woman starting home businessAre You Cut Out To Work From Home?

When budding entrepreneurs think about working from home they often only see the rosy picture – no boss to answer to, freedom to choose your own working hours, no rush hour traffic and the chance to be there for your kid’s first school play.

However, running a profitable home based business might not be as easy as it seems. You can make money working from home, but not everyone is cut out to be a home business owner. There are certain personality traits and attributes that make some people more successful than others at working from home. As in anything, there is always an upside and a downside to everything. We want to forewarn you about several things that some might consider the "downside" or the "bad news" of working for yourself.

Do you have what it takes to run a successful home business?

Here are 5 requirements for starting a home based business:

1. Any home business owner has to be determined to succeed. If you are continually having doubts about the idea of working from home then it might not be for you. You need to be sure that this is what you want to do. This is not to say that home business owners don’t have doubts. However, you must have the courage to rise beyond those doubts and do what it takes to succeed. Most people would rather work all day for someone else, beg for raises and promotions and come home at night to watch TV. If that describes you, stop reading right now.

2. Are you self-motivated? If you are the type of person who has to continually be prodded by others or if you require others to steer you in the right direction, then working at home may not be the best option for you. Running a home business requires you to be self-motivated. You are the one who has to generate the energy and enthusiasm. You can't rely on a boss to do that for you. But on the other hand, if you are a motivated person, why waste all that effort on getting the executives of your company rich? If you focused all that same energy on your own business, the change to the bottom line goes directly into your bank account!

3. Are you comfortable with multi-tasking and looking over several different aspects of the business? Unlike being employed by a large organization where your job profile is defined, working from home means you will have to play Jack-(or Jill)-of-all-trades. From marketing your services and products to closing sales and keeping up with the book-keeping--you will be responsible for everything.

4. Can you focus and stay on track? One of the biggest benefits that comes with working from home is a flexible schedule. Unfortunately it can also be your downfall. Staying at home means that you will be inundated with requests from friends and family and distractions of all kinds. Can you say no to distractions? One way to minimize distractions is to establish a home office space for yourself with a door (it could even be a small curtain or separator if you are using a desk in the family living room). Also, unless it's just a dire emergency, get ready to say "no" to neighbors and friends who think, "Janet can pick up my kids, she works at home." If you do not stick to your day's schedule as much as possible, you won't accomplish your goals.

5. Can you set your own schedule? This means that not only do you have specific working hours but you also know when to call it a day. Having defined working hours allows you to tell your clients when they can call you. Similarly, calling it quits is vital to your personal life so that your family knows when you are available to devote your time entirely to them.

At the end of the day, working based from home means that you are responsible for striking the right balance between work and home. The line between the two is extremely thin and it requires you to tread carefully so know your own strengths and weaknesses before making the attempt to run a home business.

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