Home Business Myths Debunked

Don't Let These 5 Beliefs Keep You From Starting a Home Business

Home Business Misconceptions Clarified
Don't get confused by misinformation. Mmdi | Getty Images

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people who say they want to start a home business, and yet, they never do. When I ask why, they often come up with excuses that have to do with misinformation and fear. Certainly there are no guarantees when it comes to starting and running a home business, but too many people don’t pursue their dream of being their own boss because they’re holding onto beliefs that aren’t necessarily true.

Here are 5 common myths and realities about home business

1. It takes too long, years even, to make a profit.

This could be true, but it’s not a given. There is no set time frame for home business success. I’ve known people who years later are only earning pennies and others who within months not only achieved their income goals, but exceeded them. The time frame to making a profit depends a great deal on you. The best way to maximize your time and money is to research your home business idea, make a solid plan, and implement your plan every day.

2. It costs a lot of money.

The expense of starting a business depends on the business you want to start. Many home businesses start with no investment but time. Service-based businesses that tap into skills and use equipment you already have are especially low-cost to start. You can build a web presence for less than $100. Some of the most effective marketing methods, such as social media, press releases and telephone calling don’t cost anything but your time.

The best way to build a business on a budget is to tap into skills and experiences you have, use assets on hand such as your existing computer, and develop a financial plan to reinvest some of your profits back into your business.

3. It’s too risky to go without employer-based health care and benefits.

In this day and age, many employers don’t provide health insurance or benefits, or if they do, you’re paying for them out of your salary. It is risky to not have health insurance or benefits, but you don’t need an employer for them.

In the past, many home business owners went without care and their only retirement savings were from social security payments through their tax return. Today, with the Affordable Care Act, everyone is required to have health care, but it’s more affordable than you think. In fact, a study by Cigna showed that most people overestimate the cost of health insurance, but underestimate the cost of uninsured medical intervention. The Health Exchanges are not your only option when it comes to care. If your spouse’s employer has coverage, you can get covered there as well. Or you can join in group insurance through the industry association  related to your home business or through entrepreneur and self-employment associations.

Retirement savings is another area that is important, but not hard to do. If you started the year by putting a dollar the bank and adding a dollar each week (i.e. $2 week two, $3 week three), at the end of the year (52 weeks), you’d have $1,378 saved, not including any interest you earn.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to build your own nest egg. It just takes a little research, planning and discipline to follow through.

4. Home businesses aren’t viewed as professional.

This is absolutely untrue today. Back when I started in the 1990s, it was true that home businesses were not considered “real” businesses, but with the advances in and affordability of technology, where you run your business isn’t part of the equation in determining professionalism.

However, running a business from home can offer some unique challenges that could be viewed as unprofessional if you don’t deal with them. Kids making a racket, dogs barking and sounds that come from home can distract from phone calls. Sleeping in and missing a client’s call would be unprofessional. Regardless of where you work, you need to provide quality products and services, and be attentive to customer and client needs if you want to be viewed at a professional.

5. It’s isolating and lonely.

This is only true if you let it be. Working at home by yourself allows for peace and quiet to get work done. It leads to greater productivity and creative thinking. But, after awhile, it can feel lonely. The answer is to take breaks as you would at the water cooler at work. You can do this by engaging with people on social media, going for a walk with a neighbor or packing up the laptop to work at the local java joint. When you’re the boss, work is what you make it. So make it what you want.