Home Based Business Mistake #1: Business Model

Home Based Business Mistakes: #1 Not Choosing the Right Business ModelIf you have not yet read my previous post on the 7 mistakes most people make in a home based business, please do so.  It will give you some insight into this series that I’m starting and I would love your feedback on your favorite book that has helped you with your mindset, marketing, etc.

So, they say that a smart person learns from their mistakes but a brilliant person learns from the mistakes of others.  I hope that you’ll choose to be part of the second group of people because in this series of posts, I’m going to share with you the mistakes I’ve made in my journey to be a mompreneur.

And not choosing the right business model for my home based business, was one of the biggest mistakes that cost me financially and in lots of lost time.

I have begun to look at my journey as a mompreneur as it relates to dating.  Looking back at my boyfriends of years past, I realize that it’s often you come to know by experience what you don’t want before you know what you do want.  It was that way with my home based businesses as well.

Home Based Business Mistake #1: Not Choosing the Right Business Model

The first mistake that kills most home based business ventures is not choosing the right business model.  I dove into this mistake several times! The problem is that if the business model doesn’t fit your ideal vision of what your home based business will give you and it doesn’t fit into your life the way you need it to, you will get burned out and frustrated, and you’ll have trouble making a success of it.

Four Common Home Based Business Models and their Pros and Cons:

1. Service Home Based Business: Bridal Consultant, Day Care, Hair Dresser, Tutor, Accountant, Personal Trainer,etc.

  • Pros: It doesn’t require a ton of start-up expenses and you can turn what you know into dough.  Ability to develop great relationships.
  • Cons: You usually have to trade your time for money in a service type of home based business.  You can usually only work with a certain number of people at a time: one-to-one, or one-to-few.  You are often working around your client’s schedules.

2. Craft Home Based Business: Jewelry maker, Seamstress, Artist, Candle/Soap Maker, etc.

  • Pros: Great for creative people who love working with their hands
  • Cons: Challenging to be able to charge enough to make it worth your time unless you have a name developed for yourself.  Often turns something you enjoy into something you dislike.  Again, trading time for money.  Often working isolated at home alone.

3. Direct Sales or Network Marketing Home Based Business: Arbonne, Mary Kay, USANA, Pampered Chef, Gold Canyon Candles, Send Out Cards, etc.

  • Pros: Low start up cost, ability to create time and financial leverage, ability to create residual income, great for people who need training and support, ability to grow into entrepreneur. Builds great relationships, environment of personal development, easy to work one to many.
  • Cons: Not all companies and teams will offer the support and training you need.  Many think it’s a get rich quick plan and underestimate the work it requires.  There are some significant differences between companies that are direct sales based and companies that are network marketing based, as far as the leverage you can create.

4. Internet Home Based Business: Online Retail Sales, Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Information Marketing, Virtual Assistant, etc.

  • Pros: Some internet home based business can create time and financial leverage.  Easy to work one to many. Most will allow you to work from any location and at any time.  Most have a low start-up cost if you already have a computer and internet connection.
  • Cons: Often working alone, can be easy to waste time and get sidetracked because there are so many options available, technical challenges to overcome, many think it’s a get rich quick scenario and underestimate the amount of work involved.  Again, there are some significant differences in the type of online business you can build.

How do you avoid the mistakes I made in choosing the right model for your home based business?

Think about the great qualities you have and the things you are great at.  Here are a few things to get you started, but you’ll likely come up with your own list.

  • What are your strengths?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • What comes easily to you?
  • What home based business ideas have you had or dreamed about over the years?

When you narrow your list down to a few home based business options, put them to the test:

  • Is it simple, does it work, and can you do it?
  • Is there a market for what you are going to do?  Who will you help?
  • Are there other people who are successful in this type of home based business?
  • Can you do it in a way that you stand out from the competition?
  • Will it fit your personality?
  • How will your business fit into your life? Kids? Schedule? Travel?
  • What things could possibly get in the way of you doing your business?
  • Does this type of home based business have the income potential you desire?

Think about the things you want in your home based business:

  • Is this something you want to do for a long time?
  • What is your vision for your business–how will it make an impact on the lives of others?
  • Will it leave you feeling fulfilled and inspired?

I really encourage you to take a careful look at the business model you choose for your home based business before investing your time and money into it.

I have chosen to combine the network marketing and internet marketing options into one business and I’m really enjoying the benefits of both.  If you have not started a home based business and you are looking to, I highly recommend you take a look at a network marketing business for starters.  It offers you the ability to jump into a successful business model that will allow you to create a residual income through the sales of consumable products, and the time and financial leverage through building a team.  And make sure you’re joining a solid company and a great team with a leader who you believe can help you be successful.

If you are ready to explore a home based business to see if it’s a fit for you, please send me an email.  I look forward to getting to know you to see how I may help, either with a business fit, some clever marketing ideas, or a recommendation to one of the other fantastic home based business owners in my network.

If you’re already building a home based business and you have some mistakes or business models you would like to add to my list, please do so in the comments below.  And please tweet and share this post on Facebook to help others discover the right home based business model for them!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Interesting premises for the post, Heather.

    In my opinion, it’s not always possible to choose the right business model right away because we don’t always know it’s the right or wrong one since we don’t have any experience with it.

    Took me a while to find my passion: blogging. 🙂

    However, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself on different models, like you suggest – your chance of success will definitely increase with that knowledge!


  2. Hey Heather,

    Fantastic post. You’re right, it’s important to establish what you’re passionate about.

    It’s not only about making money, but it’s about doing what you really love doing.

    It’s not always possible to choose the best option at first, it can take some trial and error before you get it right.

    Thanks for sharing your insights. Look forward to your next post 🙂

    All the best,

  3. Hi Heather, thanks for sharing some very good pointers, and even doing a video so that people considering to venture into home based business can really weigh their options.

    Laying out different business models available, is also what I intend to do through my blog, so that people who are starting out online can make an informed decision. What you said is very true – “It’s often you come to know by experience what you don’t want before you know what you do want”. This is why it is so crucial to look for mentors and leaders who will share their own experiences, as well as the challenges that come with a specific business model.

    Like you, I am also very much grateful for having found internet network marketing. I feel that it is basically a business, which gives anyone an opportunity to become both a student and a teacher. A student because there are always new things to learn (personal development,marketing, etc) and a teacher, as one gets to teach others what he/she has already learned (while still being very much a student:)…

  4. Hi Heather,

    with your video and these exploring questions you suggest everybody should be able to choose the business that is a fit for them.

    The issue is also that people associate MLM or network marketing with residual income, what it actually should be. However, a bunch of companies call themselves an MLM but if you look at how they structured the pay plan, it’s more a direct sales type business.

    That means, if people stop selling and/or recruiting new people they can lose their paycheck.

    In these cases, it’s more a job that is called differently.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care


  5. Fantastic post Heather.

    It is all about what your goals are and what you want to do.

    My mother makes Sock Monkeys and sells them at craft shows. She enjoys doing it and she makes some nice part-time money. She is happy just doing that.

    Me on the other hand, I want leverage and that is what Network Marketing can do for you.



  6. Hi Heather,

    It’s great to know all the options, there are so many!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, and helping others to find direction based off them.

    It’s a lot to think about, and sometimes it’s going to take some trial and error before finding exactly what your passion is.


  7. Interesting post and great video heather.
    These aer some awesome points.

    Even i made the mistake of not chossing right business model.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great day heather.

  8. Hey Heather, Great video, you are a natural! I did a similar business model post a few weeks ago and looking at the various business models is a great place to start for newbies who want to do something online but don’t know what.

    Your video is a great motivator, nice work!

  9. Nice blog Heather. I agree MLM is the way to go especially if you want free time on your hands.

  10. Hi Heather,

    There can be a fair amount of cross over when it comes to business models, for example many network marketers who brand themselves on the Internet also use affiliate marketing and it’s easy to sometimes not know where one’s focus is.

