Opening up your own business out of your own home sounds like the dream job, doesn’t it?
Because of the benefits of being your own boss and working from the comfort of your couch, more and more people are choosing to pursue this career choice. What exactly does it take, though, to make this new business venture a success?
If you’re thinking of coming home to a new business venture, you first need an idea. Spend some time brainstorming what it is you like to do. Write down your hobbies and what you like to do in your free time. Think about what you’re good at and what you have experience in.
Some ideas for an at-home business include:
· Accountant or bookkeeper
· Freelance writer or editor
· Running a daycare or pet sitting center
· Graphic designer
· Opening an Etsy shop to sell handmade goods
· Writing an e-book
· Independent wine consultant
Essentially, if you’re good at something and have a passion to succeed, giving an at-home business venture is worth a shot.
For some businesses, there aren’t any start-up costs (think freelance work or writing an e-book). For others, you may need to put down some money. If you want to be an independent consultant, for example, you’re typically required to purchase the startup packet, business cards and product for yourself. Whether your new business venture requires money up-front or not, you need to have enough money saved up to pay for living expenses for at least few months. In other words, don’t quit your day job just yet. It can take months of hard work and advertising before you see a dime. Always be prepared for the worst.
When starting a new business, advertising is extremely important.
Utilize every single free resource that’s available to you before spending money. Free resources include telling friends and family about your business, posting fliers in grocery stores, coffee shops and on mailboxes, placing ads on Craigslist and handing out business cards (make them yourself for free if possible).Give the free advertising a few weeks to kick in before looking for other means.
If you do end up needing to pay, advertise on websites or magazines that’s audiences will appeal to your line of business.
Working at home seems ideal to most people until they actually do it. It can be extremely difficult to stay on task, stay motivated and avoid distractions. You’re your own boss – no one’s telling you to “clock in” at 8am, only take 15-minute breaks and be as productive as possible. It’s very easy to get distracted with the internet, television, laundry or even grabbing a snack. On the flipside, it’s also easy to work into all hours of the night and never give yourself time off.
Some tips for working from home include:
· Set office hours, just as if you’re at the office, and stick to them
· After you finish a task, reward yourself with a small break
· Have an “end time” for when you quit working – you can always finish up tomorrow
· Have a designated work area
· Set boundaries with family members and friends – people sometimes assume that because you work from home you’re always available
· Minimize distractions by turning your cell phone on silent and keeping the television off
· Allow yourself at least one day off per week
· Remember, everyone gets a lunch break – so take yours and enjoy it
Opening up your own at-home business is a risk, just like anything. If you’re successful, though, the benefits are outstanding. You get to be your own boss getting paid for doing what you love.
Again, just make sure you’re financially prepared and fully understand what running your chosen type of business will take.
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and daughter. She writes for sites like Reputation.com and covers a wide variety of topics, including small business.