is much trepidation that the outcome of any home-based business idea will be an unfavorable one.

Regardless of the reason, refuse to remain in a state of immobilization. If you have an idea for a home-based business, go forward with it! Of course, any idea for a business venture must be thoroughly researched and evaluated. One needs to consider the competition, costs, labor and time involved, the methods and procedures of the given business, potential return on investment and a host of other issues. The importance of business preparation cannot be underestimated. However, if you determine that the idea is viable and has merit after engaging in exhaustive research (even calling upon experts for advice), you owe it to yourself to implement it.

But many people who want to quit their jobs and discover their ideal home-based business may not have a concrete idea as to the type of enterprise to launch. Others may possess a few simmering thoughts as to which direction to go but the primary idea that resides in the cyberspace of their minds is that they are just desperate to work at home!

In order for a particular home-based business idea to germinate, perhaps one must first explore one’s own interests. Is it possible for an avocation to become a vocation? If you are passionate about creating jewelry, for example, that may be the underpinning of a home-based startup jewelry business. If you are a photography aficionado, photography may be the means to gain self-employment.

Successful Internet marketers always trumpet the importance of finding a niche. Your interest may uncover a niche that proves profitable. If you can tailor your hobby and interest to meet the needs and demands of a particular market, you can quickly prosper.

Local markets can even be tapped to develop a money-making enterprise. Consider a home-based entrepreneur who creates a free community newsletter, receiving advertising dollars. Another may find it more creative and profitable to sell a map of the local establishments, designed on a placemat presented by a given restaurant. The businesses listed on the map pay to be highlighted. Think about those who have created local surveys and reviews (comparing restaurants, hotels, etc.) and selling the resource at bookstores. The jeweler and photography, in our example above, may create work that reflects local influences, and thereby, gains local popularity. For example, I have a friend who resides in Alaska who is a sculptor and photographer. He has an inherent love of nature and outdoors, and captures the Alaskan wilderness and myriad forms of wildlife in his work. His creations subsequently capture the attention and dollars of his fellow Alaskan residents.

Obviously, an interest or passion in a particular field should be accompanied by a certain amount of competence or skill. It is difficult, for instance, to become a successful artist if one does not know how to draw. Proficiency need not be inherent; it can be developed. But one should have a firm grasp of one’s abilities, talents and, don’t minimize it – potential. As Carol Brady, celebrated TV mother of the Brady Bunch series once wisely declared, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”

(When developing an entrepreneurial mindset — when you are trying to create and define your home-based business ideas — be open to all resources, including popular cultural influences such as television programs and movies. Indeed, as actress Melanie Griffith said in her role as Tess McGill in the movie, “Working Girl”: “You never know where the big ideas will come from.”)

While exploring your interests and aptitudes, as you are open to a plethora of possibilities and opportunities, think about the prevailing winds of societal needs that change from time to time. Are there any national or local trends that you observe? Are there any growing markets? What are some fundamental needs that can be satisfied on a local and/or national level.

Unfortunately, for example, consumer debt continues to skyrocket in the United States. Millions of Americans owe more money than they make. So many people merely pay the interest portion, not the principal, of their credit card bills and find it increasingly difficult to pay crucial bills, such as a home mortgage. Any real estate agent can attest to the steady and scary upward climb in the rates of foreclosures. Opportunistic companies are responding to this alarming trend. Home-based businesses relating to the burgeoning consumer debt are proportionately increasing, specializing in credit counseling, debt consolidation and even collection.

Consider another trend: While we continue to become more health and fitness-conscious, the rate of obesity remains on an upswing. Certain home-based businesses cater to each demographic and some to both. A self-employed fitness trainer primarily taps into our collective interest to get into better shape. A purveyor of weight loss products gains from our national obsession to lose weight. Those who are designing programs that incorporate an exercise regime with a recommended protocol of dietary modifications may prove to be doubly fortunate.

So keep your finger on the pulse of “hot markets” and you may warm up to a very profitable undertaking. But don’t be afraid that your home-based business idea is too common, especially if it relates to tried and true home-based businesses. You may have an idea to add a twist to any business and deliver your own brand of special service.

Among the most frequently touted best home-based businesses include computer repair, childcare, coaching (life coach or Internet business coach) and tutoring, distributing and selling tangible goods or information-related services, interior decorating, photography, transcription services, dealing antiques and collectibles, handicrafts, baking, sewing and gardening and farming. The list is not exhaustive but presents fields that have proven profitable for the home-based business owner.

