General Question

poopnest's avatar

If you've had success/disappointment with a home based business, please share.

Asked by poopnest (261points) November 3rd, 2011

I would like to have feedback on any home based business you have worked or are currently involved in (and have been in for a while, not just starting out). What was your reason for succeeding or throwing in the towel?

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6 Answers

laureth's avatar

Point of clarity: do you mean real ones, or scams like envelope stuffing?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Need more details please.

poopnest's avatar

I’m not sure what details are needed. My question is straight forward in asking if you’ve been or are currently involved in a home based business. If you’ve never invested your time or money into any type of home based business then you probably can’t relate to my question. If you have then I’d like to hear about it. Besides, I figure if you are working from home, you would love to share what you are doing. It is a question that I thought was worded toward people with home based business experiences of any sort. This question is part of my own research. Thanks.

poopnest's avatar

It is to start a dialogue and share experiences…hope that helps…if nobody answers then I will take that to mean it’s not a topic of interest or is a topic that not many people know much about and look elsewhere.

bkcunningham's avatar

The only experience I have with anything close to what you are asking involves a few friends. One has done medical billing coding for Blue Cross for many years from home and another who works from home for 1–800-FLOWERS. Both require dedicated phone land lines. No call waiting allowed on their phones. My BC coding friends works a full-time schedule and begins each morning with a conference call with her supervisor and other billing coders. She makes big bucks.

My other friend works about three days a week and started out working weekends and nights. She’s done it awhile and I haven’t talked to her in a few months. I don’t know much more than that.

I have another friend who moved to a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains about 20 years ago. She makes baskets and sells them throughout the world by mail order via the Internet. Her business has grown to the point that she has several other women who work for her.

I have another friend who is a professor and a professional artist. Her husband worked from home as a framer for years. I’m sure I could think of others but I’m not sure that is what you are asking.

I have several friends who supplement their outside the home jobs with home based businesses. One is a photographer another is a baker and pastry maker. Oh, Oh, and I have a friend who runs a childcare business from her home. She has done that for decades.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I ran a professional daycare from my home for four years. I paid my taxes, kept good records, was fully prepared to sue non-paying customers, and made a living for myself and three children, as a single mom, until I graduated college. I got nice tax breaks on a nice percentage of the house and a good portion of the utilities. I also made good money on the food side of it, too, thanks to government programs involving feeding American children so they don’t accidentally starve to death in some daycare provider’s care.

Before that my ex got a wild hare to start a video production business from our home, incorporating computer graphics (which was new in the 80’s) into video. He ran it out of one small room in the house. Although he labled himself as a ‘CEO’ and felt vewy important, he had no business sense, didn’t pay the taxes, didn’t keep records, and started having affairs with different female members of our “team.” The business had a LOT of potential, but it failed miserably, along with the marriages of everyone involved.

I dabbled with an ebay business for a few months after we got out from under the shop (see below.) It barely broke even. I learned that in order to be sucessful in that kind of venture, it’s best to sell bigger ticket items because you lose labor in the packaging. But I didn’t have the money to begin to purchase bigger ticket items to sell at a decent profit.

From 2002 to 2007 I owned a small engine repair shop. Obviously it wasn’t out of the house, but I learned a HELL of a lot a about owning and managing a serious business. We grossed about $250,000 a year, but the winters tore us up. We’d go from grossing $30,000 a month to about $3,000 per month in winter, so we finally walked away. I had about a quarter million in inventory to manage. “Experts” will tell you that you should have a 20% mark up. The “experts” have no idea what they’re talking about. From that I learned that the only way to make a livable profit is to sell the inventory at about twice what you paid for it. Except for not on the whole goods. You can only sell at about 20% to stay competitive.

Owning any kind of business…you get what you put in to it, you have to keep good records, especially when inventory is involved, keep the customers happy while still managing to make a profit from them, and pay your taxes.

Does that answer your question or do I still have no idea what I’m talking about because none of that relates to the business you have in mind?

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