home office
Entrepreneurship

How to Decide if You Should Start a Home-Based Business

There has been a marked upswing in the number of people who are starting home-based businesses, and every day thousands more join the ranks. For those who may be considering a home-based business, there can be uncertainty about the feasibility of the business and whether it would be a good career move. However, before you give notice at work and arrange to have business cards printed, it may be wise to consider a few important points:

Motivation

Many times, employees become frustrated with their employers and decide to branch out on their own, certain that they will be more successful once they no longer have to report to a supervisor. Others choose to start their own businesses once they conclude that they are not being paid what they’re worth and decide to branch out in order to earn a higher wage.

What is your motivation for starting a home-based business? If it is simply to escape having someone else tell you what to do, then chances are good that your business will not be successful. A business fueled by anger and frustration will falter once your emotions subside, resulting in not only the loss of a job, but also potential contacts. Starting a business for financial gain makes sense in the long haul, but it can be frustrating and economically crippling during the long years of building a business.

Resources

resourcesBudding entrepreneurs often underestimate the number of resources they will need to start and maintain a home-based business. Extrinsic factors such as business contacts, connections built through networking, and other people-driven resources may be limited, particularly if a business is in a different field. The financial burden of securing office supplies, technology, and other necessary items can also be higher than many people expect, which may add to your stress level.

A careful accounting of available resources must be done before making the leap to a home-based business. While the idea of starting a business with nothing more than a laptop and an Internet connection is attractive, it may not be that simple.

Lifestyle

The opportunity to take a day off on a whim has a strong appeal to many people. Planning a vacation whenever you want, working half days, and having the flexibility to do other things are all wonderful benefits to having a home-based business. However, if this is the chief benefit that you see to starting a home-based business, then a home-based business may not be the right move for you. Entrepreneurs do have flexibility with their schedules. They can often be found on the beach while their corporate counterparts are at their desks, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Home-based business owners often find that they work more hours and take less time off, particularly in the beginning stages of a business. Many entrepreneurs find that they take “working vacations” because their work goes with them, wherever they may be. Choosing to start a business in order to give more freedom to a crowded schedule isn’t always the answer that it appears to be.

Responsibilities

small officeA home-based business may appear to be the perfect solution for those who have responsibilities outside of work. Raising small children, engaging in volunteer work, and caring for an aging parent can make it difficult to work outside the home. However, by starting a home-based business, an entrepreneur can wear both hats at once, right? The reality is that in order to be successful, entrepreneurs must devote both time and attention to their businesses, forcing their other responsibilities to take a backseat. Small children, elderly parents, and other concerns at home may prove to be distractions that prevent you from making your home business successful. While these responsibilities are not insurmountable, entrepreneurs must develop a plan to deal with them before starting their own business in order to prevent frustration and burnout. Bringing in a caregiver during office hours, setting up a time in the evening or early morning to work, and finding a solution that works with the needs of the individual are vital to success.

Starting a business can be both exciting and rewarding. However, it is not the right solution for everyone. A self-examination of one’s motives, resources, lifestyle needs, and other responsibilities may be a deterrent to starting a home-based business, or it may reinforce one’s desire and drive to succeed. Unfortunately, the majority of home-based businesses are either doomed to failure or are unsuccessful because an entrepreneur jumped into the business without much foresight or thought. Ensuring that a home-based business is the right fit for every area of your life before venturing in could be the key factor that puts you on the path to success.

Advertisements