Thousands of businesses nationwide operate in a silo from their homes. But one Memphian, Beverly Anderson, had the great idea to create the Home Based Business Chamber of Commerce to serve as a support system to those operating a business from home. I am sure that many of you are thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Carlee McCullough: Please tell me about yourself and your business.
Beverly Anderson: I have a bookkeeping business and currently I serve as a small business mentor with SCORE.
CM: How did you become interested in business?
BA: Growing up, my grandfather told me, "Baby, if you can't find a job, make you one." I have taken that as a mantra of sorts. I believe in having a plan C.
CM: Tell me about the Home Based Business Chamber?
BA: The Chamber was established in 2008 as a result of researching support, training, and organizations for home-based businesses. I didn't see any. I wanted an organization that catered to the home-based business owners by providing networking opportunities, training and other resources that supported this type of unique business owner. I also wanted it to be an organization that would provide credibility to these businesses making them able to attract customers as any other business.
CM: Tell us about your business.
BA: I began my home-based business around 1995, part-time. It was a typing service that began to evolve. My business is now primarily a bookkeeping service that provides general bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to micro businesses, non-profits and churches.
CM: How can people become involved?
BA: People can become involved in any of our six (and growing) chapters by visiting our website at www.homebasedbusinesschamber.com, email at info@homebased businesschamber.com, or by calling 901-205-7262. We currently have chapters in Memphis, Desoto County, DelMarVa (Del.), Metro Atlanta, South Florida (FL) and Southern New Jersey.
CM: What type of services does the chamber offer?
BA: The Chamber offers a variety of services and benefits, in addition to networking and training. We offer limited group medical insurance, discount purchasing cards from Office Depot, and discount cell phone services.
CM: What has been your greatest triumph as an owner?
BA: Being able to grow the Chamber into a national organization. People across the country are taking interest and establishing other chapters to support home-based business owners.
CM: What are some of the biggest risks for those in your industry today?
BA: With any business, there are risks. I'm not sure of particular risks relating to the industry itself, but a challenge is changing the mindset of people who think that all home-based businesses are scams. We work as hard as any other business.
CM: Is now the best time (in this economy) to become an entrepreneur?
BA: This is actually a good time to start a business. Home-based businesses are virtually recession-proof. It cost little or no money to start up.
CM: Do you notice any new trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?
BA: More people are exploring home-based business ownership, even if they already have jobs. Home-based and small businesses are the backbone of the community. As people retire, for those people that are unemployable, and the millennial generation – entrepreneurship is the way to provide income for themselves and their families. It allows unlimited earning potential and freedom to grow and create. Larger businesses are seeing the need to outsource a lot of their services and we are here to take advantage of those opportunities.
CM: What have been the "Keys to Success" in your business?
BA: KNOW YOUR BUSINESS. By this, I mean a business owner should make intentional efforts to stay on top of their business. They should keep up with industry trends, trainings, certifications, join relevant associations. Become an expert.
CM: If you had one piece of advice to give to someone just starting out, what would it be?
BA: Be realistic. Know yourself. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. Get with like-minded people, and do it.
CM: How can our readers contact you?
BA: Visit www.homebasedbusinesschamber.com, email at info@homebasedbusinesschamber. com, or by calling 901-205-7262.