Building a home business is an ideal way to incorporate your passion and your home life into the necessity to provide for your family. It can be challenging and not everyone is up to that challenge. If you are ready to make the leap, being organized and fully prepared will help get you through the startup phase and move on to turning your dream into a reality. Particularly in a down economy, building your own business is one of the best ways to get to work. More than 4 million entrepreneurs were working at home, most of them in service-related industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2004--the last time a study was done by the BLS.
Before the Industrial Revolution, if you weren't a farmer, you most likely had a home business. Whether you were a doctor, blacksmith, home builder or barber, you most likely worked out of your home, in an office attached to your home or down the street near your home. The era of going to work for someone else all day began with the Industrial Revolution and continues today.
Benefits of Working from Home
Aside from the fact that you get to check your email in your pajamas in the morning, working from home has many benefits. One of the major benefits is the lack of a commute to work. This results in less gas and car maintenance expenses. Other financial benefits include saving on business attire, lunches and other work-related expenditures. You will also be in more control of your financial destiny and won't have to wait to be given a raise, if one is needed. You can have as much income as you can create for yourself. Being able to spend more time each day with your family is another benefit of the home-based entrepreneur. In addition, you'll have control over your schedule and hours, you'll be able to work on what you choose, and you'll be in the comfort of your own home while doing it.
On the flipside, there are some disadvantages to working from home and for yourself. If you have children, for example, you'll be able to spend more time with them, but you may have trouble tearing yourself away so that you can work. Because you are solely in charge of your own income, you may not feel like you can take a day off, much less a vacation, because you need to satisfy customers and keep income flowing. Any business will have an initial startup phase where more money will be spent than will be coming in and this can feel very restrictive in the beginning. You'll have to be very committed to make a business from home work well.
The most important decision you will make when starting a home business is choosing what type of business you will build. You may have an idea or two to start, but you'll need to do some research into your local market to figure out if you can make this idea a reality. A pottery studio for example might seem like a great idea, but if there are already two or three in your area, you may want to reconsider or figure out a way to offer services that the others don't offer, such as a gallery for all types of artists, a cafe or classes for a variety of age groups in different areas of art. Once you have your main idea, start to expand on it and think of things you would like to see if you were a customer. This will not only help you see the bigger picture for your business, but will help you expand your customer base before you even open.
Before starting a business, you'll need to consider where in your home you will have your office or other related business area, such as a classroom or retail space. Gather or purchase the equipment you need for your business. Rent pricier items if you can to save on overhead. Invest in a separate phone line just for your business and consider upgrading your high speed internet service to a business class service if you will need more bandwidth. You may also want a computer and cellphone just for your business, so that you can keep home and work separate. This is essential for some home business entrepreneurs to keep things organized, but others find it cumbersome and against the reason they work from home in the first place.rnrnEven though you are working from home, you want to be set up and fully prepared before opening your doors. While you are home, you are also at work and need to be organized for doing business. Consider, too, getting a babysitter or mother's helper to play with small children during part of your day, especially if you need time to make calls or go out and meet with clients.