Are you ready to start a home business?

A home business can sound appealing, but it can be hard to know if you’re ready for it. Will you be able to cope with customers, filling orders and solving problems? What if your business flops?

These are normal concerns, and you should try to have answers for them before you start. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to be prepared for when starting a home business.

  1. Are you self motivated?
    If you aren’t motivating yourself, your business won’t take off. Owning a business means no boss (save perhaps the customer), setting your own hours and deadlines and working even when you aren’t seeing any kind of return. If you can’t work under those conditions, you may not be ready. On the other hand, if you think you will thrive under such conditions, you may be ready to get your home business started.
  2. How easily do you learn new things?
    It doesn’t matter how much you know about the area you are starting your business in, you will be learning many new things. A new home business can rarely afford to hire a marketing team, for example, so you’re going to have to learn to market yourself. You might decide to save money and design your own website, but how will you make it look professional? You also need to learn what is worth paying someone else to do versus learning to do it yourself. You need to learn how to figure out when your time could be better spent on making your products or marketing your business than on learning new skills.
  3. Are you comfortable promoting yourself?
    You will need to talk up your business and your abilities quite a bit to prospective customers, both on the phone and in person, and quite possibly online. You don’t want to exaggerate your skills, but don’t be excessively modest either. You want customers to feel that you are the best person for the job or that your products are of good quality, so know what you are offering and why a customer should want to buy from you.
  4. Can you cope with rejection?
    Not just rejection – can you cope with customers who simply cannot be satisfied, who seem to want to make your life difficult… you have probably encountered such people in your life already. Customers will decide to take their business elsewhere, they will decide after hiring you that they don’t like the results, and you need to be prepared for this.
  5. Do you need immediate results?
    It can take a couple years to build a profitable business. Few successes happen overnight. If you aren’t ready to cope with financial hard times, long hours promoting your business with little result and only occasional customers, it may not be time for you to start a business. If spending money on your business will bankrupt you, it may not be time for you to start a business just now.
  6. You look forward to not having to dress up for work.
    Working from home may not always mean sweats and t-shirts. If you have to meet with customers, you will probably have to dress professionally. Some home business people find it helpful to dress professionally even if they aren’t meeting with anyone that day. How you dress can impact how you work, so casual dressing makes you work less consider dressing up a little.
  7. Have you researched your target market?
    If you don’t know who will be interested in your products or services, it will be very hard to market yourself. Try to find a niche market to target, especially at the beginning. This will make it easier to make a name for yourself, limit your marketing costs and make it easier to find clients.
  8. Do you have the support of your family?
    If your husband or children resent the time you are spending on your business it will be quite difficult to succeed. Talk over with your family what starting a business will mean in terms of family time, housework and so forth. If you can involve them in your business, do so, provided they are willing. A supportive family makes running a home business much pleasanter, while an unsupportive family can make it all but impossible to succeed.

Running a home business can be profitable, fun and a great lesson for your children, but it can also be stressful. Make sure you have thought out your business carefully before you begin and keep the lines of communication open with your family.

 

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Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

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