Do you want to work for someone else the rest of your life? Are you sick and tired of the daily 9-5
daily grind or shift work? How bad do you want to make a change?
Do you realize it takes time to start and build a home-based business?
It is a lot of sweat, worry, tears, frustration and ridicule from friends and family.
You give up a lot of time and activities.
Having said all of this, if you can stick to building a good business from home you have set yourself up for residual income. Money that comes in while you are out doing activities. or sleeping.
Benefits of a home-based business.
There are several benefits of running a home-based business. Here are some of them:
- Personal freedom: You can enjoy more personal freedom and flexibility in terms of income, hours, coworkers, and where you work.
- Lower overhead: You can save money on expenses such as rent, utilities, and business licenses and taxes. You can save time and money on commuting expenses.
- Income tax advantages: You can recoup your business expenses and reduce the amount of income tax you have to pay.
- Family time: You can have more flexibility with childcare and more time to spend with your family.
Starting a home-based business can be a major decision that requires research and planning. However, it can be a great way to achieve work-life balance and save money on expenses and taxes 3. If you’re considering starting a home-based business, you may want to check out the resources available at the Small Business Administration website 3.
5 Practical Tips for Brainstorming Business Ideas
When you hear the word “inventor” what comes to your mind? Images of America’s most accomplished inventors like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison? Or do you think of the silly characters in movies—like Belle’s father, Maurice, in Beauty and the Beast, or Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown of the Back to The Future movie trilogy?
Obviously, not all inventors are as prolific as Edison and Franklin or as incompetent as Maurice and Doc Brown. Yet most people don’t think they have what it takes to be an inventor, to turn ideas into products, to build something from nothing.
But inventions aren’t all about scientific or mathematical formulas. Sometimes they’re just about the same entrepreneurial adage: find a niche and fill it.
Retailers can be inventors, too.
Of course, retail and e-tail success is all about selling merchandise. But all too often you’re selling the same stuff as the store down the street or via dozens of websites around the country. One way to stand apart from the competition is to sell unique products. These can be hard to find since so many retail businesses source from the same places. So to really stand out, why not create your own exclusive products?
Yes, you can be an inventor. Here’s how:
1. Identify a niche
The best place to start is figuring out what the market needs. Don’t waste time and money creating a product you think consumers will love, only to find out too late they don’t. Start by reviewing your best-selling products. Then check your results against industry trends. Is there something you can create—an offshoot—that no one else is selling?
For example, let’s say you sell fashion accessories and one of your best-selling products are cross-body handbags. After talking to your customers, you learn women like them because they can be hands-free. Think of other products you could create that have the same effect, like fanny packs.
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel—you don’t have to create an entirely new product
The truth is only a small number of inventions are something that’s never existed before. Most new product launches are improvements or add-ons to something that already exists. You can expand your customer base by creating a lower-priced or more expensive version of that product.
3. Do market research on your new business idea
Expand your initial research and ascertain whether there really is a market demand for your new product. Make sure it doesn’t already exist in the market. Learn more by surveying your customer base. Also, check into secondary research sources, like Census Bureau data, information from the Commerce Department and industry trade magazines and websites.
Go online and search for products that resemble what you’ve come up with. Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, and do a patent search (it’s free) to see if anyone else has already invented and patented your idea.
4. Protect your business idea
Depending on what you’ve invented, you may need a design patent, a utility patent, or a copyright. A copyright protects artistic expression such as a graphic pattern or design on a clothing or home décor item. A design patent protects a new, nonobvious ornamental design of products, and is mostly used for designs that are a slight variation or improvement on an existing product. A utility patent protects the functionality of an invention. You can find if your concept is patentable by going to the USPTO site.
It’s smart business to hire an attorney who knows patents to make sure you’re protecting your idea and not inadvertently stealing someone else’s work.
5. Take notes—document the process from step one
Just in case you end up patenting your idea, you should document your idea generation and product development process. You’ll need a bound notebook with numbered pages that can’t be removed (meaning they’re not perforated). Computer entries will not work in this case. Write down your idea and everything you do to bring it to life. Date each page and keep it in safe place.
There is so much information online, just do some research.