Many people dream of starting a home based business: ‘I’d like to quit this 9 to 6 job, work from home, and be my own boss!’ But it’s not as easy as that. In fact, there are some aspects to a home based business that is actually harder than being a salaried employee.
Here are some realities of running a home based business that can help you decide whether it’s really for you—and to prepare yourself for the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
1. Can you handle the pressure?
Employees share the responsibility and the pressure of delivering on a business objective. You can always count on a team, or at least your boss, to help you solve a problem. And there are support departments—finance, HR, legal—that take care of the niggling details.
As an entrepreneur you will have to do everything, from taking care of the licenses and taxes, knowing zoning laws, and keeping track of the budget, records, etc. You will also have to do your own marketing. Are you ready for this workload, and the pressure to perform? Some people thrive in this challenge while others will feel overwhelmed and stressed by multi-tasking.
2. How much support can you get from your family?
It’s impossible to be productive at home unless your spouse or children take your business seriously and give you time and space to concentrate on your job during your ‘office hours.’ You may also need them to pitch in and run errands for you, or at least take on more of the household chores if you’re busy working on a deadline.
3. Is this the best time to start a home based business?
Considering the great amount of time and energy that a home based business requires, plus the role of a positive and supportive environment, it’s crucial that you ‘make the leap’ when you feel stable and prepared. What’s going on in your life right now? Is your family going through any major life changes or challenges that needs your attention?
4. Do you have a financial safety net?
It may take a while for your home based business to take off. Aside from saving for capital, you should also have enough to cover personal and household expenses for at least a year. Or, work out an alternative source of income—like taking on a part-time job—to cover expenses. You’ll also have to consider that you lose some of the medical benefits that companies give employees, and you have to absorb the cost of insurance premiums or health card fees. Adjust your budget to accommodate these important fees.
5. Should you start slow?
You don’t have to make a big, grand leap. You can manage your risk by starting slow, so you don’t bleed money in the first year without assessing profitability or costs. You may also want to form partnership agreements with friends so that you can share capital and the responsibility of running the business
Photo from cbc.ca