Many home-based business entrepreneurs decide not to walk or run on the conventional path. Their home-based business ideas are unique. Look at this creative entrepreneurial venture: Providing surf reports to those who want to “hang 10.” The owners of this business are hanging a lot more zeros when it comes to their bottom line. Another company profits from the absent-minded by offering a “reminder service,” reminding clients about special dates or occasions several days in advance. Many home-based business owners make a living by providing specialized instruction: Stop smoking groups, public speaking courses, women’s empowerment seminars are all variations on the theme of providing direct instruction. Maybe I should start a tutorial center on viable home-based business opportunities … but then again, this field is already saturated.

Even absurd home-based business ideas can take off, leading to early retirement for the home-based business owner. The Pet Rock, Designer Dirt, deeds to land that once belonged to famous people (e.g, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley) have all contributed nicely to the financial coffers of their creators. Certain television programs love to highlight the offbeat, out-of the-box home-based business owner who has a unique idea. Think of something unusual and you will get massive publicity, especially if it involves a celebrity. I’m sure there are entrepreneurs right now, for example, who are getting a fat wallet on the coattails of Paris Hilton with their “Free Paris” t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and posters. They can even cater to the “Anti-Paris” community with their “Don’t Free Paris” paraphernalia.

In conclusion, it is crucial to act on the idea of pursuing a home-based business venture. Do the required research and preparation and consider your talents, abilities and potential. Think about any trends in business or growing markets that you can use to your advantage. Learn about businesses that have proven to be profitable for other home-based business owners. And do not, under any circumstances, be afraid or hesitant to think outside the box. In our culture, a crazy idea can very well lead to crazy money.

These home-based business ideas may transform your aspirations into action. You deserve to be your own boss – the captain of your own ship. Let your ship come into port!

Advantages Of A Franchise Business

Several years before, if one wanted to start his own business, his natural course of action would be to do it on his own, depending largely on his business instincts, limited know-how, and observation of the market. The advent of franchising, however, brought a big change in business. Many have since become rich because of franchising. Franchising has indeed many advantages.

You Own the Business – A franchise is a duplicate of a successful business concept. The franchisee owns the outlet, therefore, he hires his own employees and oversees the management its day-to-day operations. He has high stakes in the business because his money is involved.

Ready Market – When one buys a franchise, he is buying an established concept that has a good record of accomplishment. The franchisee is allowed the use of the company’s trademark and brand name. Because of this, the company is, in effect, giving the franchisee a license to market its products carrying a brand that is already familiar with the consumers. Many popular franchises have instant brand-name recognition and have created a loyal following among consumers. Therefore, the franchisee is getting into a business that already has a ready market.

Continuous Support from Franchiser – Although running his own business, the franchisee can tap the services of the parent company anytime he needs assistance. The services of the head office organization are available to him, too, whenever he needs help. Furthermore, many companies have field operations personnel whom the franchiser can call on to help him deal with any problem he may encounter in the operation of the business. Most franchises being offered nowadays are turnkey operations. Upon the signing of the franchise agreement and payment of the franchise fee, the franchisee receives the equipment and supplies required in running the business. Furthermore, the franchiser provides assistance in identifying a good business location for the new outlet. The company assists the franchisee in negotiating his lease, preparing plans for outlet layout, shop fitting, and furnishing his store. It also provides assistance in determining the appropriate stock inventory for the opening of the business. This kind of support and the other benefits under the franchise agreement is what sets franchising apart.

Training – The franchisee is given the necessary training to start his business and eventually run it smoothly. The franchisee as well as his employees are taught all the business systems of the company covering product preparation, quality standards, business controls, recruitment of personnel, and marketing. A good franchiser will provide training to the franchise staff on a continuous basis.

Lower Capital Requirement – Compared to a non-franchise business, less capital is needed in a franchised business since the experience and tested system of operations of the parent company would already have eliminated the unnecessary expense incurred through trial and error.

Buying Supplies at Lower Costs – The franchisee is able to procure all necessary supplies at lower costs because the prices are negotiated by the company with the suppliers in behalf of all the franchise units. Because of the size and projected regularity of orders, the franchisor is able to get huge discounts. Buying wholesale for the whole network means big savings for the individual franchises. This gives the franchises a big advantage over their competitors because they are able to reduce expenditures on a continuous basis. This procurement set-up is definitely more advantageous to the franchisee as against procuring supplies independently.

Extensive Promotional Campaigns – A franchise is the beneficiary of an extensive marketing campaign made possible by the sharing of the costs by the franchises. Many franchisees are required to shell out an advertisement royalty to the company as their share in the cost of promotional campaigns of the company, effectively spreading the cost among all the franchises. This accounts for the large marketing resources of the franchiser enabling the company to avail of the services of top-caliber advertising agencies. Being situated in highly visible locations and benefiting from a huge promotions budget is a potent combination that is difficult for competitors to overcome.

Continuous Research and Development Programs – The Company conducts continuous research and development programs so that the business can improve the existing products and develop new ones to offer to the consumers. The marketplace changes rapidly and businesspersons have to keep up with the pace. The chance to seize the opportunity of leading in the market is available for only a very short while. This stiff competition necessitates continuous research and development programs for the company and the franchise network to succeed.

Acquiring the Status of the Company – As a franchise network expands, its stature in business becomes bigger. Mall owners prefer to have popular franchises in their malls because they want to present their shopping centers as a one-stop-shop where everything that customers want can be bought. Therefore, a franchisee will encounter very little difficulty in obtaining a lease in ideal locations. Because a franchisee becomes part of the giant image of the parent company, he will probably find that running a franchised business is not only so much easier than being on your own, it can also be the best decision a franchisee has ever made.

Minimized Business Risks – Because the franchisee is buying a proven business concept, the business risks involved are largely minimized. The parent company has already resolved most, if not all, of the problem areas in its systems and procedures. What the franchisee is getting is a refined package of technical expertise, marketing strategies, and operational systems.

A Unified Set of Quality Standards – All franchise units are required to maintain a single set of quality standards insofar as product, customer care, and service are concerned. Here, the company will ensure that these standards are strictly adhered to and maintained in all its franchise units so that the whole network presents an image of providing quality products and services.

Benefits for the Franchiser – Franchising is a business concept that benefits the two parties involved. For the franchiser, franchising is advantageous because rapid growth can be more feasible even with minimum capital expenditures. When franchisees pay the franchiser for the chance to copy a proven business strategy, franchisers receive a steady flow of cash from royalties, which can be used to expand further. Franchising a business can be like hitting two birds by the same stone: a franchise is being paid to expand it. Moreover, because others operate individual retail stores of the business that the franchiser originally established, direct managing responsibilities become the obligation of the franchisee. Hence, the franchiser will have more time in his hands to explore ways to further develop and promote the business.

The only way to develop as quickly is through franchising. Expansion is the only way a company can realize maximum profits. In franchising, there are not many obstacles to stunt the expansion of a company, therefore, there is a big possibility of really expanding the franchise network not only in the country but also even overseas. At present, franchising is the only business concept that can make that possible. Franchised businesses grow rapidly, sometimes having several outlets in a certain area, pushing the competition out. All these benefits for the franchiser are, in turn, advantageous to the franchisees since the franchises are largely dependent on the success and stature of the parent company.

No other business concept can offer such an attractive and beneficial arrangement

Small Business Starting – What is a Business Plan?

If you do not know what a business plan is or have never written one, you should take time to do the research on how to write it. If your business plan is at least two years or older, you should consider updating it. One way for the new and experienced business owner to think of a business plan is to see it as a road map to success.

Often the business plan is referred to as the blue print to the success of the business. It is a document that describes the company’s three- to five- year plan. In the business plan, you must demonstrate that the business can sell enough of its products or service to make a satisfactory profit so that it will attract potential backers. The document maybe used to sell your business to bankers, investors, partners, and employees. Business plans are prepared for non-profit and for profit companies. The business plan can also be used to provide the owner-manager or perspective owner-manager of a small business with a pathway to profit.

The business plan should include your financial performance. Basically you want to show what the business is going to cost and how long it will take you to make a profit. To show the business financial performance, you must prepare financial statements. These statements include your balance sheet and cash flow chart. The balance sheet tells the net worth of the company. The cash flow chart shows how much money you are paying out monthly. It also shows how much money you are going to get, and when you will get it.

Copyright © 2007, Dr. Mary E. Waters, all rights reserved.

Are you interested in starting a business?

To the new and experienced entrepreneurs, getting help with your small business is very crucial to your success. Getting the right help will cause you to avoid costly mistakes, and it can also help you to save a lot of time, money and energy. You will need to get the right help to form the legal structure of the business, financial, management, procurement/certification, marketing, pricing products, preparing a business plan, and more. If you are a business owner who is wondering if you can take your business to new heights, contact Dr. Waters at [email protected]