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Dennis Zink:    Janet, the number of home-based businesses has grown dramatically over the last 10 years. What's the current status of home-based businesses?

J Shellenberger:   Dennis, you're actually right. The number of businesses have went through the roof in the last 10 years. Today, there's 38 million businesses that are home based. That is one in every eight homes has a home-based business in it. They generate $427 billion in revenue.

Who runs these businesses? Sixty percent of them are run by women and 55% of them are run by veterans, 37% of these businesses are run by people 55 years and older, 63% of the businesses are service-based businesses, the second highest is construction at 16% of businesses, and finally, after three years, 70% of these businesses are still running. You can see, this is a huge industry today.

Dennis Zink:    If I'm interested in doing that, what do I need to consider before starting a home-based business?

J Shellenberger:   The first thing you have to look at is yourself. Do you have the skills and the aptitude to run a home-based business? Some of the questions you might want to ask yourself is, do you have the discipline to run yourself, to manage yourself both personal time and business time? One of the biggest things that you have to consider is the separation of your business from your personal aspects.

Do you have the focus and can you ignore your distractions at home? Do you have a separate space for your business? Are you accountable? Can you spend your time wisely and effectively? Can you report to management? Can you make connections? One of the biggest things about a home-based business is solitude and separation that you have, so you need to manage to be able to make connections in your industry.

Have you planned a home-based business adequately? By that I mean, have you set work hours? Have you designated a space and are you going to utilize it, and report your time? Have you got your family buy in for the home-based business and the support of your family and friends? Finally, figure our what motivates you. Decorate your office with things that will motivate you, and ideas and actions that are going to help motivate.

Dennis Zink:   You mentioned management, are you referring to people that have started the business and it's in their home, or could it be that they work for a company and they are operating out of the home?

J Shellenberger:    I'm referring to both, a person that has started a business or is thinking about starting a home-based business, and someone that works out of their home. I have experience with both. I've worked for a business where I was working from home. I was also managing employees that work from home. Then, I also, at this point in time, I have my own home-based business that I run and operate, so this dialogue applies to both.