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Close to Home

Are you trying to connect with other homebased business owners? You may not have to look too far.

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Start Up.

Hanging out your shingle from your home can be a pretty daunting experience, and it helps to know you're not alone. We went hunting for some homebased business associations to help you on your journey. The bad news is that we didn't find many huge, national homebased associations out there. The good news? Experts have a lot of suggestions to help you find (or create) the support you need in your community.

Beverley Williams, named "Home-Based Business Advocate of the Year" by the SBA in 2002, says entrepreneurs should start locally with their chambers of commerce to find homebased groups in their area. It's hard to serve everyone's needs on a national level, she says, because "the needs [of homebased businesses] are so diversified." Try your local Small Business Development Centers and colleges and universities in your community to find other homebased entrepreneurs. Local newspapers often publish information on meetings as well.

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