Home-Based Business – Is it Right For You?
By Diana Ennen
What does it take to be successful in this field? Ambition, personal drive, motivation, desire and perseverance are the forerunners. Without these, all the skills and experience in the world won't enable you to succeed. However, combine those with your personal skills and experience, and you'll have what it takes.
Also, take into account the following: Are you ambitious, constantly striving for more fulfillments in life? Are you not fully satisfied until you've done your absolute best? If so, working from home is for you. There are no limitations. The more you put into the business, the more you'll get out of it. You control your paycheck. Only you can determine what follows that dollar sign on your tax return each year.
Are you a self-starter? You alone are the one who will make this business a success or failure. The amount of time and energy you invest will determine just how successful you are with your business. Are you motivated enough to make things happen? In the beginning stages, a business will require a tremendous amount of hard work and long hours, often without immediate results. You need to be willing to invest that time and await the results with confidence.
Are you creative? Can you think of a new idea and within days make it a reality? What a joy it is to tap that inner imagination and create a new idea for your business. Whether it's an effective advertising piece or a dazzling brochure for your clients, you have the power to make it work.
You should be self-motivated and enjoy working with others. Many of you will come from a 9-5 job and the general tendency is to cut loose with the extra freedom. No Boss-No Time Restraints-What fun! You have to discipline yourself right from the beginning not to get sidetracked watching soaps and sleeping in. After you are established, your workload won't permit this anyway.
Working with different clients is a part of owning your own business. Remember, a satisfied client will tell other potential clients about your services. You need to possess the ability to make your clients feel confident and secure in your services and comfortable working with you.
You can't fold under pressure. Owning your own business can be extremely stressful at times. There are no bosses to run to or co-workers to seek advice from. The computers will break, faxes will jam, clients will become too demanding and you must know how to handle the situation and stay calm. NEVER PANIC! Learn to take a deep breath, regain your composure and then solve the problem.
You should be organized and have a good understanding of the business you are going into. Many companies fail because they didn't do their homework. Read as much as you can on home-based businesses before you get started. Research your area to determine the customers' needs and the amount of competition.
You need to be able to say NO! Clients will take advantage of you if you don't. You have to remain in control or you will find yourself working outrageous hours for little profit. Decide what hours you want to work and stick to that schedule.
Owning your own business can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. There is a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when you land your first client or make that first sale. It's the kind of feeling that you just want to keep getting over and over again.
Just how badly do you want this? What's holding you back? People present all kinds of excuses for why they shouldn't start a home-based business. Fear is the most common. Fear of failure, fear of financial insecurity, fear of responsibility, and fear of change are the most frequently stated. Let's look at these for a moment and see if they apply to you.
Fear of Failure: Most of us fear failure. It's natural. Who wants to fail at anything? Besides, if you don't try, you can't fail, and you will not have to deal with those negative emotions. Successful entrepreneurs see failure as an opportunity. They believe that there is no such thing as failure, only lessons. You need to be able to learn from your past failures or, as I call them, "tries." I consider it this way: "I tried it, it didn't work, so I'll try something else." I give failure no power. One of our favorite clichés is, "I would rather regret something I did over something I didn't do."
You should learn valuable lessons from each of your mistakes. What did you do wrong that could be corrected next time? Never dwell on your mistakes. Solve the problem and plan a new course of action.
You can also prevent the risk of failure by being aware of why most home-based or small businesses fail and then guard against these things. The following are several reasons many businesses fail:
1. Lack of enthusiasm, motivation, dedication and drive
2. Lack of self-confidence
3. Lack of knowledge and expertise
4. Lack of management skills necessary to run a successful business
5. Lack of providing clients with quality and professional services
6. Lack of a professional attitude
7. Lack of a market for services
Remember that success takes time. Very few businesses are overnight successes. It takes work, rethinking of ideas and carrying out your plans. Think of success as a marathon, not a sprint.
Fear of Financial Insecurity: This is a valid concern for those leaving the security of a full-time job with a regular paycheck every week. There is no guarantee that every week you will make a certain amount of money. However, you can take steps that will enable you to make it through the slow times until your business is up and running. Don't let your paycheck addiction seriously interfere with your dream of entrepreneurship. Keep in mind that you could be downsized, fired, laid off, let go, given the pink slip (you get my point) tomorrow, so take control of your future now!
Have two or three months of money in reserve to help you through the first few months. This alleviates the stress of having to make money NOW! Many start a business on a part-time basis and continue working their full-time jobs to keep money coming in and to build their client base. However, let this stop you from starting a business. After being in business now for 20 years and seeing so many businesses succeed, I know many who have made it without this extra money.
Fear of Responsibility: Many are frightened by the role of sole responsibility. They like the option of going to someone else when a crisis hits and having that person solve the problem. With everything falling on their shoulders, they fear they can't handle the stress. Advance planning is the key here. When you start your business, have a good back-up plan in effect. Then when a crisis hits, you immediately know what to do. After the first few crisis situations, you learn to remain calm and solve problems with little effort.
About the Author
Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and the author of Corel WordPerfect Office Ready Virtual Assistant Solution Pack (http://www.corel.com), and Virtual Assistant – The Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA & workbook. She is also the publisher of the children's book, Zip, Burp, and Hula and fiction thriller, Sledgehammer.
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