It's all about getting out of that box--escaping the routine of commuting, cubicles and corner office fantasies. Every homebased entrepreneur should be congratulated for having the courage and the chutzpah to make a reality of what, for many people, is just a dream. And to celebrate the nonbox thinking that's intrinsic to homebased business owners, Entrepreneur's HomeOffice teamed up with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) in a contest designed to give our readers their just deserts.
In our premiere issue, we asked you to accept the Homebased Entrepreneur Challenge. From November of last year through March, our panel of experts chose two monthly finalists. Of those finalists, three creative problem solvers were chosen as the Grand Prize winner ($10,000 prize), First Place winner (IBM ThinkPad laptop computer), and Second Place winner (The Proven Edge Professional Edition Software program). Winners were chosen based on the originality and practicality of their business solutions, as well as clarity of expression and appropriateness to theme.
"The issues these businesses faced were not really different from the issues big businesses have," says Suzanne Becker, director of mass marketing at D&B and a contest judge. "But small businesses can use creativity to come up with solutions. [The winners] took it one step further, thinking out of the box." So for some divine inspiration from folks who have been there, done that and done it well, read on.