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Home Based Business


Do I Have What It Takes?

For many people, the first foray into the business world begins at home conducting a work at home business. A very low-risk way to begin a home based business is as a part-time job while you continue to work as a paid employee at your day job. By doing so, you can build your business at your own pace and tailor it to suit your own financial needs and time constraints. Should you discover that you cannot or do not want to devote more time to your home based business, you can restrict its growth to merely provide a supplemental income, curtail it (provided you have fulfilled all contractual obligations you have entered into), or perhaps even sell it to another aspiring entrepreneur.

On the other hand, you may be seeking to begin a business as a full-time occupation. You can still do so from home. A few of the benefits of conducting a work at home business are:
  • No daily commute
  • Flexible hours
  • No fixed expenses associated with office rental
  • You may be able enlist your family as “employees”
  • You can take time off to fulfill personal obligations
Of course, there are drawbacks as well. Two of the biggest disadvantages of conducting a home based business are the difficulty in separating business and family obligations and the necessity to convince family members that you really are working and cannot be disturbed during business hours. Perhaps the most significant drawback of all is that an income stream cannot be generated overnight; long lead times are generally required before an income equivalent to that you are used to seeing as a paid employee can be realized in a home based business. In the interim, financial discomfort and psychological stress can become intense, especially if you are dipping into savings to fund your new venture.

Therefore, before starting a home based business, you should ask yourself six up-front questions:
  • What is my goal in starting a home based business?  (In this context, “To make money,” is not a valid goal.)
  • Is the business venture I am about to embark upon something I will enjoy doing?
  • Can I launch and expand the business without placing undue hardship on myself and family members?
  • Will I have the emotional and psychological support of my family to draw upon when times get hard?
  • Do I have the resources necessary, or can I readily obtain them, in order to accomplish my goal?
  • Am I a self-starter and a self-motivator?
If you can readily define your goal and answer, “Yes!” to the remaining five questions, then you have what it takes to establish a home based business. See the Home Based Business SiteMap below and links to the right for work at home business resources available to you.

Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published prior to 13 April 2003, updated 31 July 2010.


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