Your Very Own Home-Based Business. Can You Pull It Off?
According to a recent Harris poll, 72% of American households are thinking about starting a home-based business. But... have you ever stopped to think about the impact this might have on your home / life balance? Now I'm not suggesting for a moment that you shelve your plans, but have you ever wondered how all those successful folks pull it off? I know I have.
As someone on my own voyage of discovery and betterment, I have all my good reasons for making my home-based business a success - I'm sure you have too. But what about the cost to you and your family? It takes time to build a business, especially from home - don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
How Long Will It Take
I think it's worth preparing you here for the sheer amount of time it's likely to take. Now there are plenty of less than scrupulous folks out there who will tell you (should read 'sell you') that success can be yours more or less overnight with their 'system.' Ask any successful home-based business owner, and they will likely tell you the real cost in terms of time and commitment - and one factor will be to be a realistic goal right from the start.
So what does it take to succeed working from home? Well, apart from your regular home-based business (whatever it may be for you), the following is by no means an exhaustive list of some of the things to consider before you start. Simply add your ideas as they spring to mind because your life and commitments will be unique to you of course:
Full-time or Part-time
Do you intend to continue your full-time job until you can replace your full-time income with your work-from-home business? (this is most common, and a factor often overlooked as the prospect of working from home can be an exciting one). As a result, decide what proportion of your free time you will allocate to your new business (your free time away from your present full-time job).
Do you need to learn new skills to succeed with your work-from-home business? Bear in mind you probably spent several years in education before embarking on your present career.
What Does It Mean To Work Two Jobs?
A home-based business means time spent away from your family / children / husband / wife. Never underestimate the amount of time it takes to work two jobs - especially if the work from home business is designed to replace your full-time income. Chances are you've spent many years getting to your present position (and income), and you're unlikely to supersede this in a matter of months. Set realistic time frames and discuss them with your partner. More importantly agree on your time commitments and plan family activities around them.
Set Realistic Goals
Be realitic about how long it will take to supersede your full-time income. I know someone who was still working her full-time job whilst earning over $50,000 a month from her 'part-time' job! (wouldn't we all love to be in that position!).
Learn To Be Flexible
Learn to be flexible and factor in the need to improve. Remember as you improve, so do your results. The better you get the better it gets! Be prepared to amend your performance, expectations, and goals and discipline yourself to follow-through.
If I could send you out into the world and research this one word, you would get an education beyond all educations as to why you need to hang in there when your mind tells you to quit. But this article is not about your reasons to succeed - we could easily get off track which brings me to my next point...
Make Best Use Of Your Available Time
Mobile phones, emails, social media, telephone calls, visits, household chores and numerous other distractions are simply that, distractions. Minimise them and remind yourself why you're spending valuable time working at home. It's to build a better life for you, your family and your loved ones. Facebook and ebay can wait.
Evauate Your Progress And Be Honest
Monitor and evaluate even on a daily or task by task basis. Knowing where you are is the best indicator of performance against targets. If you've been working your home-based business for six months and you're barely making an income, ask yourself honestly why:
- have you chosen a good business model to follow?
- are you putting in the time you allocated yourself?
- are you spending your valuable time productively?
- are you disciplining yourself to take action towards your goals?
Only you know the answers.
- Do you need another plan?
Reward Your SuccessesEven a simple reward can do wonders for your self-esteem and motivation. Remember to reward yourself with every successful step taken towards your work-from-home targets. The time you've spent will seem like less of a bind if you can see some progress. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day! And it makes you feel good. Remember the cycle of success: discipline, results, enthusiasm.