How to Start Your Own Home-Based Business

This article provides advice, tips, and the pros and cons of starting a home-based business and becoming economically independent.

| July/August 1978

Many people dream all their lives about becoming financially independent, preferably by starting their own home-based business. A few even sketch out their dreams, playing with ideas and figures to determine whether or not there's really a chance for them to give up the nine-to-five in favor of striking out on their own. And a very, very few — usually after much initial hemming and hawing — actually do "make the big break," only to find, quite often, that the period following the act of change can be just as emotionally turbulent — perhaps more so — as the time leading up to it.

In some cases, it can be even worse; when the financial instability of establishing a new enterprise compounds the already-existing emotional turmoil which, in turn, is further aggravated by the growing realization that the "real trouble" still lies ahead. Add to all this the reality that almost every small business requires at least three years to break even and you have the makings of the closest thing to a postpartum depression (outside of birth itself) known to humankind.

That's the bad part. The good part is that thousands of people do take the plunge into starting their own home-based businesses every day and a great many of them do eventually succeed with their new enterprises. And the best part of all is that a high percentage of the most successful of all the entrepreneurial ventures which "make it" are based on the hobbies, special interests, or other favored activities of the folks who start them.

Perhaps you, too — at one time or another — have looked at something you especially like to do or which specially interests you and wondered, "Could I make a living at that?" This is a very logical question to ask, for at least three important reasons:

In the first place, it just plain may be physically easier for you to get into home-based business that you already enjoy on a hobby basis. Why? Because, presumably, you already have much of the necessary equipment on hand, as well as the know-how you'll need to buy whatever else you'll have to have with a minimum of costly fumbling and needless expense.

In the second, your proven background of experience (even on a hobby basis) may be useful in convincing your local banker that you have enough expertise in your chosen field to warrant the granting of a business loan.

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