I’m tired of being the new employee every three years. Sound familiar? It does to me. Every 3 to 4 years military families transition from state to state or from the United States to another country. This means that the military spouse has to leave his/her current job and start the hunt for meaningful employment in another town. However, with the increase in technology, affordability of computers and constant advertising on starting a home business, military spouses are cashing in their 9 to 5 jobs for flexibility, mobility and quality of life. Starting a home business today is as simple as naming your business and purchasing a license.
However, one should consider the following before making the commitment to work out of the home:
- What type of home business will you start?
- Do you need a loan to start your home business?
- Do you have enough space?
- Do you have all the necessary equipment?
- Have you prepared a business plan?
- Have you sought counseling from the Small Business Development Center, Small Business Administration or the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)?
- Does your new military installation authorize home businesses in government quarters?
- If you plan to live off base, do you know your zoning laws?
As you can see, a home business is more than a name and a license. It takes some serious planning and preparation.
Before deciding to launch my home-based virtual administrative support firm, I spent months researching the industry. On weekends, my daughter and I would spend hours in the library. I also took free classes offered by the Small Business Development Center.
Simply starting a home-based business is not enough, you need to know that it is a good fit for the mobile lifestyle. Promoting, marketing, and advertising your home-based business is crucial. If no one knows about your product or service, no one solicit your business. This is where networking comes into play.
Networking is something we do everyday of our lives. We interact and share information about careers, family, business and ourselves. Networking for the home-based business owner can sometimes be very challenging.
I personally experienced the big “F” word, Fear. I was afraid to tell others about my services out of fear of rejection. However, the more I networked the more comfortable I became.
The best sales person for your home business is you. Why? Because no one is more passionate about your product or service than you are, plus it is free!
Establishing a solid support network is very important. The Small Business Development Center, also known as the SBDC, is a federally funded agency that provides free counseling on business startups, planning, accounting and marketing. Most SBDC offices have an extensive resource library available free of charge to research your industry.
What types of businesses compliment the lifestyle of a military spouse? I have found the following to be quite complimentary because they can transition with you:
- Resume writing
- Business writing
- Editing and proofreading
- Internet research
- Word processing
- Language interpreting
- Sign language
- Document translations
- Graphic design
- Web design
With careful planning and preparation, starting a home business can be an enjoyable experience. Do a self-examination. Find out what your talents and skills are; can you turn them into a full-fledge home business? If so, do your research, seek counseling, set milestones and stick to them, remain focused and build a support network.
Learn more about starting your home business through these online resources: