Many years ago, I worked from home and back then it was still a bit unusual. Today of course it is a lot easier. Not only is it more common, but there are all sorts of tools available to make it easier – everything from smartphones to email to tablets.
There are plenty of reasons why working from home is a growing trend:
- Its affordable
- There is less risk because there is less overhead.
- Sweet tax deductions
Of course, there are downsides too. Back then, my standard joke was that when working from home, there is good news and bad news. “The good news is, you see your kids a lot. The bad news is, you see your kids a lot.” Other downsides to working from home include:
- A feeling of isolation
- The blending of home and work life
- Being taken seriously
The important thing to understand is that it takes a certain temperament to run a successful home-based business. Here are some of the important things to consider:
- Do you have the space at home to create an office?
- Do you have the self-discipline to be able to work when your family is around?
- Are you willing to work by yourself?
- Can you resist the temptations of the refrigerator, television, kids, etc.?
- Will your customers take you seriously if you work from home?
- Does your family support your plan to work from home?
That last question is almost the most important. Having the support of your family can make or break your home-based endeavor, so be sure you are all on the same page before you ever start.
The other two pieces of valuable advice I can give you are these:
1. Don’t look small: Even though you are at home, there is no need to look small. Use an executive suite to meet clients. Have a great website. Have a separate phone line for the business installed. Look professional.
2. Create some office hours. The last thing about working from home is that it is very easy to get distracted. Having office hours counters this. Everyone will take your venture more seriously if you do, including you.
Our friends at Office Depot can help you outfit your office right.