Opinion

Could a home-based business be your calling?

CHAMBER CHAT

Is this the year you will start a small business from your home? There are many opportunities out there, but there also are many “get rich quick” schemes as well, playing to the desire to make fast money with little effort. A good rule of thumb is if you saw it on late night TV as an infomercial, it’s probably not for you. Likewise, if it promises huge returns you’d better do some more investigating.

When I look at the roster of Chamber members who are involved in home-based businesses, we have some who have decided to join a well-established franchise with a proven track record. Many of these companies provide support and services to new startups and appear to have structures in place where you’re never far away from a real person, who can help you and keep you motivated.

Also on our roster are folks who took an idea, something from their previous work experiences and turned it into something of their own. Personal services like errand running, mobile dog-grooming and computer repair are all opportunities where the business owner has direct control over just how much they will put into their business and, in return, what they will get out of it.

Starting a home-based business can be one of the most exciting and most frightening things you can do. There is a level of commitment and discipline necessary to put you in the success column. Can you be motivated in the comfy confines of your house? Do you have the discipline and drive to realize you will need to be making contacts, networking with others and marketing. Marketing, marketing, marketing.

Your product or service might become the hit of the area Farmer’s Markets or it could turn out to be that very special widget a Navy procurement specialist has been searching 12 states for. You won’t know till you try.

If you are considering starting a home-based business, your best chance at being successful is going to come if you are prepared and know about the resources available to you to help you toward that end.

Your area Chamber of Commerce has connections to help you go into business with eyes wide open, not to mention a huge resource for networking with fellow professionals and business owners. Our partnerships with SCORE, Washington CASH, the Kitsap Small Business Development Center and more can help you towards successful entrepreneurship.

The Silverdale Chamber is hosting its fifth annual Home-based Business Expo Saturday, May 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Costco Wholesale. The event serves a dual purpose — to raise public awareness of home-based businesses located in the area and to provide education to the public and home-based business owners about the various resources available to them.

In June, the Chamber will be hosting a seminar by Bill and Patty Hoke “Marketing in Tough Times – Steps you Can Take Today.” This informative event will give you tried and true methods you can take back to your office and put to work immediately.

As always you are invited to attend our monthly luncheon. This month we will be featuring “All Networking” with a number of activities to get you interacting with others. It’s a great opportunity for meeting new people so bring lots of business cards. We also will be hosting our annual Health and Wellness Business Showcase at the event. The lunch will take place on April 29 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel at 11:30 a.m.

If you want more information about what’s going on at the Chamber you can subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter by sending a note to subscribe@silverdalechamber.com.

Until next month, remember to shop Silverdale!

Darla Murker is the executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. She appears the third Friday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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