REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 5, 2007 — StartupNation, a leading business advice and social networking site for entrepreneurs (http://www.startupnation.com), and Microsoft Office Live Small Business, a Web service that helps small businesses take, promote and manage their businesses online (http://smallbusiness.officelive.com), today announced the winners of the first annual StartupNation Home-Based 100 ranking of the nation’s top home-based businesses. Organized into 10 categories such as Most Innovative, Greenest and Boomers Back in Business, the Home-Based 100 celebrates the innovative, nimble and resourceful home-based entrepreneurs who have gone largely unrecognized until now. The full results of the Home-Based 100 ranking are available on StartupNation’s Web site at http://www.startupnation.com/hb100.
“Although large companies often grab the headlines, home-based businesses today are thriving,” said Rich Sloan, entrepreneurial author, radio host and co-founder of StartupNation. “Millions of people are following their passions through entrepreneurship by pursuing innovative, sound business ideas.”
A recent study by research firm Access Markets International (AMI) Partners Inc. reported that there are 16.5 million home-based businesses in the United States — an all-time high. Sloan said this is due in part to a number of trends, from baby boomers retiring from their primary jobs and starting their own businesses to parents who want to work from home to spend more time with their families. In fact, the AMI data reveals the top two motives for forming a home-based business are the freedom of running one’s own business and the desire to have more control over personal/family time.*
The StartupNation Home-Based 100, composed of 10 top-ten lists, presents a unique look at the nation’s top home-based businesses. Category winners span a wide range of revenue levels, sectors, ages and other characteristics. For example, the Best Financial Performer winner, Medical Solutions International, operates out of the Tempe, Ariz., home of CEO Robert Woltz. His business provides nurse staffing to medical facilities in North America, England and Ireland, bringing in $11.2 million in gross revenue for 2006.
Many of the StartupNation Home-Based 100 submissions revealed that business owners are harnessing the power of technology for business success.
Larry Murphy, of the Boomers Back in Business category, retired early as a technology executive before founding Murphy Outdoors, where he leads fishing expeditions for small groups in the Ozark region of central Missouri. Murphy turned to Office Live Small Business to create a Web site and help his business get noticed.
In addition to Murphy, the winner of the Grungiest category, Doug Knippel of Camas, Wash., has also seen success in promoting his redworm-raising business through various online channels and his own Web site.
The Role of Technology in Home-Based Businesses
As the number of home-based businesses has grown over the years, so have technology needs. The AMI study — sponsored in part by Microsoft — revealed that 89 percent of home-based businesses have a PC. Among those with PCs, 84 percent have high-speed Internet access, and 28 percent have a Web site.
“Home-based businesses typically lack in-house technical resources or a dedicated IT budget,” said Baris Cetinok, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft Office Live Small Business, the title sponsor of the StartupNation Home-Based 100. “With broadband becoming ubiquitous, more home-based businesses are turning to the power of the Web. We developed Office Live Small Business to level the playing field and bring these businesses the productivity and efficiency benefits that larger organizations tend to have, but in a way that is very easy to implement.”
Founded by Jeff and Rich Sloan, StartupNation (http://www.startupnation.com) provides entrepreneurial advice via a nationally syndicated radio program and through online content for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. The Sloan brothers are successful inventors, experienced entrepreneurs and authors of “StartupNation: Open for Business” (Doubleday). They appear frequently as small business experts on national television and in online and print media. More information is available at http://www.startupnation.com.
About Microsoft Office Live Small Business
Microsoft Office Live Small Business is a complete, affordable set of easy-to-use Internet-based software and services that helps small businesses attract new customers, keep in touch with existing customers and easily manage their business from virtually any location. By combining the power of software plus services, Office Live Small Business helps small businesses establish a professional Web presence. More information is available at http://smallbusiness.officelive.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* AMI Partners, “2007 U.S. Home Based Business Overview and Comprehensive Market Opportunity Assessment,” 2007
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