By Tara Bozick
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
“We think that because we are home-based businesses, that people aren’t going to take us seriously,” women’s business development specialist Zee Worstell said, later adding, “There are people running million-dollar businesses out of their homes. Don’t let anyone else project on you what you are.”
In fact, two-thirds of the 4,500 businesses in York County are home-based, according to the county’s economic development department.
Worstell, founder of virtual business accelerator AccelerateHER, dispelled some myths about home-based businesses during a workshop at York County’s first Home-Based Business Resource Fair Friday at the Victory Family YMCA.
Don’t get an office space before you’re ready, Worstell said, adding keeping costs down is a good thing. But don’t devalue what you do because you’re at home. Price your services correctly, and people will want to hire you, she said.
In fact, a small business can be a selling point, much like how Worstell, when running a “boutique” recruiting firm, told clients they would get one-on-one service working with her.
But Worstell didn’t hide the challenges, either. As exciting as it can be to follow your dreams in starting a business or finding a way to work at home to be with the kids, Worstell urged attendees to be prepared for the downside, too.
No one will tell you how lonely it’ll be in your home office, said Worstell, who’s worked from a home office since 1991.
“It’s very isolating to sit in your office and do your own thing and not have anybody to bounce ideas off of,” Worstell said. “You have nobody to vent to.”
Worstell advised home-based business owners to create a support system. For instance, Worstell set up a weekly lunch date to get human interaction. She would call another recruiting business owner for five minutes every day to swap stories to get a connection to the outside world.