If you’re looking to start your own business, there are a lot of factors to be considered. One of them is your local market and if you are living in a rural area or a small town, this can rule out a significant number of businesses such as large scale restaurants which simply will not attract the large customer base it will need to survive. However, with the development of internet services and the manner in which society has changed to embrace the internet as not only an information source, but also as a method of communication and interaction with one another, the ability to work from home online is increasingly easy to achieve.
According to HomeWorking.com, working at home is becoming more popular with an estimated 1.7 million people in the UK working from home at least 1 whole day per week for their employer. Freelance workers working at home represent about 9% of the working population in the UK. Whilst figures for the self-employed at home are difficult to determine, it has been suggested that as many as one in 6 of the working population are working from home running their businesses or enterprises. This all means that starting your own business from home is now a very popular option.
The internet has expanded so much that many businesses are now operating entirely online. So while there are many businesses depending on online traffic to sell their products to, there are also online services helping these online businesses attract the right traffic and also provide the appropriate online experience to their customers. In this regard, home based marketing has really taken off as those running their marketing businesses from home have the unique opportunity to provide a top service to businesses literally anywhere in the world if those businesses are based online. While skills in search engine optimisation and online marketing are important as well as a great internet connection, starting your internet business from home is not too difficult and can be extremely low on overhead costs. With a franchise, you can benefit even more, as the franchise can provide you with all the training and knowledge you will need to provide a top service, as well as ongoing support as your develop and grow your own business from the comfort of your own home.
Let’s take a look at what’s important in starting up your own business from home:
Starting your own business from home is often recommended to women – which us women always think is a bit sexist as nowadays it can apply to both men and women. For women or men who have had children and taken a few years out of the workplace to rear their children, and now are exploring other avenues of working without going back to a full time workplace situation; starting your own business from home can offer you the flexibility and freedom to work how and when you please and to what degree you really want to immerse yourself in working life. However, there are things to consider about being a mum or dad working from home.
Will your children, if they are not of school going age, be ready to give you time alone while you work? One of the biggest complaints from working mums is that they tend to get easily distracted from their children while they are still in the home, and often the devil finds works for idle hands and that report you just printed off could end up as a perfect doodle canvas! Make sure that both you and your children are ready for a situation where you are present but not always available to them and that they understand when “Mummy or Daddy is working” and cannot be disturbed ... unless absolutely necessary. It can be a huge mistake to think that you can mind your children and run a business both full time, therefore you should be prepared to have your children attend a crèche or playschool for a few hours a week to give you the chance to run some work errands and attend meetings with local clients if necessary.
Internet connection and PC
For most businesses operated from home, you will need your own PC or laptop. Some franchises include this in the franchise fee and the machine will come with all the necessary programs and applications installed. However, some franchises don’t, so you will need to work out what kind of PC you will need, if any at all, as well as what programs and applications you will need for the operation of your business, for example, for the administration of the business you might need an accounts package such as Sage or Big Red Book. In addition to this, if you are thinking of starting your own web design business, some designers won’t use any computer other than a Mac.
Hardware and software aside, you will also need to think about your internet connection. Running your own business from home while living in the countryside can be idyllic however; this dream can be smashed easily if you can’t secure a quality broadband connection. Working from home, a lot of your communication with clients will most likely be through email and phone calls, so a good broadband connection and a good telephone line. You should ensure that you will be able to secure and support both of these if you want to be able to run your own business efficiently from home.
Dedicated area in your house
You will need to be able to find a dedicated area within your own home that is your dedicated workspace. Preferably this would be another room where you can have your own office; however it can also be a work desk in a quieter area of your home. Most people find that having all their work materials organised in the same way can maximise their work performance as they can easily access everything they need and also, the same surrounding every day is less likely to distract you than if your workspace is in a different location every day. It can also help you achieve a proper work life balance, as you can literally shut the door of your office in the evening and spend some quality time with family or friends.
When you are in an office or workplace situation, your fellow work colleagues as well as your boss will always secure your dedication to the job – if you’re not doing your job properly they’re going to notice and question your lack of motivation. Therefore if you have any doubts about your self-motivation, you really should think twice before starting your own business – especially from home. Those working from home battle daily with the temptations to sleep late, watch day time TV, take sunny days off, give too much attention to children or housemates and shock horror – work in their PJs! Before taking the plunge, you really should make sure that you will be able to motivate yourself and set your own deadlines and restrictions in place. Just like any other business person, you should be getting up early every morning, setting certain times for breaks and lunchtimes and also be able to block out whoever else is in your home.
Industries particularly suited to home based business models
Internet Franchises – including web design, web services and online business franchises Marketing Franchises – including online marketing and telesales Vending Machine Franchises – administrating your business from home, while spending a significant amount of time “on the road” stocking and servicing your machines Education Franchises – offering home tutoring either in your home or in your customers’ homes. Cleaning Franchises– administrating your business from home, with a team of cleaning staff to carry out the work in your customers’ homes
As long as you make the right decisions and choices, the operation of your own business from home; can help you transcend the problems of ridiculous house prices in the urban areas, along with the exhausting commute, kids in tow to and from work every morning, as you can still achieve success running your own online business from your own home in the middle of the countryside. Click on the following link to find out more about opportunities to work from home.