December 23, 2014

Home base businesses get stronger in area economy

By Edna Sailor

What do Apple Computer, The Hershey Company, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Ford Motor Company have in common? They all began operations as home based businesses. Other companies such as Rawleigh, Tupperware and Watkins also paved the way for a new wave of home based businesses well before this century. According to the Small Business Administration, half of all small businesses in this country today continue the legacy with their beginnings at home.

Home based businesses (HBB) are very popular in this region. Twenty-five business operators in the area agreed to be interviewed for this article. Among those surveyed, area home based business operators said they prefer to work from home because: they can work at their own pace, earn additional income, enjoy more time at home with family and children and earn extra retirement income.

The owners of local HBBs are predominantly women. Just one of the 25 businesses surveyed was operated by a man. Nearly all were operated as part time operations, with just one business being the owner’s main source of income. Two businesses were operated by young entrepreneurs, and the rest belonged to adults.

Types of HBB vary across the country from sales, services, products and crafts made in the home or others that distributes products from a parent corporation. A common form of HBB are local distributorships where the operator becomes a local consultant for a national company. Some examples of these businesses include Scentsy, Avon, Jamberry Nails, Mary Kay, and Tastefully Simple. Nine businesses in the survey were distributorships, while the rest involved making a product at home. They included knitted and crocheted products, a variety of craft items, hand sewn items, canned goods and photography.

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