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Gregory Kohs

Director, Planning & Analysis of Comcast Business

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Overcoming Home-Based Business Obstacles

July 06, 2015

Since it’s in the general nature of many home-based businesses (HBB) to cloister most of the work tasks in the owner’s home (or in a very small office), it can often be a challenge for those business owners to gain access to other business professionals for tips, advice, or general consultation.

Since it’s in the general nature of many home-based businesses (HBB) to cloister most of the work tasks in the owner’s home (or in a very small office), it can often be a challenge for those business owners to gain access to other business professionals for tips, advice, or general consultation.

Whether you’re making a major decision about the direction of your business or you’re ironing out the details of your day-to-day projects, conferring with other business owners – who might know exactly what you’re going through – can be tremendously beneficial. We recently surveyed 101 HBBs and learned that only 51% of those surveyed are involved with a business owners association of some kind, meaning almost half of those surveyed are left without a consistent source of communal advice or mentorship. Here is some of the most helpful information we learned from these business owners.

Where to meet

Finding a space or area that is dedicated solely to your business can be challenging. An overwhelming majority of HBB owners find themselves solely working from home, which could be considered more cost effective. However, when meeting with clients or customers, home-based business owners tend to move around a bit more – 55% of owners typically meet with clients at the client’s place of business, and 34% see client meetings as an opportunity to meet in a public retail location.

comcast_graphic_HBB-owners-meet-clients_v1

How to build your brand

Marketing your HBB can also be an interesting challenge to tackle. While 35% of HBB owners indicated that they have not taken any substantial actions to market their business over the last 12 months, a majority of businesses are making marketing a priority. Nearly 40% of HBBs are actively leveraging Internet advertising to market their business, while 28% are using email marketing, and 13% are marketing through direct mail. HBB owners are also spending time developing longer-term strategies for their businesses, with 20% of owners spending the time to put together a business plan, and 17% of owners developing a marketing plan.

comcast_graphic_HBB-owners-actions_v1

How to keep your data secure

In today’s technology environment, businesses of all sizes—HBBs included—are investing in solutions to back up their data and networks in the event of a natural disaster, breach, or other disruptive event. With a variety of options available, knowing which solutions other HBB owners are using can be helpful when selecting a back-up system. To avoid a loss of data, 70% of HBB owners indicated that they are using a cloud-based back-up system. A cloud-based system offers businesses a remote location to store and secure important data, but it’s important to have sufficient bandwidth so that those back-ups don’t take all night. And 65% of owners are using a local backup of data.

Determining the limitations

So, what’s holding HBBs back from reaching their growth potential? For the most part, it’s time, as cited by 44% of those surveyed – there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done. 41% of HBB owners indicated that financial factors, such as cash flow and interest rates, also seem to limit their growth opportunity. Other growth restrictions include staffing, government regulations and taxes, and lack of support and guidance.

comcast_graphic_HBB-growth-development-restrictions_v2

As you strive to grow your HBB, it’s important to continue to network and connect with other business owners. Not only will you drive awareness of your brand, but you can learn how to overcome the unique challenges of owning your own business.

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