A Small Home Based Business or a Bigger Company?

07-02-2015 | Ramona |

Few weeks ago I got a phone call from a business owner in my city, telling me he’d like to talk about something (as you probably know, I run a small home based business as a web designer). I immediately thought it’s about a web site he’d like me to build for him (why would anyone call a designer, right?).

No, we wasn’t interested in my services, but still wanted to discuss ‘something‘ and thought we could meet in person or at least in a Skype chat. Call me weird, but I hate to 1. have to wait to find out what you have to tell me until we have a second meeting (I immediately have some red lights flash – why wouldn’t you discuss the matters right now – you called) and 2. have to set ANY meetings.

As you probably know, aside from my home based business, I’m also a mother. My daughter is just 1 year old and really dislike the idea of having to share my time to meet someone else, especially since most of my clients (99.9% at least) haven’t even seen my face (not easy to meet in person with someone in the US, when you’re living in Europe).

His hesitance to really give me an answer made me tell him ‘in short’ that I don’t have the time to meet (especially when I don’t clearly know it’s for a new project, that would bring me money) and we can set a Skype chat, but, given the fact my baby is teething for 3 months now and has a hectic sleeping schedule, this meeting can happen or not in the next week.

After beating ’round the bushes for 2 more minutes and after denying that he’s trying to ‘sell’ me some MLM business, he told me about some magnificent plan that would earn me a lot of money (yes, another MLM business, of course).

I told him that, if he can GURANTEE that I will earn x dollars/month from x month since my enrollment, I might look into it. I have a business to run and caring for my baby, while also trying to work for my clients, is already excruciatingly difficult in some days, so I really don’t miss an ‘opportunity’ to waste my (scarce) time with something that will probably not work.

My refusal to get into this deal, made him a bit angry and he told me that I don’t know anything about the real money, since I run a small home based business, while he has a pretty successful company in the city (with 30+ employees). While I did agree that he’s clearly way more versed in business than me, I did reply that I do NOT want a bigger company.

As shocking as this might seem, it’s true.

I could hire at least 2 people right now and get a small office in the city. My current web design revenue would allow for this and, having these employees do the work for me, would also allow me to get more clients and develop the company more. Which would, of course, lead to more money etc.

But I am content with my little business RIGHT NOW.

Having an office in the city, even if I’d be the super cool employer who doesn’t ask for a 9-to-5 presence at work, would still mean I have to drag my butt to the office. We do have a small business building right across the street (so I wouldn’t have to waste a lot of time in traffic and also have to pay for the gas), but it would mean spending time far from my daughter, which is something I am not willing to do right now.

She turned 1 year yesterday and is 100% dependent on me. I refuse to take her to any day-care system, since I work from home and it would be a pity to waste these amazing first years together, when we’re getting by financially anyway (not to mention that, having to pay for daycare, would mean I have to earn more money anyway), so there’s no option right now but for us to stay together at home and have a blast.

We also love to travel on a whim (and have done it in the past). I couldn’t leave the country for 2 or 6 months (which we already did and not once), leaving my business alone and my employees to manage it. So this would mean I’d be once again a ‘time slave’ as I used to be when working in the radio business.

My life as an employee was pretty cool, as you can guess: I earned well, had to work few hours/day and the work itself was great (I had a daily radio show). The ONLY issue I had was with me not being in full control of my time (just like anyone who has a job, right?). The moment I started my home based business, this problem was gone: I can work whenever I find the time, I can travel anywhere and do my design work (as long as I have wi-fi and my laptop, I’m all set) etc.

So, AT THE MOMENT, a home based business is all I want and spend every possible moment with our little angel. Of course, once she gets older and she’ll attend kindergarten or school, you can guess I’ll most likely consider a town office. Or, maybe not …

Would to settle for a small home based business like me or would you aspire to something bigger?

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Recent Comments

  • February 13, 2015 at 3:01 am

    Had to google “MLM” business. Didn’t realize what it meant. I guess I’m lucky that I don’t get many people calling to pitch their shady business ideas 😉 You’re good to be wary of phone calls like that.
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    • February 13, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Yeah, I know MANY people who have wasted YEARS of their lives with this crap and never did anything. So I am pretty much against anything similar. And I dislike being called on the phone, so, if anyone’s doing it, they’d better have something interesting to communicate 😀
      dojo recently posted…WordPress Design: Cleaning Service BusinessMy Profile

  • June 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Just like you said, I would only consider expanding my business if the circumstances were right. I would need to be 100% sure that I would be able to put enough time to make the business successful and I would also have to make sure I had enough business funding to make sure that I can run my business the way I wanted during expansion.

    • June 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      It’s indeed a pretty steep step to make. I’m slowly trying to get back to some more work, as my baby is getting older. As soon as she goes to kindergarten (about 2 years from now), I’ll probably consider some growth. Looking forward to getting at least some of my tasks handled by someone else 😀
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  • http://Jasmine2015

    October 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    MLM business?? Just from the comments I’m seeing it sounds like a shady business. You are right to keep the business small as it allows you to have more time with your child. My parents worked a lot and sometimes I wouldn’t see them until after school. I know for some kids even if the parents are home, the parents are so tired that the kids are discouraged from messing with the parents’ rest so they can work the next day. Very stressful indeed.

  • http://Mitch%20@ThumbsUp

    October 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

    You did the right thing saying no to the guy. Kudos! 🙂

    The whole concept of working from home is literally, the joy of working from home! I have read many forums in the freelancing/work from home niche and I can guarantee you most people who look into this are doing it because of the freedom you get to schedule your time how you see fit. And the money, of course, but most people do it for the freedom to be their own boss.

  • http://Andy

    October 19, 2015 at 9:04 am

    No matter what one chooses, small company or big, there are ups and downs in both cases.
    As a new entrepreneur, it’s clear that the obvious choice wold be to opt for a small company, home-based, minimal costs ecc., ecc.
    But, there’s a but 🙂 It’s very possible some potential clients will not look at you if you are too small. And this is where small home based companies could lose money… (well, they lose clients, but it’s the same thing).
    In the end, I think it’s all about personal choices. If on is happy with what they have with a small company, then great. If not, then get ready to take some risks!

  • http://Bluejay88

    November 5, 2015 at 9:55 am

    My dream is to work from home. So, I’d say, owning a small home based business, as you call it, would be a dream come true! Why have a formal office when you can just stay at home, in your comfy clothes, and work from your bedroom? Also, if you simply must hire staff, you can always hire other freelancers to help out! They work comfortably from home, you don’t need to drag yourself to an office, everybody happy.

  • http://joanne

    July 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    It makes good business sense to start small to keep the overhead down and help the business venture survive the tough first months or years. I’m a practicing CPA and I’m maintaining a home office. In the future, however, I would want to level up and grow the business. When that happens, I’ll be looking at getting a downtown office where I could be within reach of bigger clients. You can guess that it would also mean that I need to hire at least one staff.

  • September 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Having the ‘time’ freedom is definitely the most advantageous thing to running your own home-based business. I highly doubt you can go on travel whims when you are a full-time employee or having employees under you. Sure, you probably can do that for a day or two and entrust the business to an employee, but that won’t erase your worries or even guilt for being away on vacation. As for me though, while I like the idea of time freedom, I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t have the discipline to do so. I need the structure and routine that is of a typical office.
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  • November 28, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    […] people were shocked to find out that I was able to spend 18 months in NYC or that I actually run a small home based business. They never thought I ‘account’ to anything, since I always dress casually, while most […]

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