We agree that to succeed in your own business, you have to have the "right stuff." But today we live in an age of information, and almost anyone can acquire the knowledge and skills of a successful entrepreneur. All you need is to be sufficiently committed to start and run a profitable business from home. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds have done it. Some were successful corporate professionals before they started their businesses. They had confidence, and skills in selling, marketing, and managing a business when they began. But others were total novices, fearful of business basics like selling and negotiating.
So what was the "right stuff" for them? What did it take to achieve business success? We've met many people who found an answer, but there wasn't any one way. However, many interviews do indicate that by the time entrepreneurs achieve success, they have several things in common:
1. They enjoy what they're doing enough to keep going when times are rough.
2. They are good at what they do.
3. They specialize, providing a product or service that a particular group of people wants or needs.
4. They have learned how to sell themselves and their businesses. They know how they measure up to their competition, why their prospective customers should come to them, and how to let people know what they have to offer.
5. They stay in charge of their money.
6. They are flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and adjust their workday to the demands of the business.
7. They believe in themselves and are sufficiently committed to their work to persist until they get the job done right.
Success depends on finding the right combination of your personal preferences, talents, and skills to meet the needs of the marketplace, and then having clearly defined business goals and an effective plan for reaching them. It's like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, starting with selecting the right business for you.
Will you succeed? That, of course, depends on you, but the odds are surprisingly in your favor. Contrary to the myth that nine out of ten new businesses fail within five years, home businesses do much better. Analysis of data from Link Resources, which does an annual survey of the work-at-home population, indicates that on average only 5 percent of home based businesses go out of business each year. This means that over a five-year period, three out of four home-based businesses are still in business.
Why do home businesses do better than office and store-based businesses? Probably because the risks of loss are fewer. There's no lease, and probably no employees, so the cost of staying in business is less. Add to this the fact that if you choose a business that you like doing, you're more apt to persist at it even with a lower return. Also, it is notable that while there may be many who might say, "I tried a home business," like business opportunity buyers who never open their business-in-a-box, these are people who don't do enough to be counted in a survey, such as getting a business license, a Yellow Page listing or joining a trade or professional association.
Virtually any of hundreds of businesses can be started from home. The only limitations are the space you have available and any legal restrictions that may apply. So the question is not so much "What's possible?" as "How do I select a business that has success potential and is right for me?" To answer this challenging question, here are four different roads you can take:
1. Starting a business on your own.
2. Buying a franchise you can start at home
3. Joining a direct sales organization.
4. Buying a business opportunity.