Small Businesses Tap the Export Market in Missouri

Pottery for export

Photo (CC) by najeebkhan 2009 on Flickr – http://bit.ly/163Q4ag

Small business owners often do not consider the possibility of exporting. This means missing a large share of the market. The Small Business Development Centers of Missouri along with the University of Missouri Extension are working to help business owners reach out and successfully tap that market. Read their story.

Guest Blogger – Jackie Rasmussen, Business Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power resides outside the U.S. Quite simply, the old rules of doing business only in America no longer apply. Businesses that truly want to grow can’t afford to ignore the export market. University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers provide counseling and training assistance to help small businesses seize global opportunities. Learn more about the assistance being provided to assist businesses in Missouri at http://www.missouribusiness.net/sbtdc/docs/transformation_newsletter_mar2013.pdf

Additional Information Sources:
Small Business Administration – http://www.sba.gov/content/exporting-and-importing
U.S. Commercial Service – http://export.gov/

SCORE Looks at Home-Based Businesses

Home office desktopRieva Lesonsky, writing for SCORE, takes a look at home-based businesses. As she notes there are some distinct benefits to being a home-based business owner. Plus some of the past negatives no longer apply. Attitudes have changed and technology has made working from home much easier. the marketplace cannot tell where you work and everything you produce can look just like that of any other firm. Both of these changes has made home-based businesses a desired place from which to work. And the stats she provides reinforce why people like the idea.

Take a look at the article and consider if being home-based is right for you and your business. Don’t forget though to check with the appropriate officials though to make sure it is allowed in your situation based on where you live and the type of business you operate. You can find the full article at: http://blog.score.org/2013/rieva-lesonsky/theres-no-place-like-home-for-business/

Farmers and Ranchers as Home-Based Business Owners

Red Trail Vineyard

Red Trail Vineyard

When we think of home-based business owners, farmers and ranchers seldom come to mind. Yet using a definition of operating a business from your home or that property for a profit-making enterprise and farms clearly fit the category.

But if you decide to restrict the definition even further, surprisingly many farm and ranch operations are still found operating a home-based business. Around 18 percent of farm households also operate a nonfarm business. In 2007 these nonfarm businesses employed over 800,000 workers and contributed an estimated $55 billion to the local economy. Now realize that not all of the nonfarm businesses are home-based but the vast majority are.

So what type of businesses are we talking about? Fifty-three percent are in the service sector with an additional 26% in construction and the majority of the rest involved in some value-added agriculture opportunity such as agritourism or value-added ag. The owners are doing this as it allows them to use not only their physical resources of land and equipment more fully but also capitalizes on their own human capital as entrepreneurs. Farm portfolio managers, how these multi-business owners are sometimes categorized, take advantage of their ability to organize resources across competing needs. They just begin doing it on a larger scale. Such farm households earned over $21 billion in income operating these nonfarm businesses.

It should not be a surprise that 69% of the portfolio entrepreneur farmers live in a rural residence. And although overall this groups employees a substantial number of people, the majority of them are sole proprietors meaning they employee no one outside the family.

Bottom line – the next time you think of home-based business owners, don’t forget to include farm and ranch operations especially those who are involved in one or more nonfarm activities.

To read more about the farmer-owned nonfarm business segment: http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2013-april/the-importance-of-farmer-owned-nonfarm-businesses-in-the-rural-economy.aspx#.UeaeIbEo5aQ

Operating a Home-Based Business

Home-based furniture maker

Working from home

July finds the ETC blog looking at a large, but relatively unseen, segment of our economy, the home-based business. Ten percent or more of households are involved in one. And some households have several. While often considered to be female-dominated, home-based businesses are owned nearly equally between men and women. While impossible to know, the first businesses were probably home-based. Certainly the early American way-of-life, saw most homes being operated at home or from the property on which the home was located.

Technology has been a boon to home-based business owners. While owners in early years were often viewed as not serious owners because of their location, today with the advent of technology, location has become invisible. Home-based business owners have as much visibility as to owners of brick and mortar shops.

If you are thinking of a home-based business, there are lots of resources that can help including:

– Operating a Home-Based Business – http://www.extension.org/pages/64829/operating-a-home-based-business

– Cashing in On Business Opportunities – http://srdc.msstate.edu/cashing/

– Can I Start a Business in my Home – http://www.extension.org/pages/36722/can-i-start-my-business-in-my-home

– Home-Based Businesses – http://www.sba.gov/content/home-based-businesses

Starting from home is a great way to test a business idea while holding down costs. The one key factor is to ensure that you can legally operate from your home. Often this depends on local regulations and codes. Be sure to check these out ahead of time as it may save lots of headaches later or even the possibility of having to close the business down.

For more information regarding home-based businesses, check with your local Extension office.

Home-based Business Resources

Home office desktop Guest Blogger: Lisa Wedin, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

A home based business can be a way to support a hobby, earn a living or launch the next Apple or Martha Stewart empire. Not every business needs an office. There are a variety of businesses that can be started and ran at home. Eleven businesses you can start in your pajamas are detailed in this Inc. slideshow.

There are a variety of resource who can assist in setting up and running a home-based business. In addition to our Entrepreneurs and Their Communities effort , the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) are great federal resources. The IRS has tax information around running your business from home. For example the home office deduction just got simpler. Check it out here. The SBA has a wealth of information on all aspects of starting, managing and growing your business. A helpful article from their website on home based businesses can be found here. A home-based business might be a great fit for you.

Resources:

• Internal Revenue Service webpage of types of business structures http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Business-Structures
• Internal Revenue Service Small Business and Self-employment Tax Center http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed
• Small Business Administration page on starting and managing your business http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business

Don’t forget to also check our ETC website, http://www.extension.org/entrepreneurship.