business-homeVictor Hugo is quoted as saying, “You can resist an invading army, you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.” The home-based business entrepreneur is just such an idea and all indications are that this idea is here to stay.

Minneapolis Lakes Professionals is an organization that seeks to sustain, support and give voice to this growing demographic of entrepreneurs. The organization also spotlights the neighborhood economic benefits of “shopping local,” noting that home-based businesses are just as relevant as shopping locally owned store-front businesses.

Over a year-and-a-half ago, the Southwest Journal published an article that brought to light just how large and prosperous this demographic really is. In an analysis done by two board members of the Nicollet-East Harriet Business Association, it was found that there were “approximately 203 home-businesses in their service area doing an estimated $36.5 million in annual sales. By comparison, the same analysis determined there were approximately 137 store-front businesses in the area accounting for $53.3 million in annual sales.”

I read this article with much interest — actually, with more than interest. It was a moment of inspiration that sort of powered its way into my gut, swelled up into my heart and only then, eventually made its way to my brain. As a Certified Life Coach, I wanted to improve the marketing of my personal home-based businesses, so I followed these internal cues. I began calling neighborhood home-based business and organized the first meeting of Minneapolis Lakes Professionals in my living room in September 2011. This organization serves this “ever expanding” home-based business demographic, and it supports members through cooperative marketing, networking and referrals.

Our group will present The Expo for Home-Based Businesses on Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Aria at the Jeune Lune in Minneapolis [www.ariampls.com]. Free workshops will be offered throughout the day by home-based business owners. The keynote speakers are Mickey Mickelson, on “How to be your own Chief Financial Officer,” and Sheryl Hill, on “The Power of Social Media.” Food is catered and beverages will be sold.

If you are interested in exhibiting your home-based business ($150 per booth, with discount for early registration), visit www.minneapolislakesprofessionals.com and fill out an application at the bottom of the Events page. Minneapolis Lakes Professionals meets monthly on the 1st Thursday of the month from Noon – 1 p.m., at The United Church of Christ, Fellowship Hall, 4200 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis. Those interested can attend a complimentary meeting and experience the energy and progressiveness of this growing organization.

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