Home-Based Biz People Taking Over Australia
Home-based business people are taking over Australia, or so it seems. ABS data shows that some 68% of Micro and small business are home-based. That could be as high as 2 million people. Extraordinary.
And don’t the big landlords hate it. Currently they run big shopping malls (with very predictable colours, products, music etc) and they lord it over the little businesses in the malls. They treat these businesses very poorly and can do so because they are protected from litigation by some very inadequate contract laws. They get to impose retail monopolies on communities which inhibits choice and kills competition. But they cannot be allowed to lord it over home-based businesses.
I have also noticed that people who run home-based online retail businesses are not as stressed and as unhealthy as the business people based in bricks and mortar stores and workshops. The people at home don’t have to deal with landlords, leases, visiting local government regulators, signage laws, complicated OH&S processes, complicated cleaning processes and so on. And because they employ less and also often contract assistance rather than employ staff they also don’t have all the rubbish and confusion associated with workplace relations, superannuation, worker's compensation etc. No wonder they are less stressed.
Also the nature of the people who run home-based businesses is very diverse and they do not go looking on websites for rules and regulations. The businesses at home can be run by a young school girl who makes jewellery in her spare time and sells it on the internet. It may be a stay-at-home mum who assists consultancy firms with reports, proof reading and the like. It can be a Virtual Assistant (and I have one based in Warwick, Queensland who does work for people from all over Australia and the world). It may be a courier driver who uses the garage for storage and runs a good healthy business that annoys no one. There are plenty of trades people who run their businesses from home and disturb no one – indeed they add to the ambience of a suburb, not detract from it.
It isn’t perfect in a home-based business. They can still get lonely and still need to access support and assistance but it is easier to do that when the stress is less.
So what do we do about it? Easy answer is to get out of the way. There are far too many rules and regulations out there that are completely unnecessary for a home-based business. Oddly in some local government areas, and in Canberra, they expect that you will register the fact that you have a business based at home. Why? Apparently it is so we don’t have dirty or noisy businesses in the suburbs. Maybe if you have a dirty or noisy business you should register but most home-based businesses are based around computers, reports and the internet. Not noisy businesses. Another reason given is that the businesses might have too many cars parked out the front disturbing the street scene. If that is the issue than governments will need to ban people with more than three teenagers, or group houses or the like. Many regulators just make up reasons for their rules and their behaviour.
Home-based businesses are not noisy or even noticeable. So regulators and policy makers of Australia be aware that this is a new area that needs very minimal regulation. Let these people do their own thing, especially when developing new products and services for Asia, and don’t go looking for ways to inhibit them or confuse them.