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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 10. Work From Home Or Not Work From Home

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Starting a home-based business or taking the decision to work out of your home is not one that you can take lightly or quickly. This decision needs to be thought through, considered for practical and legal aspects and in tune with your personality. No doubt a lot of people make a good living working out of their home, but do you have it in you to draw a line between your work space and your home, even if that line doesn't exist in reality. Whether you should work from home or not work from home, is a decision that only you can answer after a fair bit of soul searching. Here are some issues that you need to consider when you are making this decision.

Why Not to Work from Home

Legal Issues:

Before you get started it is crucial that you consider the zoning laws in your area. Your home may be in a neighbourhood that doesn't allow home-based business. Before you begin the spade work for a home-based business it is vital that you know that it is viable to start one in your home.

Your Personality:

Research indicates that successful home-based business owners are determined, dedicated, showed a strong sense of self reliance and are not shy of taking initiatives by themselves. Essentially these business owners are leaders and not followers, and are capable of hard work and perseverance even when things aren't looking too bright. If you prefer to be told what you need to get done during a business day it may be wiser for you to opt for a job at an office. As a home-based business owner you have to motivate yourself and take initiative.

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Determination is a key factor in the success of a home-based business. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that if they enjoy a hobby they can make a profession out of it. A business requires passion, dedication and logical thinking, more so in a home-based business where you don't have employers and colleagues to look at for motivation, support and encouragement. A hobby is not essential for a home-based business. What is crucial is your passion and determination to succeed.

Isolation and Loneliness:

A home based-business or working from home can be quite lonely as you will not get to interact with colleagues and clients as often as you may have liked to. You would need to create a schedule for yourself as you would if you were working at an office and follow it. Working from home doesn't mean that you work when you want and don't work when you don't feel like it. It means that you have the advantage of not having to commute and can choose your work timings. Like any other business you need to put in the due time and work, perhaps more, especially during the start-up period.

Security and Benefits:

Working from home denies you security and benefits that come with a conventional job. When you work from home you have all the privileges but also have all the responsibilities. You will also be multi-tasking and doing more office and administrative work than you imagined.

Creating a Distinction between Work and Family:

You would also need to be quite organized and able to keep to your schedules without being disturbed by family and friends. You need to create a distinct line between your home and business life. This would mean that you need to be strict about the calls and visits you can take during your working day. You may have decided to work from home due to personal commitments, but the fact is to make working from home successful you need to have the time and space to work without interruptions. This requires a lot of planning and it is vital that family members understand that while you are at home, you will not be available for certain hours during the working week.

Initial Investment:

You would also need to create work space for yourself and invest in a minimum amount of office equipment such as a computer, a dedicated telephone and fax, an internet connection and a printer. A dedicated telephone line is crucial to ensure that you don't miss crucial business calls when your teenager is chatting on the phone with friends. An answering machine would also be useful to ensure you don't miss calls and opportunities or that your family forgets to give you your messages. You need to invest in stationery for your business. You may have a room in your house as your work space or you may have to create a limited space into your office. Money is the crucial factor to get work from home started. If you are selling goods, do consider if you have the space to store them safely.


Before you take the decision to work from home it is important that you do adequate research about your intended work or business. Consider if it is a viable decision and how it can be worked at. Like any other business, you too should have a business plan and set clear goals for yourself. Set clear objectives of what you expect to achieve when you work from home. Doing extensive research will give you ideas on how you can work and make your business a success.

Advantages of Working from Home

There are several advantages of working from home that can work well for you, depending on your attitude towards work. Here is a look at some of the reasons why you should consider working from home.

Lower start-up costs:

If you have decided to start a business working from home will reduce the expense of hiring an office, furnishing it and employing people. Your start-up costs are limited to basic office equipment to keep you connected to your clients and suppliers and to your office stationery. Until your business grows and you begin to employ people working from home is an economical alternative.

No commuting:

Every week working people lose precious time commuting to work and back. When you work from home you save the time you would have otherwise spent travelling to office and back. This means you have more hours to dedicate to your business or work. No commuting also means that you are less hassled by traffic delays and less affected by pollution. This also helps keep stress down and in the long run it is great for your health.


If you like to work by yourself and don't appreciate being interrupted by a boss or a colleague then you will enjoy working from home (provided you can limit family distractions). When you work from home, you are your own boss and choose the hours you work. If you enjoy working in the early morning hours or late at night, you can choose to do so and select conventional business hours for calls and meeting with clients. Similarly you can choose to go on a holiday or get away for the weekend and either work more before you leave or catch up after you get back.

Personal Commitments:

Working from home is a great option for people who have personal commitments and need to be present in the home for most of the time. If you have young children and don't want to consider childcare then working from home gives you the opportunity to both work and care for your family. Sometimes it is the mere knowledge that you are home that may be required to keep the home in order. Periods of sickness in the family are made easier when you know you are close at hand.

Money Matters:

At the end of the day you get to keep all the money you earned so you get the profits from all the work you put in rather than a salary for your efforts. When you work at an office it can be rather frustrating to know that you brought huge profits for the business but will still take home the same salary.

Deciding to work from home or not to work from home

More and more people prefer to work from home as it helps them adopt a lifestyle they seek. You don't have to wait till you retire to enjoy a healthy and leisurely lifestyle. You can do that by becoming your own boss at home. Like every coin this one too has a flip side. For every advantage there is a disadvantage. So how do you decide if working from home is for you? This is a decision that needs to be taken only after you have carefully considered all aspects of working from home, and should not be rushed into. Working from home can be great if you are organized, meticulous and dedicated. Since you work for yourself you will find yourself working harder than ever. Your personality plays a keen role in your decision and you need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home before you take a decision that is right for you.

Bottom line:

You Must be a "self starter,"deriving your motivation from within and not relying others to motivate you.

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