Pros and Cons of Starting a Home Business
Beginning a business out of a private home has gone mainstream. Entrepreneurs in a variety of industries have started up successful business from their home office, bedroom, or kitchen table. You can find financial professionals, lawyers, landscapers, dog walkers, and architects who have decided to ditch the long commute and high rental fees that working in an office building might require. They have also decided to become self-employed to enjoy more control over their lives.
In fact, you do not have to have a lot of formal education or special high-tech skills to run your own business out of a home office. If you are not sure what kind of business that you could begin to earn a full-time or part-time income, you might refer to this article: Five Real Ways to Earn Extra Money. It concentrates on businesses that could be started in your spare time, but some of these businesses can turn into generous incomes.
Pros of Running a Business from Home
There is no doubt that working from home has a lot of advantages. The most obvious one is that 30 second commute from your bedroom to your personal computer. You do not have to get dressed up, fix your hair, or even wear shoes. Most people can conduct a lot of their daily tasks with an Internet connection, PC, and phone.
You may need to dress up to meet clients or attend to some tasks outside of your home, but you can always return to eat lunch out of your fridge. You can also save money on office rent. You might even be able to take advantage of a home office deduction on your income taxes.
Cons of Working out of Your House
Running a business from your house has some disadvantages. Some people crave the social life that a busy office provides, but working from home also provides a way to avoid office politics if you do not care for them. The other advantage and disadvantage is that your work will probably be accessible twenty-four hours a day. This means that you can maintain a flexible schedule, but you might find yourself devoting time to work that you would have spent on relaxing or tending your family otherwise.
Distractions might become a problem when you work from home. Friends and family might think that you have plenty of free time now that you do not have to commute to an office, but most self-employed people succeed because they invest a lot of time and energy in your business. If you still have kids running around or elderly folks who need attention, it might be tough to focus on your home business enough to really succeed.
Most people understand the importance of networking for their business – the increased contacts and opportunities for development, the ability to make friendships amongst peers and look for problem solving solutions through group discourse and, of course, to forge valuable workplace connections which can help with staffing needs. However, this can be difficult to achieve when one is working from home. The usual networking opportunities – such as dinners, benefits or events – can be relatively inaccessible for someone working alone, without the influence of big business backing.
For those coming from a self-employment background, there are other ways to network than the standard channels. The internet opens up new methods of communication. Message boards and online forums are effective ways of sharing information. Responding to other people’s posts helps to establish sources of information and make your brand appear credible and knowledgeable, and people will begin to associate your brand name with the help they received on the internet. There are forums specifically tailored to a wide range of fields and industries on which serious professionals often advertise their services. Developing relationships on the internet can be a valuable way of forging networks and connections.
Alternatively, for those who prefer to communicate on a face to face basis, the wide range of trade shows and conferences can provide an ideal platform for sharing ideas. Alternatively look for business networking events or groups in your area. Working from home does not preclude attendance – in fact, working from home means that trade shows are even more valuable in offering the opportunity to meet likeminded professionals with whom you might not otherwise have come into contact. Likewise, any social events which are advertised by local business groups are perfect places to meet other entrepreneurs. Some are advertised as discussion panels, others are informational presentations whilst others still are targeted at women-only audiences.
Social events organised for pleasure shouldn’t be discredited as places to network, either. Although it is important to be cautious, so as to not bore people and lose friends, talking about your business at every possible opportunity is to be recommended to help people learn your business name. Offer your services to suitable friends who need your industry, or ask them to recommend you to those who might need help in the future. Building a network can be done at any level, from corporate and commercial to starting on a smaller, private, scale. Gaining the support of friends and family can be valuable additions to any network. Although networking from home is harder than when working for another organisation, it is by no means impossible and remains equally important.
Using a timer is crucial. When I am working at home, it feels like I am doing a lot more than I am. Actually timing the business-work I am doing helps me to see just how much time I am really doing things that generate cash flow for my business.
My bad habit: Constantly looking at my email. I gave myself a certain amount of time to deal with email and I tend to use up what I have allocated for the entire day by 11 am. This is a big time waster for everyone.
Anyone working from home and fooling themselves about how much they are really doing?
Let me know how you handle it and your time tips!