22 Jul 2011
- Written by Bernal E. Smith II
Bernal E. Smith II
In a recent conversation with TSD President and Publisher Bernal E Smith II, Anderson shared her experiences in launching what is one of the first organizations of its kind and the most successful home-based business membership organization in the country.
Bernal E. Smith II: Let’s go back to when you started. How did you come up with the concept for the HBBC?
Beverly Anderson: I was finishing up my MBA in 2008 and was also teaching small business start-up courses when the concept came to mind. I had developed a curriculum and was teaching courses such as “how to start a business,” “how to operate from home” and other related topics. As I thought further, I said there had to be something more to support home-based business owners. I began to research and found few alternatives out there and nothing formal. I prayed about it and it literally dropped in my spirit “a Chamber of Commerce.” I said to my husband, “That’s it! I’m going to start a chamber of commerce for home-based business owners!” From there I set out to put it together.
B.E. Smith: What is the purpose and mission of the Home Based Business Chamber?
B. Anderson: One is to establish a platform to give credibility and legitimacy to home-based businesses. HBBC serves as an organization that connects business owners and gives them support but also gives them a sense of strength, capacity and respect with the public. The mission is to advance and promote the growth and economic environment for home-based businesses through services, education, development and networking opportunities. Ultimately we wanted to give credibility and status to the industry and our members to make it easier for home-based businesses to do business.
B.E. Smith: How and when did the HBBC begin to become a national organization?
B. Anderson: My original vision was for this to be a local organization focusing on Memphis area businesses for its first few years, but demand and need across the country presented an opportunity for immediate expansion. We (the board of directors) began putting in place the infrastructure, legal and otherwise, to do business and establish chapters in other cities across the country. Of course, I named it with the thought that we would eventually be a national organization, but the opportunity presented itself and we stepped up to serve the needs of home-based businesses around the country.
B.E. Smith: How many chapters/members of the organization do you now have?
B. Anderson: We now have four chapters, Memphis, Desoto, Metro Atlanta and Del-Mar Va., our newest chapter (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia). There is also a South Florida chapter in the works. Memphis has 60 members, Desoto a newer chapter has 10 members currently and growing, and Atlanta has about 80 members.
B.E. Smith: HBBC has an online directory, hosts business networking events as well as seminars and workshops. What are the biggest benefits to being a member of the HBBC?
Flexible and affordable dues
Great network of business owners and resource providers
Group insurance for our members
Free exposure and marketing through our online presence
B.E. Smith: Do you have any advice for any TSD readers that might be home-based business owners or contemplating starting a business?
1. If you are working, don’t leave your job too soon. Let your job finance your business, until the business can sustain itself.
2. Establish a clear and separate space within your home for your business and treat it like a business.
3. Seek out information and networks and join organizations such as the HBBC!
B.E. Smith: Where do you see the organization going?
B. Anderson: Our goal is to expand with three to five chapters a year and cover the entire country. We want to offer additional value to our members and ultimately our goal is to have home-based businesses recognized locally and around the country as important contributors to the economic growth and stability of our communities and thus be able to garner investment and resources to support the growth of those businesses.
(For more information on the National Home Based Business Chamber visit http://www.homebasedbusinesschamber.com/)