With so many options for how and where we work, more and more people are starting home based businesses every day. In fact, 3 out of 4 business are started in a home setting. If you haven’t already made the leap, perhaps you have already been thinking about running a business from home. It might seem like a daunting prospect but really, what you should remember is that we are no longer in the industrial age, but in the information and technology age. Access to income generating ‘machines’ no longer require a brick and mortar building, a warehouse or a factory. A laptop, a tablet and even a smartphone can be well sufficient for a home-based business. So, when the paycheck does fill all the holes, it is worth taking matters in your own hands from your home office.
Where should you start? Take stock of your skills and talents. What are they? Perhaps you are very creative and can provide ideas to people without much effort. Maybe, you are incredible at organization and planning. You could also be very skilled at selling, communicating or writing. Write down your most robust skill sets, and then make a note of the supporting ones too. Doing this little self-assessment will help you narrow down what you might be great at – unless you already know! In which case, do it anyway. It’s always good to check how your skills are growing.
In addition to determining what you’re good at, it is worth also thinking about what you may enjoy doing even when you’re not good at it yet. Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone; so, push your limits as well. In some cases, you may need to sharpen your knowledge and/or skills before you launch. For instance, when a few years ago I got into photography, I constantly looked for opportunities to improve. Because my work kept getting better and more attractive, I soon received multiple client requests. I’ve also had experience tutoring. When I realized that I had a gift helping students, I jumped both feet into it. However, I was soon faced with some weaknesses planning and organizing sessions. It took investing time into tools and self-educating through video lessons to get better at teaching. Despite the weaknesses, I still made enough money to cover my college tuition. If you want to succeed as a freelancer, you should be willing to invest time into mastering your craft.
Here are a few options for home-based business ideas:
- Virtual Assistant
- Event Organizer
- Content Writer
- Business Coach
- Life Coach
- Network marketing business platforms
One of the benefits of a home-based business is that it can be run while still working a job, at least as a startup. In the past, starting a business most likely meant leaving your full-time job and investing 100% in your enterprise. There were many financial risks associated with that. Today, because of technology, we all have the luxury of having several sources of income. Nonetheless, it is important to assess how much time you have available. You may be working from home, but do you have the time to grow your business? A lot of people have the excuse of not having enough time and consequently, never start the business they so desire. Don’t let that be you. Applying some calendar planning and managing your time effectively will show you that there are plenty of slots in your day that you can make productive. I’d like to emphasize that you should keep your integrity and not use your employers’ time towards your home business.
Home businesses come in all shapes and forms and make sure you choose what works for you. Don’t overthink it. Many millennials have turned to website such as Fiverr.com (see link below) where they can simply offer their services to a platform and a pool of clients already in place.
I believe you should find ways to minimize your expenses, especially when you are just getting started. Financial stability is important. While on that note, based on the type of business that you venture into, you may need to invest into some equipment or software. On a larger scale, if your business needs financing, be careful and avoid taking risks. When it is necessary to take a loan, price comparison sites will be useful.
It is finally time to get to work. Sit down and write your plans down. Be clear about what you want to do and how you are going to do it. This is good for two things, it will be the foundation of your business and it will crystallize the ideas. There are plenty of templates and options on the internet that can give you some guidance on tasks such as setting up your work week schedule, keeping tabs on your finances, how to balance setting up your business and your current job, and how to handle social media and online presence without spending a fortune. Remember that it is supposed to be a fun and prosperous endeavor and just because this business doesn’t hit the ground running doesn’t mean that it is a failure. Often, we learn better by trial and error. So, plan it well and have fun!