Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Are you ready to work from home? Many people wish they could, and here are some things to think about before you take the plunge:
__Finances. Can you make it without a steady paycheck while you build up your business? Do a budget with and without your salary and see if you can still pay your bills. If not, make a plan for paying off debts and building up savings to get you through the start-up phase.
__Childcare. Many mothers want to work from home to be there for their children. You may also need occasional childcare to allow you to complete business projects. Do you have friends or family who would help out, or a nearby drop-in day care?
__Business plan. Do you have a business plan? A business plan is very valuable and can greatly increase your chances of success. It can be time-consuming, but will save you much time (and money) in the long run.
__Space. Do you have space to work and to store your business records? A spare room is great, but a corner of the kitchen or another room can sometimes work, too.
__Health insurance. If you have health insurance through your employer, you can continue it with COBRA, but that is usually quite expensive. Can you switch to your spouse's employer insurance? Research other options so that you do not have a gap in coverage.
__Social interaction. Will you miss interacting with others on a daily basis? You can still have interaction through networking and in doing business with your customers, but if you have close friends at work, expect those relationships to change somewhat when you are no longer there every day.
__Time management skills. It is so easy when working at home to blur the line between work and "home". Can you separate family time, cleaning time and work time when they all happen under the same roof? It takes self-discipline to do work when you are behind on laundry or when your children want to play, and sometimes you can get so involved in work that you might have a hard time stopping to do the laundry or play with the kids.
For more information on working from home, here are some "before you start" articles:
Essentials for your SOHO Venture
Are you Thinking of Working from Home?
Finding the Right Small Business for you