Which Business Model is Right for Home Based Entrepreneurs and Mompreneurs?
Wholesale? Retail? Network Marketing? Business or Consumer Service? Business or Consumer Knowledge? Which business model is right for you and your family life?
Embarking on a life as a Mompreneur is not to be taken lightly. From where you stand (which is probably with a child in one arm and another tugging at your sleeve), you most likely want something simple, creative and flexible that will bring in some money and give you some grown-up pleasure.
The place to start? You. What do you like to do? Where do you like to do it?
Not a simple question, I know. But running a sucessful home business requires commitment and hard work. The business that you start should be one that suits you, and so the first step is to figure out what suits you.
I recommend that you think about times in your past when were you the happiest and most productive. Maybe it was waitressing during a summer break from school, working on the school play, working a retail cash register, planning a road trip, or making awards for your church youth group. Notice whether you enjoyed working alone or with others, being extremely busy or working at your own pace, working with a computer or working with people.
Those early experiences hold the key to the type of business that you would do best in today.
For me, I always enjoyed working with my hands and solving problems for other people. That's why I opened my own engraving and trophy business over 30 years ago. Everyday, someone comes to me with an idea and a budget and, using the building blocks of the awards business -- crystal, mahogany, silver, gold -- I help them create the perfect gift for their occasion.
That's why I started StikyPic.com. To share my love for the awards business and to help others create the job of their dreams. But let's go back to you.
Now that you have an inkling of what kind of business situation you like best, let's look at what kind of business situations that are available for you.
THE FIVE BUSINESS MODELS OF SMALL BUSINESS
There are basically five models of operation for small businesses:
- Wholesale. Making or reselling goods in quantities to be retailed by others. This would include baking cupcakes to be sold in restaurants, manufacturing gadgets to be sold at Walmat, or making gift items to be sold at small shops.
- Retail. Selling a product -- made by you or not -- direct to consumers through a "brick and mortar" retail shop or through the internet (using a service like etsy or CafePress.)
- Networking Marketing. Selling direct to consumers by encouraging other to enroll their friends. All "Home Party" businesses, like Avon, Shaklee, Tuppeware, etc., fall under this heading.
- Business and/or Consumer Service. This is where the hairdressers, tailors, personal shoppers, non-profit organizations, salespersons, real estate brokers, designers and entertainers fall.
- Business and/or Consumer Knowledge. Consultants, bloggers, publishers, and computer programmers go here. Anyone who sells their knowledge or talent and not a tangible product.
Of course, there are exceptions, hybrids, and businesses that fall into more than one model. For example: what model, or models, would you put musicians under? They sell CDs (wholesale), entertain at parties (service), and write music for commercials (knowledge).
Only after understanding where your own talents lie, and the business model that excites you, should you consider these other factors:
- Financial investment. Does the business require an investment in tools or inventory? Can you just order what you need for the immediate moment?
- Financial return. What is the propfit margin on the products and/or services you will market? How much do you need to sell to make the money you want to make?
- Market size. Is the market big enough, and established enough, for a newcomer? Is the market one that you are comfortable with (in other words, are you selling to people like you?)
- Safety. Working from home, you do not want any large, expensive or dangerous equipment around which your kids or pets will be tempted to touch or taste.
- Company reputation. Has the company been around for a while? Have other people been successful with it? Will they support you with information and training?
It is my wish that your new home business serves you and your family in all ways - with satisfaction, abundance, and serenity.
Dee Dee and Mark Lawrence
Dee Dee and Mark are the husband and wife team behind StikyPic.com, a business opportunity that falls into four out of the five business models. Wholesale: crystal paperweights to wholesale to museum and other gift shops. Retail: custom name badges or refrigerator magnets or party favors directly to the consumer. Network Marketing: crafts parties where everyone makes a photo gift to take home; Business and Consumer Service: plaques, name tags, and other recognition products for corporations, schools, and houses of worship.