Succeed as a Home Entrepreneur
Do you enjoy interacting with a group of people on a regular basis? Do you find yourself bored when working alone? Then a home based business should probably not be your first choice. Being a home entrepreneurial can mean long hours working alone and setting consistent schedules. It also takes an individual who doesn’t get discouraged when the clients don’t come in as expected while trying to create a thriving home based business.
Until you are making enough money to afford a staff; you will assume the roles of receptionist, bookkeeper, office manager, marketing expert and file clerk. You will also need to understand how to maintain the balance between family life and work life. It is easier when you leave the office and take that commute home. However, when home is also where the office resides—the division may not be so well defined. If these issues don’t deter you; then here are some additional suggestions regarding working at home.
You need to have a dedicated space for doing business. If you can; a room that is set apart from any distractions would be idea. I would suggest a backroom so that you are not tempted by what is happening outside. Especially when business is slow—you will need to maintain your perspective and not be tempted to daydream.
Yes, you should have a room with a view—but not to the extent that it would distract you from your duties. Make sure that the room has plenty of ventilation and that there is proper lighting. You also need to make sure that it is cool enough in the summer and warm enough during the winter for your activities.
If you find however, that you have limited space—try to use a corner of one room that does not attract a lot of traffic. If the family enjoys watching movies in the living room; then you will need to make sure that your business hours do not coincide with TV viewing. The dining room table is also not a recommend place for business if you continually need to move your work to accommodate the family meal. Whatever area you choose should be one in which there is no need for constant rearrangements.
This would basically depend on what you plan to do but a computer, printer, copier, scanner and Internet access would be great! If you can’t afford a dedicated telephone line then you need to make sure that family and friends know when you are “at work” and when you are free to entertain. I find that relaxing music is conducive to my creativity since I am both an author and graphic/instructional designer. I also have a small portable TV for times when I am “on break or lunch.” It can be distracting; so use discretion when including either.
The right desk and chair will make all the difference in enjoying the hours spend in front of the computer and constantly moving around to find just the right spot can be non-productive!
Don’t Forget the Software!
Take into what software you will need to successfully run your business. There are an endless variety of software from the very expensive to the free open-source products. Your choice will depend in part on your budget constraints and in part what your clients require. Always keep in mind that if your relationships with your clients require that you interact with them by supplies drafts for their approval; it will be necessary that your finished product can be transferred into standard results.
You want to make sure that what you are doing at home doesn’t require a lot of traffic—especially if you are in a dense residential area where parking is at a premium. You will also wish to be mindful of zoning laws and permits that may be necessary for you to do business at home. There are certain restrictions that you may need to know before engaging in certain activities. It is best to consult an attorney or local officials regarding certain projects.
Because I am in the graphic designing genre I choose to discuss projects requirements with my clients in three ways: in person by appointment, over the telephone or by email. My best choice is using email. I can send my clients drafts of projects for either their approval or revision. I also have a written record regarding expectations and agreements.
Some considerations for home based businesses are:
- Ghost Writing
- Graphic Designing
- Copy Editing
- Jewelry Making
- Babysitting/Daycare Center
There may be a hobby that you enjoy that you can turn into a money-making project. Look for interest that fill a need and can be done at home. You are the boss so there are no restrictions in the possibilities. Just Remember: your top priority is to please your clients so be patient and work with them!
Since you want to make money with your home business; make sure that your prices are competitive with what others are charging. You have the advantage of minimizing your overhead since you are working from home and you can claim a portion of your expenses when filing income taxes. If you do your research—you can visit the websites of others to gauge what the “going price” of your services should be. You will need to factor into your cost any inventory you may need. If you have to outsource some of your work; you will also need to take this into consideration as well.
Training versus Experience
If you plan to convert the skills you have already acquired from your outside job to your home based business; you may find that you have a “ready-made” clientele. If your skills are in bookkeeping, designing, computer graphics or even computer repair you can do one or two things. If you have a good rapport with your supervisor and you work for a Fortune 500 company—you might be able to discuss possible recommendations of their client overload or perhaps even see if they will agree to contract out to you. When you describe such benefits to them as no workman’s compensation worries, no sick or vacation leave and no need to offer health/life insurance—this may appeal to that company. However, if you work for a small business owner it may not be a good idea to share your ambitions.
If you want to enter a new field—make sure that you possess the needed training that will allow you to successfully compete with the others. Canvas your target audience to get an estimation of your likelihood of achievement. If you lack experience in the field of choice; it may be a good idea to network with individuals who as already established. Find a good mentor who doesn’t feel threatened by you entering the field and is willing to help. Perhaps even volunteering as an Intern during the off hours from your regular job will give you a perspective of what actually working in your new chosen field is like.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and refers to people who wish to be an entrepreneur. There are other things you will need to consider when deciding whether you are right for a home-based business. You will need to maintain a budget as well as deciding what will be your hours of operation. It's also a good idea to plan your move from employee to business owner. Make sure you have enough money to pay bills and live comfortably while you begin your conversion. Also, its good to have the support of your family!
If you are interested in working for companies at home; you will need to discuss with them their requirements. If you are interested if further information regarding this subject; I am happy to assist! I can personally say that there is no greater reward than when you work for yourself and your client gives you the “two thumbs up!”
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© 2014 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS