Making Working at Home A Success
by Cyndi Webb
Having a business that you run out of your home can be very rewarding if gone about the right way. Unfortunately many will give up before beginning to reap the benefits due to many reasons. A large number of the businesses that fail can be traced back to step one - the decision of what type of business you will run out of the home.
Working from home can be a dream for some, and a nightmare for others. Not everyone is cut out to run a business and be their own boss. Some don't have the discipline or tenacity to follow through. It is key to recognize this in yourself right from the start. You will save yourself a lot of frustration and heartache if you first put serious thought into whether a home based business is for you. You will read over and over again that "Anyone can have a work at home business/career". I disagree with this statement and suggest to anyone who is thinking about working at home to initially take inventory of themselves to see if they would be the type of person that should pursue their own business. Are you a self starter? Can you work well without supervision? Do you have perseverance and patience? Are you willing to learn?
Let's say that you have decided that working at home is perfect for you. First and foremost when looking into working from home, find something that you love to do. Draw from your talents, interests and hobbies. If you have a hard time being objective about yourself - ask your friends and family where they see your strengths. The most successful businesses with the most longevity are ones that a person truly is happy at doing. They are passionate about their business and pursue it with zest. Their business survives because it rarely becomes just a 'job' to them - which can happen if you choose a business that is only chosen to help bring in some extra money for you.
Don't jump at the first idea or opportunity that comes along. Too many times people are so eager to start working from home that they do not do the research required to build that solid foundation. There are many "opportunities" out there and if someone finds out you are considering working at home - you will be inundated with information and new "best friends". Find out what all the costs are - not just the upfront cost to get involved but also the continuing costs in regards to materials, products, and sales aids. If you decide to get involved in a Direct Selling company or Network Marketing Company - understand that you will have guidelines to adhere to and that you will be a representative of the parent company as opposed to being your own company. Many have sales quotas to fill and some have very strict policies when it comes to advertising and sponsoring others into the business. There are many many wonderful companies that offer a way for you to start earning an income by doing catalog sales, home parties and word of mouth selling. But do understand that you are required to follow their rules and regulations of running a business as a representative of theirs.
If your idea is one that is on your own or a "home-grown" business - be sure there is a need for your business or service. You may have a talent or service that is wonderful, but unless it is marketable, your business won't thrive and grow. This can differ geographically depending on the demographics of the area you live in. Before diving in with both feet, test the waters. Find out from friends, family, business associates and any other network you are involved in if they see a need or desire for your goods/services. It's best to spend a little bit of time and in some cases money at the beginning to find out if your idea is a feasible one.
Once you have decided on a home based business and are confident that this is what you want to pursue - give it your all. Building a successful business takes a lot of time and effort. Many studies show that new businesses take up to 5 years to see a profit. I see people time and time again giving up after just a few months because it was too much work or the results weren't what they had hoped for. You need to be realistic when going into your own business. Success only happens overnight to a very rare few and customers/clients won't come knocking down your door. You will have a lot of sweat and possibly tears that will go into your business to reach your goals - whatever you have set the goals to be. Remember, there will many trials and errors mingled with success and joy.
Working at home is the trend of the 90's and if done properly can be all that you had hoped it could be.
Cyndi Webb is the Founder of Moms Network Exchange - an organization dedicated to the promotion, networking and success of moms in business - both online and off. She is also the owner of T C Connect, a web hosting and web design business catering to small and home based business owners. You can visit the Moms Network site for hundreds of work at home ideas and tools at MomsNetwork.com.