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Redefining the workplace: The new wave of home-based entrepreneurs

In World
February 25, 2024

In the past three years, more and more people have decided to risk it all to make it as an entrepreneur. The U.S. Small Business Administration reported that a record 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023 alone.

During the pandemic, with jobs moving fully remote and companies having no choice but to reduce their workforce, people realized it didn’t take going into an office every day to create income.

For Tanner Yarro, the creation of his company, Yarro Studios, happened all within the comfort of his own home.

Based in Provo, Utah, Yarro uses an online platform to reach a global audience more easily. Being online allows him to market his products and conduct business operations without needing a physical infrastructure.

Yarro shares his products on the global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where he has created and launched six products that have received over $7.4 million and counting in funding. Yarro’s products focus on tabletop role-playing games.

His most recent project, the Diceomatic Retro Dice Spinner, was launched on Feb. 8 and was funded within 24 hours. With over 8,400 backers and a pledge goal of $15,000, the dice spinner has a little over two weeks until funding closes and was already sitting at a comfortable $1,053,956 in funding as of Friday.

With his team of three, Yarro said, “The best thing an entrepreneur can do is surround themselves with people who are smarter than you because it sets you up for success.”

Where you live can affect the success of your business

A recent study conducted by SimplifyLLC revealed that the state in which you live can influence the success of your business.

Looking at “the most recent federal data across six metrics to identify the best and worst states for entrepreneurs in 2024,” SimplifyLLC analyzed which states were best for new business. “This includes job creation, consumer spending, inflation, business growth, corporate taxes and whether educated workers are more likely to move in or out of the state.”

5 best states for entrepreneurs:

  1. Texas.

  2. Florida.

  3. Wyoming.

  4. Missouri.

  5. Delaware.

5 worst states for entrepreneurs:

  1. Louisiana.

  2. Washington, D.C.

  3. California.

  4. Mississippi.

  5. New Hampshire.

Utah ranked in the top 10 as the ninth-best state for a budding entrepreneur to start a business. The Beehive State was placed as the second-best state for job creation with a 14.7% rate, behind Delaware at 17.1%; fifth for consumer spending growth at a rate of 4.6%; and 13th for its corporate tax rate at 4.65%.


Knowing your market

Knowing your target market enables you to tailor your products or services to meet the specific needs, preferences and expectations of your customers. Understanding this can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

On a Saturday in 2017, Yarro, who has always been interested in Dungeons and Dragons, went to a comic book store where Wizards of the Coast hosted an open play for people.

“As we were playing, the Dungeon Master took out a whiteboard and drew a cave system. And we sat there while he drew it for like five minutes, which is a long time to sit in silence with random strangers,” Yarro said.

After drawing, erasing and redrawing new parts of the map, Yarro realized that there had to be a better way to do this:

“I turned to the person next to me, and I was like, ‘Does anybody just make like a book of pre-drawn maps?’ And he was like, ‘No, that’s a really cool idea.’”

Even though the game was created 50 years ago in 1974, Yarro realized there hadn’t been a lot of innovation within the space of D&D. And that fact made him think there was a lot of room to make money.

“So I went home, I drew a map, went to UVU and had them print it in a lay-flat book. Then I put it on social media, and it blew up,” he said.

“I’ll find cool stuff from the past and reinvent it,” Yarro explained. “For example, I bought a Demley auto dice on eBay for $500 because I saw viral posts on Reddit about it. I posted it and asked my community (on social media) if this would be cool for D&D, and the video got 3 million views. So we immediately started thinking about how to relaunch it.”

“And then the other way is just inventing new stuff. And I’ll spend a couple hundred bucks on a 3D model, and I’ll get a 3D render of the video, then I’ll show it to TikTok and Instagram,” Yarro added.

He emphasized that becoming an entrepreneur is less risky and more doable than ever because of the advancement of technology.

“A lot of your risk is mostly just money,” he said. “But the gig economy, AI and social media take out thousands and thousands of dollars that people would have had to spend beforehand.”

The risks and rewards of being your own boss

The business landscape has transformed, eliminating the need for entrepreneurs to establish their presence in traditional hubs like New York City or Silicon Valley to thrive, the SimplifyLLC report emphasized.

Many factors can contribute to the growing trend toward entrepreneurship, whether it’s the flexibility of it, the economic necessity, or perhaps a nine-to-five job just isn’t cutting it.

For Yarro, it was about having a creative outlet to do what he loves and “to work as little as possible.”

“School did not work for me, and I really struggle with busy work. I don’t like to travel, so I really just needed to do something that I could do from my computer and be my own boss; it’s multifaceted, really.”

“Once you taste the freedom of not having to work for somebody,” Yarro said, “I really think it’s impossible to go back. How could someone go back to that?”

Yarro emphasized, however, that starting a company is no easy feat and that the risk may not be worth it if you don’t have a safety net to fall back on.

Roughly 20% of small enterprises do not survive past their initial year. By the close of their second year, this figure rises to 30%, half of them fail by the fifth year, and 70% have closed by the tenth year, according to LinkedIn. “The most common reasons for small business failure include cash flow problems, lack of demand for the product or service, and insufficient capital.”

When people wanting to break into the entrepreneurial landscape approach Yarro with ideas they want to pursue, he says he is very upfront and honest with them.

“I obviously recognize how blessed I am and the safety net that I had,” Yarro said, emphasizing that when he was single and just starting out his business, he had parents who were able to help him financially if his company turned out an epic failure, so the risks were not as detrimental.

“So when these people come to me, and they’re like, ‘I’m married, and I have two kids, and I want to start this company,’ I always ask them, like, ‘Do your parents have money?’ Because without that there’s a huge risk involved, and the stresses of trying to do it.”

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