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When I think about whether working from home is right for any person, I remember a story that Richard Kiosaki told in his book “Poor Dad- Rich Dad”. He talks about his two dads who had two very different mentalities about money. One had the mentality of an employee and the other of a business owner. Both dads believed they were giving correct advice although they were advising exactly the opposite.
His “poor” dad told him to choose employment because it offered job security and corporate ladder, where he could become somebody after years of being promoted. The “rich” dad asked him to choose the path of an independent business owner because that way he could work for something that he owns.
Of course when you talk to most people about starting your own business and having a passion about some new idea, you will get two main reactions.
There will be …
The Naysayers – These are the people who will tell you, “you will never make it” and that you are “stupid to attempt the impossible”.
But then you will find people who are…
The supporters – These are the people who will say go for it. They say “don’t worry” and “we will be there for you when you need us”.
While you may have your questions and even your doubts, listening to the naysayers will never get you where you want to go. Listen to those who will ask good questions, who will give you good advice and support you if your desire is to do something unique and be your own boss.
The fact is, working from home has some fantastic advantages.
1. Flexibility When you are juggling a family and other obligations, having a work from home business is a huge bonus. Firstly, you can more easily accommodate your customers in all the different time zones. Rather than being tied down to a regular office hour routine, having the ability to work part time or full time, takes on a whole new meaning.
2. Your overhead costs are reduced You will save money on gas, the wear and tear your vehicle (not to mention the wear and tear on your nerves), office space and utilities. The reality is that with those savings you can be a lot more flexible in how you are pricing your product.
3. Testing,Testing When you realize that more than 50% of all new businesses fail, then testing out your new business without a lot of overhead is common sense. When you test and tweak your home business, you can determine its viability before you start investing a lot of money!
4. Tax Benefits Many people don’t realize the major tax incentives there are for having a home business and while the tax laws are different from country to country, some of the perks are:
– A percentage for rent or mortgage costs (for the space you use to operate your business)
– A percentage for utility bills such as gas, electricity, water
– Business operating software and management tools, which also includes webpages etc.
– Phone and communications, including internet expenses
and of course the biggest tax saving
The initial investment you paid to start your business
5. Experience A home based business will allow you to gain invaluable business experience and business skills such as internet marketing, identifying markets, learning how to market yourself and all the other traits needed to run a successful home business. This experience can be transferred to other projects that you wish to pursue.
6. Turning Creativity into a profit Creating a home business is the ideal way to turn your hobbies or passions into a business that will be unique to your talents and what you really love to do.
You also have to be realistic in understanding what owning a home business is all about! “Working from home”, it has a wonderful sound to it doesn’t it? I bet many of you have visions in your head of sleeping in, lazing around and working when the mood strikes you right?
Like anything else there are also challenges that you should take into consideration and create a plan on tackling them. Any problem can be solved as long as you are prepared for what is coming your way.
1. Motivation It’s great to be your own boss, but with no code of conduct to follow or formal routines to keep you on track, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting off doing your business and procrastination. If you have an ineffective time management schedule, it makes it hard to reach your goals.
Make sure that you follow your passion and this will help you with getting motivated and working extra time when needed.
2. Lack of privacy Unless you have a separate office set up, privacy can be a big concern. For example if you have created your office near the family room, and your house guests drop by, they will be near your work area. Your documents, work and even files can be fair game to everyone! Take that thought one step further and if you have kids, they will come in and distract you while you work
Create your own workspace and set your own hours. Make everyone aware that when you are working you can’t be disturbed and if anyone needs your help they need to respect your schedule like everyone else.
3. Learning When starting a home based business, you are going to have to develop a lot of new skills, which will take time. You will be wearing many hats and in the beginning you won’t be able to afford to hire specialists who can quickly and efficiently do new tasks to you. You will have to learn things which you never thought you would need to learn.
This generally is a positive thing. You would never embark on new challenges if it wasn’t for your business. As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power” and along with building your business you are becoming an expert in new domains.
4. While its nice to be the boss, you will find that you will be facing unexpected situations you will have to deal with on your own. When you make a mistake you will be dealing with the consequences on your own.
Being the Boss is rewarding but paying unnecessary bills for unqualified decisions is not fun.
“One of the most important leadership lessons is realizing, you are not the most important person or the most intelligent person in the room at all times.”
~ Mario Btali
5. Loneliness is a huge downside to running your own business at home. In the beginning you love the fact that you can get your work done, but after a few days or weeks, you may find that you are tired of hearing your own voice. It’s a sort of dread that happens and you might turn to such things as web surfing or chatting with friends to relieve the nervousness you may experience.
In business you need to talk to people about your ideas and brainstorm to see if they are workable. Set up a “support system” early in your business, and you will find yourself not only running into less problems, but you will have someone to exchange your ideas with and have good conversation when you need to step away from daily tasks.
6. Legalities. Most people do not realize that whether you are “telecommuting” or creating a home based business, you need to be sure that you are covered by insurance, that you have checked zoning laws, and that you have the proper paperwork for taxes. Completing paperwork like NDA forms is important to safeguard your business.
First don’t worry about not knowing all the legalities. The Government and your suppliers will quickly communicate to you what your obligations are. They will scream loudest, and you will comply with their demands.
7. Dependency. Most people do not realize that even as a business owner, you need to create team of people who you work with. In case of a car accident, you still want to come back to functional business and want to have someone who can handle daily tasks where you are not around.
Have family, business partners or a team of supporters be involved early in your business, at the very least have part time bookkeeper or a person who will answer phones for you when you are away.
7. Balancing your life. Working at home can cause a lot of stress in your life, juggling the needs of your family with the needs of your work and for some people it can cause a lot of strain in their relationships. You will want to take vacations which will require someone to look after your business while you rest and recharge. You will need to plan for things like this, so you are not surprised by life, because life has a tendency to surprise us when we least expect it.
Although business is important at all times, you will not be able to benefit from it if you are stressed, tired and sick. Implement periodic holidays and time away from your work. Leave your home far enough so you can’t do anything business related while you are away. This will provide you with time to recharge.
As you can see having a home business can be a very workable solution to creating a good income. However, like anything, you need to look at all sides of the equation. Ask yourself the question, will you take the advice of the “poor” dad and be the employee or the “rich” dad and choose the path of becoming an independent business owner.
For me, I chose to be an independent owner and I have never had any regrets! For the Silo, Bogdan Fiedur. Bogdan publishes several business blogs. http://www.bogdanfiedur.com http://www.adlandconnection.com, http://bogdanfiedur.wordpress.com
Supplemental– Wacky work places- http://www.guardian.co.uk/small-business-network/direct-line-for-business-partner-zone/wacky-workplaces-unusual-home-office-gallery