Home-based start-ups

Home-based start-ups

Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:02

It’s time to redefine “work from home business”: Home-based Start-ups Blog By Cas McCullough

It’s time to redefine “work from home business”

Recently I signed up for a cloud platform so I could easily share my webinars with clients and, upon reading the guidelines, I was a little bemused to read this:

 

“You may not upload videos pertaining to multi-level marketing (MLM), get-rich-quick schemes, cash gifting, work-from-home businesses, or any other dubious money-making ventures.”

 

Okay, I really get that this is not aimed at legitimate businesses but why is it “work from home businesses” warrant inclusion in this list at all? One would think that the rest of the list covers the scammy ventures.

 

One thing I’ve noticed since starting up my business is that the older paradigm where professionals tried to hide the fact they worked from home through virtual offices and 1800 numbers is shifting.

 

A huge sign of this shift is the grassroots “work at home” or “solopreneur” movement. There are whole communities forming around the “work at home” identity with representation from all industry sectors and all levels of operation.

 

My recent blog post Are WAHMs on the bottom rung of the business world on StartupSmart evoked some passionate reactions from the “work at home” community movement.

 

On the one hand, solo home-based business owners were applauding me for recognising them and, on the other hand, I was being chastised by business people who were highly entrenched in “corporate” culture.

 

That latter reaction was a little unexpected, but it confirmed my view that “work at home” is still considered a dirty word.

 

The thing is – and this is the thing that corporates (or people who feel they need to look and act like corporates) don’t get – the reason why solo entrepreneurs and business owners identify with “work at home” communities is that they don’t feel supported or even inspired by those who hold the view that success means becoming a corporate carbon copy.

 

The rise of “mumpreneur” and solo business communities is a natural reaction to the old corporate paradigm. And they’re only going to get bigger.

 

According to Inc.com, most recent census data shows a 25% increase in the number of entrepreneurs who operate home-based businesses. (That was way back in 2005. Imagine what those figures would be now!)

 

The fact is when you’re an entrepreneur or solo business owner operating in such a tough economic climate, it makes sense to work from home where your overheads are lower.

 

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges, but with start-ups and solo businesses on the rise, it’s time we redefined “work from home” to reflect what it truly means and do away with the derogatory slurs.

 

When you hear the phrase “work from home”, what does it mean to you?

Cas McCullough is passionate about empowering other solo entrepreneurs to drop the sales pitch and harness powerful inbound marketing through her Content Marketing Cardiology blog.


Cas is the author of Diving In: Practical Tips for Starting Up and Growing Your Home Based Business. She is also the founder of home-based businesses Mumatopia and Support a Work At Home Person, an 11,000-strong social networking community supporting people who work from home. Follow her on Twitter @supportawahp.


Comments (8)

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Why is Network Marketing in the list also? Work from home can have many meanings. All our businesses (real estate, Network Marketing) are managed from home. We have no overheads, we outsource a lot and we are making a great living. People are scared of what they don't know.
Nadia Mercelis , July 12, 2012
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Hi Cas
Great article. I am proud to say I have a home based business, and work from home!
I was working in a multi clinic and came to work one day to find a for sale notice on the door...no consult to let me know or to mention that I might have people working through to view the clinic facilities!
So I did the sensible thing and moved my clinic home!That way I am available for my clients on a more evenly distributed time frame, I am able to allocate more time for family commitments and I am also able to stop lugging a huge suitcase full of 'stuff' with me to go to work.
I have the best of both worlds and love it.
ps...I would also like to know why MLM is listed in the previous article, MLM provide an avenue for customers to purchase products that are a bit more exclusive than Coles/Woolies or Myer etc branded goods! They have also supported many stay at home mums and dads to earn a living whilst being a carer for children or others. Done ethically they are a fabulous and valuable tool for business.
Cheers
Marney Perna , July 13, 2012
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casmccullough
Hi Nadia, I didn't see network marketing on that list. Did you mean MLM?
casmccullough , July 13, 2012
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casmccullough
Hey Marney, thanks for your comments. Perhaps another article educating people about MLM is needed. And i know just the person to ask. I totally agree in relation to MLMs such as Miessence, Tupperware, Avon, Bodyshop, Pheonix Trading etc. Great companies!
casmccullough , July 13, 2012
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Hi Cas, great article. My husband and I both run successful home based business as do thousands of others in our region. It's the nature of where we live on the Sunshine Coast. We are proud of it!! Alternatives are travelling for many (unbillable) hours to Brisbane, or doing something we just don't enjoy. I think the mistake made in the 'guidelines' you mention is that it should read 'non specific work from home schemes' or similar. I think who ever wrote it needs to venture into the 21st century!
Krishna Everson , July 14, 2012
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casmccullough
Hey Krishna, I couldn't agree more. Might just have to send a link to this article to them to give them some food for thought eh! : )
casmccullough , July 16, 2012
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Be proud all "work from home businesses" who choose lifestyle, suburban or regional location and family balance over the expectation of 'having' to be in a CBD office to be successful. SME success can readily be achieved more productively at home (drastic reduction in commuting times and carbon footprint for a start). Check out the latest 2011 Census data, the rapid growth in Home Based Business driven by higher speed broadband (see the NBN case studies) is a game changer in many of our communities. In Southern Adelaide we are actively encouraging this growth because further south in our Onkaparinga sea and vines area we have run out of industrial and commercial land, so need more home based businesses to grow our economy - with new housing estates being designed to accommodate this trend!
Glenn Hickling , July 16, 2012
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casmccullough
Ooo, I'm going to go and look for that census data right now. Thanks Glenn Hickling!
casmccullough , July 16, 2012
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