Starting a Home-Based Business
If your boss is not a likely partner, don’t despair. For every person who
has made a fortune going into business with the company he or she
worked for, there are tens or hundreds who have started profitable
businesses on their own. The classic business start-up occurs at the kitchen table. The great thing about starting a business
from your home is that you don’t have to spend extra money on rent,
furniture, and utilities. You use what you have at home and devote all
of your time and money to other, more important matters. This sort of escapist approach to business is understandable but inadvisable.
Your chances of being successful are much, much better if
you start with what you know.
Successful start-up businesses depend primarily on knowledge—
specifically knowledge of the customers and the products.
Knowledge of the customer includes knowing:
• Who are my buyers?
• How can I reach them?
• What do I need to say or do to sell them?
• How do I get them to buy more?
The answers to some of these questions are obvious, even to an
outsider. But the most important knowledge about customer acquisition,
retention, and product development is difficult to decipher.
Logic might dictate, for example, that you should open your shoe
store in a town that doesn’t have a shoe store. But anyone who has been in retail knows that such a conclusion is the basis for disaster.
Much better to put your store in a town that already has 50 shoe stores,
even if the rent is considerably higher.