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From the Email Bag – How to Fund a Home-Based Business
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
July 5, 2012
Dear Rat Race Rebellion:
My nest egg used to look like it had been laid by a free-range hen. But
now it looks like it might not hatch at all. I’d like to start a
home-based business on the side, but I don’t have any money.
Where can I get some, without robbing a bank? – Ralph in Macon,
Dear Ralph: Most
people who want to start a home-based business face the same challenge
you do. Here are three common ways to raise the greenbacks, and the
pros and cons of each.
1. You can borrow from family or friends. It’s simple to do, but
we don’t recommend it unless the sums are small enough (usually
under $1,000) that you can repay them within, say, a year. And even if
you do pay back every penny on time, you have still permanently changed
the relationship by asking for the money.
The only way to “succeed” on this path is to permanently
change the relationship once again by adding a hefty premium when you
repay the debt. Then tell your Uncle Butch that it was an investment,
not a loan. He’ll appreciate the difference when he pockets it,
and he’ll like your style.
2. Use credit cards. Back in day, when interest rates on credit card
balances were kept relatively low by the usury laws, starting a small
business on credit cards didn’t carry the risk it does now. Plus,
low introductory rates expire quickly when you’re trying to beat
the bushes for business, so you can soon be drowning in debt.
If you use your cards, do it sparingly, and resist the urge to splurge
on that new Sun King desk throne when a Goodwill office chair would do.
Plus, when that first fat check comes in, don’t run off for a
week in Barbados, but pay down your debt. The goal is to get into
“black ink” and out of “red ink” as quickly as
3. Bootstrap. This is our favorite. It means investing in your business
as you bring money in from sales. It means minimizing debt, and
focusing on landing that first customer asap. You “wow” him
or her, which leads to the second and third.
Bootstrappers are usually careful with their money. They don’t
like to gamble, and they’re disciplined. Microsoft is the classic
Dear Rat Race Rebellion:
I’m a military spouse and we move about every three years.
Several times I’ve moved to places where some jobs were
available, but employers put signs in the windows saying they
don’t hire military spouses. I’d like to work from home and
have a “portable career,” and not have to struggle with
finding something new – or finding unemployment – every
time we move. What do you suggest? Mindy in Fayetteville, N.C.
Dear Mindy: There are several options you might consider. Companies
like American Express and Amazon – along with about 80 more
– are increasingly hiring home-based customer service agents.
These jobs pay approximately $9-$20 per hour, and you can often
continue to work after you move. For a list of these companies, click here.
If you’re interested in self-employment and have administrative
experience, a Virtual Assistant role might fit the bill.
“VAs,” as they’re known, have their own clients and
set their own hours. They earn $20 an hour and up, depending on their
skills and niche. For more, see the International Virtual Assistants
Association, at www.IVAA.org.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM