Working from home

The Truth About Making a Career Change to a Work at Home Business

Far too many people grow frustrated with their regular job and want a change. The lure of building their own work at home business is strong, but most people do not understand the reality of making this type of career change.

If you want to be an entrepreneur and start your own home-based business instead of going to work for someone else for the rest of your life, look before you leap. The vast majority of businesses fail in their first year, something most people cannot afford. If you do not want that to happen to you, learn the right way to make a career change to a work at home business that will succeed.

Do Not Give Up Your Day Job

Although it might seem exciting to tell your boss goodbye and forge out into the world of business right away, this is a very poor decision for most people. If you have a very large financial safety net and perhaps a patient significant other with a sizable income, you could do this, but most people should start building their work at home business while still working outside the home.

Weeks or even months of research must happen before starting a home-based business. You could take a night class in entrepreneurship, website design, freelancing, or another topic of interest. Or you could learn everything you need to know on the internet. The important thing is to understand the reality of this type of career before you rely on it.

The Truth About Working at Home as a Business Owner

All the hype surrounding work at home opportunities puts the focus on high profits and working from anywhere with an online connection – even a tropical beach somewhere. You may achieve these things eventually, but it requires a lot of time and hard work to get there, or a lot of savvy business sense, investment money, and a healthy dose of luck.

The dream is real, but it is also a distraction from all the day-to-day grinding you will have to do to achieve it. A nearly infinite number of different company types exist, but they all come down to selling a service or product that someone actually wants. Figuring out what you are going to sell is just the tip of the iceberg, and it can be a challenge all on its own.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly 540,000 new small business are launched every single month. A full 30% fail in the first two years of operation, and by year five, 50% of them are gone. While there are tons of reasons this is true, a big part may be that people just did not know what they were getting into.

Commit to a Lot of Work for the Long Haul

You might be sitting at your desk or on your couch right now thinking, “That won’t be me! I’ll be in the 50% that succeeds!” You absolutely can succeed if you start with the right education, tools, resources, and plan. Most of all, you need a commitment to doing what it takes to succeed for a long time even if you do not find that success right off the bat. This is another great reason to keep your day job and regular income while you build a new venture.

Entrepreneurship relies on passion. Choose a business type, product or service, and work style that you feel great about. That does not mean you will spend your days full of glee and happiness. Things get tough, but you can get through tough work times better if you have a fundamental enjoyment and appreciation for the work you do.

How long is the long haul? There is no way of predicting when you will succeed exactly, but if you do not have a plan and SMART goals to help you achieve on some sort of schedule, you will probably end up part of the sad statistics.

Woman working at home


Business Plans and SMART Goals

Find a business plan template or instructions online and make one for your new company. These are necessary if you want to secure a small business loan, but they help even privately-funded ones start right and progress. The main components include basic information about the type of business, information about products or services offered, the target market analysis, your unique selling point (USP), funding sources, and financial estimations for the future. You need to know what you are selling to who, how, and how much money you can expect to make.

SMART goals focus on specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive things you need to achieve. Instead of saying, “We’ll be making lots of money in six months!” you need to say, “We will increase our profits from our rainbow toe sock line by 20% before September 2019.” Then you need to track the goal and do what it takes to achieve it.

Create a Home and Office Divide Mentally and Physically

One of the reasons for at-home business failure is the inability to separate home time from work time. This is especially true for people who also take care of small children while they are supposed to work during the day. While working at home can be an amazing opportunity for stay-at-home parents to bring in some extra money, they need to create a physical and mental division between the two to get anything done.

The best scenario is a home office with a door you can close to get work done away from family life. If you do not have that, you need to protect your time. It is possible to train your family, except the youngest children and babies, that no one can bother you from 1:00 pm till 3:00 pm every day unless there is fire or blood. Create similar time slots throughout the week and come up with a way of letting everyone know you are unavailable for disputes over toys, making snacks, or having chats about homework or what your spouse did at their job during the day.

The Right Hardware and Equipment is Necessary

Any desktop or laptop computer that gets high-speed internet can help you start and run a home business. You might even be able to run one from your phone these days, although it might be awkward to do so. A dedicated work phone allows you to always answer with the right greeting instead of, “Hello? Gina is that you?” if you are expecting a call from your sister and a business contact at the same time.

The types of equipment, computer peripherals, mobile gadgets, furniture, and storage options you need depend on what type of work at home business you own.

Affiliate marketer? A home computer with internet access is good enough. E-commerce store owner? Add in storage shelves or bins for inventory. Freelance designer or artist? Invest in the best drawing tablet, camera, and graphic manipulation software you can buy.

For Life-Changing Money, Change Your Life

In the quest to be part of that 50% of small business that survive more than five years, only the strong, dedicated, hard-working, knowledgeable, and adaptable companies survive. Working from home requires a change in your lifestyle, schedule, and attitudes toward everything from continuing education to how and when you spend family time.

The internet is on 24 hours per day, every day of the year, and is not disappearing any time soon. You can reach consumers on the other side of the globe and market to people in diverse financial circumstances you may never have dreamed of reaching with a conventional business. Taking time off completely for a US or religious holidays may not work going forward if you want to stay engaged with your market. Your plan to show up for every single soccer game or piano lesson could suffer. These things would be just as impossible if you had a regular, real-world job too.

Starting your own work at home business may require more work and longer hours than you ever put in before. You might wonder at this point what the point is after all. Home business marketing pushes the idea of easy living and the freedom from a strict schedule. They show people lounging on the beach sipping daiquiris and occasionally glancing at their profit charts soaring on their smartphones.

When you make a career change to a home-based business, it is still work. The benefits come after the effort, and they are many. You get to do something you love every day. You can make your own schedules and change them whenever you need to, as long as all the work gets done. You can achieve financial comfort and independence on your terms and have something you can pass down to future generations. You will never get all these things if you stay working for someone else all your life.