Freedom is found the ability to determine the course of your life.
So how can you be truly free when each day’s activities are dictated to you?
The short answer, you can’t. Asking for time off to spend your precious life as you see fit is not freedom in any sense.
So how do you escape and take back your financial freedom?
We’ve discussed the gig economy and the freedom found in becoming a freelancer.
That is only one way out of the traditional employment model. But it may not be suitable for everyone.
Let’s explore yet another option to free yourself by starting your own at home business.
Among Good Companies…
Before going into how, let’s take a moment to go over why.
Why take the trouble of starting a home business?
By taking control and creating your own business, you release yourself from the bonds of a company that doesn’t truly respect you as an individual.
No longer do you need to accept the wages and salary a company determines to be appropriate. Instead what you get paid is what you can earn.
Your life as a small business owner takes a new direction. It is empowering. But it requires dedication.
By receiving your income based on what you earn and not upon what others will pay you, you open the possibility to increase your financial success exponentially. The only limiting factor is how much business you can handle during a given time. That is a hefty incentive! Wages and salary typically cannot motivate you to be all you can be.
And while it also opens up the possibility of failure, don’t let this deter you. Without the risk, you can’t reap the reward. Life is about growth. Only by challenging yourself will you become stronger.
The benefits are obvious. Make more money. Determine your own schedule. Be rewarded for your hard work. Join the ranks of successful business owners worldwide.
So why not start yours?
Small business statistics suggest millions of other Americans have done so. There are about 13.8 million home-based businesses in the United States that don’t employ anyone other than the owner.
While it is true that only 50% of new businesses survive five years, starting a home business decreases the risk of failure. Without the overhead of a storefront or employees, you make it that much more likely to succeed.
60% of all nonemployer firms are at-home businesses. Small, home-based businesses can absolutely be profitable ventures.
So if you want to take control of your life like the millions of other Americans who have decided to bank on their ideas, you’re in good company.
Starting your own at home business
The first hurdle is the one you create…
The greatest obstacle you’ll encounter won’t be your competitors or finding startup capital. It will be your mindset. It’s easy to fall into negative thinking as you start out. Certainly, a bit of doubt is healthy. It keeps us from making too many mistakes. But that doubt can be a downfall. It can even prevent you from even leaving the gate.
Fulfilling a need in the marketplace…
Every great business starts with an idea.
Chances are you already have an idea that’s ready to become a business. Do you have a useful skill you feel is not being used to the full potential? How about an interest that could turn into a business? Or do all your friends rely on you for some service… but don’t really pay you for it?
Take your idea to the next level by making an actionable business plan. You don’t have to quit your job and upend your whole life to get started. This may mean sacrificing your weekends to the new venture. That will build the type of discipline required if you are serious.
Begin with some market research.
Market research consists of checking whether or not your venture will be profitable. Identify the needs of the market, both by looking at competition and consumers, to determine the viability of your venture.
Market research can only tell you so much. Truly unique ideas may have little data available. You may need to look at similar business models, and extrapolate.
But the best advice is to just start reading. Any articles about a business that sounds similar, check them out. Look for any stories about entrepreneurs who have used a similar business model, even if the product is entirely different. Read up on the closest products, and even check out surveys and consumer poll data.
But also keep in mind what Henry Ford (might have) said about cars. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
Now there is plenty of criticism of this maxim. But it doesn’t mean ignore the customer entirely. Rather, read between the lines. What is the end result the customer wants? They might have an entirely different idea of the means to get there. So don’t get confused by feedback that describes a product the customers supposedly want, when all they really want is the end result.
For instance, customers might think they want a cheaper well to get water. You could sell them a rainwater collection kit and filter. All they really wanted was clean water at a low cost!
A great place to start to learn the ins and outs of market research is Entrepreneur’s article on market research. The authors of the article wrote a book called Start Your Own Business that walks you through market research, as well as the first years of opening a business.
Permits and Licenses…
Let’s be honest, licenses and permits are not readily going to apply to your at home business. For starters, your home is more than likely not zoned to allow business.
Though before you call it quits, know that very few residential areas technically allow it.
So that means that most at home businesses have found a way around that little speed bump.
And like them, you’ll need to get a little creative while learning to adapt your business venture so you can operate from your home.
Say you make and sell decorative indoor garden kits. Instead of being a commercial direct to consumer business, you could call your venture by another name. What was once a business becomes the work of an artist who creates in-home horticulture pieces.
So get a bit creative! Chances are you will never have to explain yourself anyway. But the wording behind your business can be an insurance policy.
While you may not need to get a permit, you should still file your taxes as a self-employed contractor to avoid any trouble with the IRS. And on the upside, doing so allows you to claim things like your home office and even internet connection as a deductible expense.
Unfortunately, if your business requires you to collect sales tax, you’ll need to obtain a business license regardless of any naming magic. But, if you can find a way of doing business without the need for individually taxing each item, say by selling services and not individual items, you could avoid that little legal speed bump.
Maybe your services include “free” products…
Building your idea…
And once you’ve turned your idea into a fully functioning business, obviously you need to find some customers.
This process will vary depending on your individual venture. But there are a few things that are universally effective.
Before you stress about all the ways you can’t afford to market your business, take a look at this comprehensive guide for low budget marketing. It’s perfect for those just starting out and those looking to cut cost.
Here’s a suggestion not on the list: Start a Quora profile and answer questions in your area of business. You can become an expert in your field, and drive traffic to your website through a link in your profile.
That is really all it takes to turn an idea into a business. Most of the roadblocks to starting a small business are mental.
If all of this seems easy, it’s because it is.
While building a business will take work and dedication, getting started is much simpler than you would be led to believe. Because after everything is said and done the fact remains millions of other people are finding success in the same way.
And all those millions of other business owners started somewhere. The best way to learn is by doing.
So get started today!