The ABCs of Home-Based Businesses

The advantages of home-based businesses run the gamut from low overhead to personal flexibility. But there are challenges as well. Working from home requires a different set of skills than working at traditional businesses. It’s up to you to cover the logistical bases. You must be able to ignore the distractions and temptations when working at a home-based business. And you must be your own effective critic.Once you decide a home-based business is for you, the first step is to choose the right opportunity. There are many out there. Choose a home career that you can commit to, that operates with integrity and that has a track record of success.You’re in good company working from home. In Australia, there are over 850,000 home-based businesses, according to Catapult, a business-resource website. That accounts for two-thirds of the country’s small businesses.The second step in setting up your home-based business is to make sure you comply with all local and federal regulations. Some housing developments and homeowners associations have rules regarding working at home. And, don’t forget some cities require a business license. If you set up your home business correctly, you will likely be eligible for tax deductions for the space you are using as well as other expenses.And speaking of space for your home business, be sure to dedicate the correct amount of space to your work. If it can be a room set aside for business only, all the better. If it is a desk in your den or bedroom, just make certain it is a real workspace and that family members respect it.You will also need to plan for the equipment that your home business will require. At a minimum, that will likely include a computer, phone, and printer/fax. Don’t spend too much on this. No one ever “equipped” himself to home-business success. But you do need the tools of your trade.Many who start home businesses fail to realize how much work can be involved. Family members need to be supportive in recognizing that working at home is every bit the same as heading off to an office.Routines can help this. If family members know the hours of your “work day” at home, they can steer clear. Additionally, establishing a set workday can help you say “no” to time wasters and distractions. You’re not at home to watch TV or listen to the radio. Work is work, whether in an office or a home-based business.You also need to be your own harshest critic. Just like all businesses, a home business that is focused on set goals has a better chance of success. And you need to evaluate your progress toward your goals routinely, certainly not less than weekly.If an accountability partner can help you with this, then get one. If it is someone who also runs a home-based business, that’s even better as they know the challenges you face and the excuses you are likely to make.Home-based businesses offer great potential to enhance enjoyment of life. Not only can you earn substantial financial rewards, but you will have the independence that allows you to enjoy the benefits of a home-based business. Attend to the basics, start on the right foot, and work hard. You’ll discover the rewards that thousands working a home-based business know already.

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