A Beginner’s Guide to the Home-Based Business

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Today, more people are working from home than ever before. If you’re already working at home, you might wonder: Is now the time to start my home-based business? It might just be. Home-based businesses offer all the benefits of running your own company and lack some of the major drawbacks. You don’t have to rent an office or retail space, and that can put you at a huge financial advantage, especially when you’re first starting out. 

However, running a business out of your home comes with its share of cons, as well. Achieving work-life balance, which is already hard for business owners, can feel impossible when it all happens in one place. Your home might have space limitations that prevent you from expanding or reaching your goals. Moreover, it can be easier to connect with customers when you’re physically out in the market – although Find the Client can help you come up with ways to overcome that particular obstacle. Here’s a look at what you need to think about before you dive into starting your own home-based business: 

What’s Your Budget? 

The costs associated with starting a home-based business are often lower than for traditional business structures. However, this can trick business owners into forgetting to property track their expenses. This can make it almost impossible for you to get a sense of your true income, plus it prevents you from claiming business expenses come tax season. Keep careful records of any business-related spending you do along the way to starting and running your business so you can really evaluate your success. 

As you go, you might find you don’t really have the funds to get your business off the ground. However, there are a lot of options out there for small business financing you might be able to take advantage of. In addition to traditional loans, there are a ton of grant programs out there for small business owners. Focus on sources of funding that you won’t have to pay back to keep your spending as low as possible. 

Think About Workflow 

Whenever you’re working out of your home, you need to spend some time thinking seriously about your workflow. It’s easy to fall prey to distractions when working from home – sitting down on the couch and watching “just one episode” of a favorite show, or settling down with a good book for just a break. Before you know it, the day is gone, and you haven’t gotten anything done. 

When you work for another company, you have to report to people, but business owners have to hold themselves accountable. No one’s going to scold or fire you if you don’t get your work done, but you’re also not going to make any money. Establish a routine and set rules for yourself so that you can commit to a full day’s work. This is a simple but extremely effective way to set yourself up for success. 

Commit to Work-Life Balance 

Finally, create specific, actionable ways to commit to work-life balance while running an at-home business. The risk of burnout is extremely high for business owners, and this is more likely for those who wind up neglecting their personal time. It’s normal to work more than 40 hours a week when you run a business, and as a result, your downtime must be true downtime. 

Set specific hours that are truly non-work hours. Don’t check email, don’t make notes, don’t do anything that has to do with work. Instead, focus on activities that are relaxing and enjoyable, such as doing art, going on a walk, or indulging in a non-productive hobby. Give yourself time to breath, and you’ll be more energized and ready to take on the challenges of running a business. 

With the right forethought, preparation, and commitment, a home-based business can be an extremely successful and satisfying endeavor. If you’ve always thought of working for yourself, and you have an idea that fits well into the current climate, now might be your moment: Seize it.

Photo Credit: Unsplash  

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit bfarrell.com

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