Based on Census Bureau reports, 51.6% of small businesses in the United States are primarily run out of a home. Small businesses with less than 20 employees account for 97.9% of all companies in the country; that’s a huge number of home based businesses currently operating.
Of course, home based businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and people start them for many different reasons. For some, it’s simply a hobby that they realized could bring in some extra spending money and they’re happy doing it on the weekends or evenings, mostly for fun.
For others, though, a home based business can morph into a multi-million dollar empire, whether that was their original intention or not.
The big players
Take Apple - the most profitable company in the world at $39.5 billion in profit last year - started in Steve Jobs’ garage. But Jobs always intended to grow Apple aggressively.
On the other hand, Burt’s Bees - one of the most recognized brands in natural care products - sold to Clorox for an estimated $925 million in 2007 and has continued to expand its product line and distribution. But it all started with an artist, Burt Shavitz, making candles from a local beekeeper’s extra beeswax and selling $200 worth of products at a local craft fair.
Stories like this spark excitement in the minds of entrepreneurs seeking to snag their own version of the American Dream by starting or buying a small business, having a firm business plan in place and operating it from home with dreams of growing and improving it over time.
Here some less well-known examples of home based business successes to fuel your passion:
GetBetterBack - One woman, one solution, $1 million and still growing
When Katherine Krug got frustrated trying to treat her chronic lower back pain, she started thinking outside the box and ended up developing a simple but powerfully effective product called GetBetterBack.
After raising over $1.5 million on KickStarter for product development and marketing, she now runs a huge business surrounding the GetBetterBack posture-improving back brace from her home office in San Francisco.
Easy Lunchboxes - A stay-at-home Mom, and now $1 million richer
Kelly Lester, a stay-at home Mom from California, had an interest in bento - the Japanese art of food packing. She also had an annoying problem every day: how to quickly and efficiently pack healthy lunches for her kids to bring to school. Her goal was to feed her kids without boring them to tears or relying on prepackaged options that were more expensive and not as healthy.
The resulting product is a simple, elegant take on traditional Tupperware-style food containers that elevates brown bag lunches to a fun artform. Easy Lunchboxes - sold exclusively online - are still selling like crazy years later, and Lester still runs the business from home.
Fitness-on-the-Go - From one personal trainer to 50 and growing
Dan Mezheritsky is a personal trainer with a background in franchising. Putting the two together, he created Fitness-on-the-Go, an in-home personal training franchise system that provides a turnkey opportunity for any personal trainer to plug into the system and grow their business using Dan’s methods and marketing.
With over 50 franchise trainers operating across Canada and over 7000 satisfied clients so far, Dan still runs the operation from his home.
Of course, these are just a few examples, but they illustrate the potential for success represented by a home based business and an ambitious, talented entrepreneur. If that could be you, take a look at available home based businesses for sale in your area.