    As you rightly point out, knowing ourselves and what our outcomes are is the key. This is probably a more challenging aspect than many of us care to acknowledge because we often only get to know ourselves by jumping in to what we think we like doing only to find we don’t really.

    The good thing is that when we know what we don’t like doing then we also know what we will like doing, the opposite…. so as long as we move in that direction then the learning has been worthwhile.

    I have to admit I am focused on residual income as a goal long term so that defines what I look for in compensation plans.

    Thanks for a great read!


  11. Hey Heather.. I loved loved loved loved that video. You’re a natural on camera – you’re authentic and real, and not trying to be someone you’re not. Very impressive.

    You’ve come a long way in the past few months and I see you’ve got a lot of plans for taking your business to the next level.

    I wish you the best in the new year
    talk soon

  12. Heather,

    Cool video.

    My wife actually picked our business when we first started.

    I ended up jumping on board because I really loved the products but didn’t do well because we didn’t treat the business like a ‘business’.

    This is where I found my passion, working online. I love blogging and making videos. This has helped me to develop skills I never realized that I had and then it opened up new doors to other opportunities.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Tommy D.

  13. Hey Heather

    Here is what I reckon.

    To be great at business (on or offline) you need to know yourself well. Your capabilities, your weaknesses and strengths, your likes and dislikes.

    Once you get more acquainted with yourself you will start to get a better idea of what you are really willing to do and not do in-order to generate that life changing income.

    (its always great to learn from others mistakes)

    Chat soon

  14. Hey Heather,

    Great insights. Having understood the principles of leverage from first reading Robert Kiyosaki books, I’ve decided that the type of business I get involved with must be one that provides me with the most freedom.

    It’s never about the money, because it’s possible to make money with any business.

    Being my own boss is not freedom for me. I could be my own boss and earn over $50,000 a month but be working 80+ hours a week. I’d be much happier to earn $10,000 a month and have all the time in the world.

    Evening in network marketing, there’s a way to build it that will produce you a “be your own boss” type of income and there’s a way to build it that will provide you with true residual income.

    So yes, when it comes to a choosing a business you need to have the end in mind first and pick one that will suit those needs.

    Great, thought provoking post,

  15. Hi Heather,

    First time on your blog. Kiesha listed our blogs on her site and I thought I’d come over and say hi…HI! 😉

    Great video… enjoyed watching you. You have a real sense of ease on camera which is awesome.

    As for business models, I’ve dipped my feet into many different streams; although my top model is blogging with affiliate reviews and recommendations and creating my own information products and programs.

    It’s a work in progress. 🙂

    Heading over to Twitter now to follow you… looking forward to us connecting!

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Welcome Michele! 🙂

      I just now saw the tweet from Kiesha! 🙂 I’m on my way there now to see the post and thank her. I’m honored you think I’ve got a sense of ease on the camera…I feel like I’m taking 5 or 6 deep breaths before pushing record while saying…”ok, you can do this”…to myself lol

      I have truly found a love for blogging that I never even dreamed I would enjoy. I look forward to checking out your blog! Thanks for your awesome comment and the sweet compliment!

      Have a great weekend!

  16. Hi Heather,

    “I have chosen to combine the network marketing and Internet marketing options into one business and I’m really enjoying the benefits of both”

    So have i Heather and i love it!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      I love it Doug! They marry together so beautifully, don’t they? I’m feeling like I’ve found my sweet spot! 🙂

      Happy weekend,

  17. Having this kind of knowledge about the different options is great, but similar to what Ana said, experience is often the best teacher. The beauty of a home based business is that most are inexpensive enough to start up that a mistake is affordable. Still, for many people even losing a couple hundred dollars can be a big hardship, so the more you know before you decide, the better.

    I also think your advice about determining whether there is a market for what you want to do is critical. Too many people concentrate on what they themselves would like and forget to question what their potential customers want or need.


  1. […] traffic and leads from it on a daily basis.Move on to the next strategy.My special thanks to Heather Stephens, Robert Strong, and Peter Fuller for ideas for this post.Agree? Disagree? Want to add something? […]