Home Sweet Business Home

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

Last month I wrote on global terms about how European entrepreneurs creatively achieve success through finding their best and highest use and their niche in the marketplace. This month I am “going local” about an ordinance that Solon, my home town, is considering.  Both topics share a common plea.  Let’s learn from successful entrepreneurs and communities and follow in their footsteps

In the interest of restricting outsiders in cars, some towns like Solon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, are enacting laws whereby home-based businesses will be limited to three customer visits and four deliveries either per day or per week.  While sounding innocent on the surface, these laws will have unforeseen consequences.  Home businesses are particularly critical to Northeast Ohio’s struggle to transition from a manufacturing economy to one balanced with services and knowledge businesses.  Here’s why:

  • Cottage industries often pave the way for entrepreneurs to create new businesses without making large investments in buildings, equipment or people. Major industries such as clothing, good and crafts have started this way.  Betsy Ross sewed our countrys first flags in her home.

  • Thanks to the Internet, downsizing corporations, and demand for outsourced services, many experienced professionals are successfully starting second careers through home-based businesses.

  • Home-based businesses pay taxes, purchase services and empower their owners to live balanced lives while handling personal challenges (such as special needs children).

  • The emerging "new economy" businesses of consulting, software, personal and professional services do not require formal offices in business centers to thrive.

Curtailing home business traffic pits neighbor informing on his neighbor if traffic from church meetings, political coffees, daycare centers, lemonade stands, Tupperware parties, and social meetings is still to be allowed.  But, this law will have a far more serious impact.

  • Many fledgling businesses and displaced executives will face one more barrier to applying their best and highest use to serve customers and put food on their tables.

  • Northeast Ohio will have yet another obstacle to overcome in joining the new economy.

  • In our post 9-11 environment, many people are going back to "cocooning and bunkering" rather than staying together and building strong community relationships.  As customers and vendors form strong relationships with home business owners, one more opportunity is lost for fellowship and interaction.

Some twenty years ago a young entrepreneur debated starting his fledgling business in either Texas or Washington.  He chose Washington because if he failed and could not pay his rent, he could run it out of his Dad’s house.  The name of the entrepreneur is Bill Gates and the company is Microsoft.

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at  (412) 973-2080, by email at abirol@andybirol.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.

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