I peruse a lot of message boards and forums that deal with mothers who work from home or who are starting home based or away from home based businesses. One type of post always catches my attention, and from the moment I see the type of post I wonder if the business will succeed.
Some mothers, and I’m sure others who are starting home based businesses, hope to do so on a shoestring budget. I understand their plight. Starting a company is never cheap. First you must put money into the items you need to make a profit. If you are opening a product-oriented business this includes all items needed to make and package and distribute the items. You can’t start off with no product items in your possession, because even if you plan to produce products on an individual order you will need items to show, items to use on your site, items to photograph for catalogs and brochures and so forth.
Those opening a service oriented business, such as a marketing company or mobile spa, still need equipment and materials to make it run. Computers, massage tables, a phone and fax machine are just a few of the necessities of these types of businesses.
In addition, all companies need to set aside a budget for marketing and advertising. You can have the best service or product in the world but if you don’t get the word out to the public you’ll never succeed.
The posts that scare me the most are the mothers who are hoping to hire people such as web designers, copywriters or other professionals that are needed for their particular type of business, such as seamstresses for those designing clothes or handbags, for next to nothing.
Yes, these people do exist. You can run an ad and find someone to do anything that you need for next to nothing, I’m sure. The problem, though, is that someone who is doing the job for next to nothing has probably little to no experience, is hoping to build a portfolio, and may not be able to provide you with the tools that you need to make your business succeed. Saving a few bucks is always great, but when it comes to starting a company you really need to put some money up front to get the best workers you can find.
This is not to say that someone who charges less is necessarily not as good as the next person. You may be able to find a very competent person to design your materials for a fraction of the cost if you hire someone who has just recently graduated from school or who is doing this on the side for just some additional income or some portfolio building experience.
Still, if you do decide to take on someone for very little pay, make sure that they are reputable, can provide experiences, have some sort of portfolio and know what they are doing. Look at previous work. Ask for, and review, samples. Check references. I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to who have hired a web designer, paid the first half and never received the work, or ended up with low quality designs.