While the prospect of owning your own business and being free of an employer is an exciting prospect, being in debt may limit your options when it comes to financing. Yet, the average American has about $38,000 in debt, so fret not, as being in debt doesn’t necessarily preclude you from owning your own home-based business. In fact, the US Census Bureau reveals that over 13 million people work from home now. It will mean, however, that you’ll need to tighten your belt a little more than usual and you might need to implement a few strategies to mitigate your debt.
Lower Your Personal Expenses
Being an entrepreneur and operating your own home-based business means making certain sacrifices for the greater good. It’s not uncommon, therefore, for entrepreneurs to take more extreme measures to cut down living expenses when reducing costs and expenses.
Shavings from keeping your bills and cost of living low, will free up extra cash for your new business. Similarly, smart meal planning and cutting down on that expensive coffee will save you unthinkable amounts of money. Refinancing any loans you have or consolidating any other debts, will also help you save on monthly payments and interest.
Reduce High-Interest Debit
High-interest debt generally means credit card debt which is one of the leading causes of debt in the country. With Inc. describing that Americans currently have the highest credit card debt in history at $1.201 , entrepreneurs with poor credit history might struggle to qualify for a business loan. The best thing you can do is to have a look at the debts you currently have and analyze which ones are high-interest. Then systematically work your way down to the lowest interest debts so you can budget how much to pay off and how much to save.
Of course, while there is no hard-and-fast rule over how to balance your debt versus saving up for yourself and your business, experts recommend that you prioritize high-interest debts first. The money you’re paying in high-interest could work much better for you in a savings or retirement account. Reducing your high-interest debts will also make you less of a risk to lenders and you’ll be able to take advantage of larger business loans at lower interest.
Maybe you’re having a tough time finding a good loan with the debts you owe, or maybe you just don’t want to jump into another loan. Why not consider grants instead? If you qualify for grants you can’t turn down free money, right? Small business grants, which don’t have to be repaid, may be available to fund your company from sources like the U.S. Small Business Administration through their State Trade Expansion Programs or women’s organizations like the National Association of Women’s Business Owners.
There are also other organizations for minority-owned businesses and more. Grants can be an ideal way to fund your home-business and can also provide you with free-press and networking opportunities. Keep in mind, however, that it is a time-consuming process, and you’ll need a strong business plan to be competitive and to get approval.
exclusively written for hrnbiz.com
by Rebecca Jacobs
Home-based businesses are succeeding in communities – large and small -across the country, and online entrepreneurs are changing the way that the business world works.
Here are just a few of the reasons why:
1. You control your own time. Self-employment means freedom to work where you want, when you want.
2. You can pursue your passion. Being an entrepreneur allows you do what you love every day (from home!).
3. An opportunity to learn. Running your own home business requires you to wear many hats – marketing, sales, technology – and constantly learn new things.
4. Pride and fulfillment. Providing a service or a product that helps others is very rewarding.
5. You can make more money. The amount of money you make working for yourself can far exceed what you would make as a salaried employee.
6. Tax benefits. The percentage of your home devoted to business use and business expenses can be tax deductible.
7. Excitement. Owning your own business is stimulating and different every day.
8. Escape the rat race. No more 9 to 5 and living by someone else’s rules.
A decade ago, working from home wasn’t even a possibility. Now, technology allows professionals in a number of fields and industries to get the same jobs done no matter where they are in the world. Blue Fountain Media director of human resources Samantha Lambert said working from home was rarely connected with a full-time career, but now it’s a more convenient and affordable option. The future of remote working also looks good. As the workforce becomes more progressive, more tools like virtual reality conferencing and AI-powered management will become available. There are plenty of opportunities for anyone who wants to shift to remote working. Here are some of the best home-based jobs and businesses you can try:
If you have a knack for writing and you never run out of ideas, perhaps you ought to give freelance writing a try. Your earnings will often depend on the topics that you cover—The Balance points out that it all depends on your strengths and niche. The average hourly rate for writers is about $50 and the average annual income is around $60,000. It’s still possible to earn more than the average rates by checking out active listings online for freelance projects and writing gigs.
Real estate agent
Moonlighting as a real estate agent from your home will earn you around $50,000 a year. Fit Small Business notes that you need to meet state requirements for licensure and check your financial health before committing to the job. A bulk of your success also depends on the time you spend with clients—20 hours per week is highly recommended. It’s important to keep in mind that the average real estate agent in NYC only does two to three deals per year, which means every hour you spend speaking with potential homebuyers count. ‘How Much Do NYC Real Estate Agents Make?’ by Yoreevo notes that understanding the market is the key to ensure success and a good salary in being a home-based real estate agent. Use social media and data analytics to your advantage as they can help you see what your clientele wants.
For those who love fashion more than anything, a clothing retail business might be a good idea. You can buy the latest in-demand clothes from retail stores and resell them for a profit online. You can also look for hard-to-find items and make them more accessible in your area. When it comes to your platform, you can create your own website or use any of the sales platforms that are already available online. Regardless of the platform you choose, Chron suggests spending $10 per year for your own website domain name so that no one else can claim it if you ever decide to put up your own site.
Baked goods and catering
On Homeowner Referral Network we believe it’s important that you enjoy what you do. The financial and personal rewards will just follow. If whipping up a fresh batch of cookies or cooking delicious meals makes you really happy, why not make some money off your recipes? The retail space and the equipment might cost you some money, so it’s best to begin selling online first, before branching out to a full-blown bakery.
No, I’m not Angie (of Angie’s List) but I must admit that I’m asked that question a lot.
While at first glance, it may appear that my Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business offers the same type of service as online contractor referral services such as Angie’s List (which was recently acquired by Home Advisor), the truth is that our businesses are quite different.
First and foremost, our revenue models are different. Angie’s List makes money by allowing contractors to advertise and offer promotions to their members. My HRN business earns money from commissions paid by my contractors and they only pay me when they get paid which is far more appealing to them. Contractors can’t pay me a fee to represent them. In my opinion, accepting advertising compromises the unbiased referrals I provide.
Another important distinction between my HRN business and national, online contractor referral businesses like Angie’s List is that my contractor referral business is local and personalized. I meet and screen each contractor in my network. I know his or her work because I’ve actually seen it. Beyond screening my contractors for licensing (which can vary not only by state but by county), insurance, references and more, in most cases I know their employees, family members, and even where they live. How can an online contractor referral service based in Indianapolis adequately vet contractors in 50 different states?
In addition to hand-picking my contractors, I individually match them to every job. And, beyond a contractor’s trade, there are several variables that need to be taken into consideration – time frame, contractors’ schedules, budget and personality types – to name a few.
For example, when a homeowner calls me and says they need a painter to spruce up their home for sale, I’m not going to refer them to the most expensive painter in my network who primarily works with high end decorators and architects. And when another homeowner asked me for a handyman who would take his shoes off when he worked in her home, I knew that would eliminate more than half of the contractors on my list.
And finally, after speaking with hundreds (maybe even thousands) of homeowners over the years, I have heard repeatedly that while they may go online to check out photos and get renovation and design ideas, when it comes to hiring a contractor to work in their home, they want a personal recommendation.
I guess that’s the reason why my HRN business has been so successful. I may not be Angie, but I know the value of providing well-screened, personalized contractor referrals.