The current trend for the majority of businesses is to start their business from home. Nolensville, which is growing rapidly, has its share of entrepreneurs who are making a go of home-based business.
According to the Small Business Administration 50 percent of businesses in the US are home based. And 69 percent of business startups are home based.
Some of the town’s leading home business entrepreneurs spoke about their experiences in starting and running a home-based business. Many said the risk of opening a business at home was balanced by seizing the chance to pursue their passion. Stuart Goldman, owner of Willco Handyman Services, was a successful accountant.
“I’ve always been handy. Worked in a relative’s hardware store in Virginia as a young man. It seemed like a natural opportunity, so I went ahead and tried it,” Goldman said.
Megan Garramone, the youngest entrepreneur I spoke with said, “I love to bake, cakes, cookies and cake pops are my favorite. I wanted to work, but I’m only 14 and no one would hire me, so I hired myself.”
Debra Smith Rae was having trouble sleeping.
“I mean I was sleeping maybe an hour a night,” she said. “I tried a natural supplement and it worked so well, it inspired me to affiliate with Zilis, a CBD company. I am thrilled to offer products that help others the way I was helped.”
There are, of course, advantages to owning a home-based business, and the owners I spoke with generally agreed that making your own hours not having to deal with traffic during rush hours are genuine pluses. Not having the costs associated with a storefront is also an advantage. There are other benefits, too.
Chase Burnett, a personal trainer, who owns Body by Chase, pointed out, “I prefer doing things my own way rather than following a corporate formula. I can set up a program that fits each customer’s unique needs.”
Michael Mazo, owner of Ozam Creative, a company that does graphic design and related work, said, “I’m a single parent. I wanted to be readily available for my daughter for whatever she needs.”
The ability to hold down costs can often be passed on to customers. Marie-Danielle Skincare owner, Diane Thomas emphasized the point. “I can provide quality treatment to my clients at a good price,” she said. “Facials can be expensive. Clients appreciate it when they get top quality at a reasonable price.”
One of the advantages every home-based owner mentioned was the joy of working with local businesses and residents. Most of them pointed out that Nolensville is very supportive of their efforts.
Naturally, there are also disadvantages to running a home-based business. One of them can be the absence of a storefront. Chris Ciampi, owner of Chomp Shop, a screen printing and custom apparel company, said, “Without a storefront, there’s no place to show your products. And it’s far from ideal to show your wares from your home.”
Other disadvantages occur when it’s time to separate one’s work life from their home life. After all, the business is always in front of you. According to Angela Sadler, who owns Angela Sadler Floral Design, “I have to be disciplined in my time management. I use my garage to create my designs, so work is never far away.”
Sheila Tidwell-Horvath has a slightly different problem. As the owner of Heavenly Treats 4 U, a gourmet gift company, she often has too many orders for UPS to pick up. Sometimes, she has to "bring her gift boxes to their location,” she said.
Promoting a home business, especially on a low budget, can also be a challenge. Nearly every owner says essentially the same thing. “I use social media a lot,” said, Garramone. “Facebook, Instagram, and my website.”
She also offers free samples.
“Word of mouth, is very helpful,” Horvath said.
“If you offer a good, reliable product or service, people will tell others about you.” Thomas agreed. “Word of mouth is amazing."
All the entrepreneurs said they are working full time and enjoying what they do. They seem to find the work satisfying and, perhaps more importantly, they all insisted that their businesses are profitable. One thing they also made clear is that the Town of Nolensville is helpful to those who decide to take the plunge. While there are no statistics available regarding how many home-based businesses there are in the town, it does appear to be a growing trend.
Is it worth the effort to start up a home-based business? Some experts say start-up costs can be as little as $2,000. And, consider this. Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google and Microsoft all started in someone’s home or garage.
Len Serafino is a published author, seasoned writer and an experienced writing teacher.