Here are the top nine facts about successful home based businesses.
1. Most homepreneurs are ambitious males who want to run successful businesses:
Many people believe home based businesses are run by women running cottage industries or e-Bay businesses. But ABS figures show that only 17% of home-based businesses are run predominantly by women. There has been huge growth in the home-based business operators (57%) aged 30–50, particularly males. Ross Cameron, who has researched home-based businesses, says this is the age when men get retrenched and set up a home business. Many are in classic white-collar areas and include management consultants, copywriters, finance brokers, lawyers, accountants, IT nerds and management consultants.
2. Most homepreneurs work very long hours and run established businesses.
Many people assume home businesses are hobbies. Some are. But ABS data shows the majority of people are home work more than a 35-hour week and one-third employ staff. The majority of home businesses are also more than five years old. While some – the business builders – move out after a few years, most do not want to move from the home base.
3. Homepreneurs are technologically very savvy.
Many people still carry the picture of the cottage industry or tradesman working from home. But ABS data shoes us home-based businesses are more likely to be computerised than non-home-based businesses. In fact, this is the reason they can operate from home.
4. Homepreneurs are more likely to be extroverted.
Doesn’t make sense? Think about it. If you don’t have the skills and personality to network as a homepreneur, you will fail. Executives in big corporates who have been put out to pasture for no longer fitting in with the corporate culture often make lousy homepreneurs because they take their problems with people in the workplace with them. Homepreneurs also need to make new contacts.
5. Homepreneurs are comfortable parting with money.
Homepreneurs watch every cent; that’s partly why they are home – because it is cheap. But they must also be comfortable paying for the best technology and the “appearance” of being successful to overcome the “home” image. There are also a huge amount of unexpected costs that arise, which are a surprise to the corporate refugee who has never paid for a color printing cartridge in his life.
6. Homepreneurs are chasing opportunities.
The assumption that people start home-based businesses out of necessity because they can’t get a job elsewhere is not true of homepreneurs. People in this group are opportunity entrepreneurs. While they are seeking greater personal freedom, they also are pursuing an idea and the chance to make something of their lives, says Jane Shelton, managing director of policy group Marshall Place associates.
7. Homepreneurs are an extremely attractive target for marketers and advertisers.
Many advertisers ignore the home-based business market because it is so diverse and difficult to reach. But Shelton’s research into the home worker (which also includes people working from home that are employed by large corporations) shows they are a very attractive target. She estimates there are 2.8 million home workers and 45% belong to a higher socio-economic segment. They are twice as likely to be managers and administrators with professional qualifications and six out of 10 are big spenders, with almost half owning and trading shares. They also seek a constant supply of information on business opportunities and investment decisions.
8. Homepreneurs are big risk takers.
Home is often seen as a soft option. It is anything but. A whole new set of challenges present themselves. Homepreneurs must overcome solitude, develop sales, marketing and networking skills, learn to multiskill and juggle plus overcome the shock of having to do everything such as buying the stationery until they hire that first employee.
9. Homepreneurs dress for success.
Forget the image of the SOHO office with the business owner in tracky daks. Homepreneurs are extremely disciplined and become expert at shutting the front door in well-meaning friends’ faces. They start the day in cafes with their laptops or newspapers, dressed for work.