Working from home is something that many people dream of doing, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
We’ve all heard stories of people making a great living by selling merchandise on their website or even on eBay.
But there’s a LOT going on behind those success stories, from packing to book-keeping and marketing.
Before you go quitting your day job to chase a work-at-home dream, consider the following.
How to Start a Business Run from Your Home
How Much Time do you Really Have?
Working from home can be more time-consuming than working in an office job.
If you want to make a serious go of your business, you’ll have to put a lot of time in to it.
This is especially true if you don’t have any employees to share the load with – you’ll have to act as a webmaster and book-keeper.
And don’t forget you’ll also be a box packer, customer service person, and many other roles.
How Much Money Can You Invest?
Some people think of selling online as being the ultimate low-risk investment method.
While it’s true that the overheads of running a primarily online business are minimal, there is still some up-front investment required.
If you want to sell a physical product online, you’ll have to hold stock of the product.
You will also have to pay listing fees, and invest in packing materials such as bubble wrap, envelopes, and postage stamps.
Don’t make the mistake of relying on fees from buyers to cover those expenses.
If a payment is ever delayed, you could end up in a difficult situation.
Do You Like Regular Holidays?
Working from home is quite flexible and it does give you the opportunity to take occasional breaks more often. But, it’s much harder to take full holidays.
If you enjoy being able to go away for a few days on a regular basis, then the predictable lifestyle of an office environment might suit you better.
How Much Space do you Have?
Selling a virtual product is something that’s easy to scale up – all you need is a server to deliver it from.
A physical product, however, requires physical storage. You might be able to keep a small number of those products in your spare room at first.
But if your business grows rapidly you may struggle to store the products and the bubble wrap and other packing materials required to send them out.
You may want to invest in warehouse space to keep them in – but at that point you’re no longer working from home.
Can You Handle an Irregular Income?
Working from home gives you a lot of freedom, but it is not without risks.
As a salaried employee you have a predictable income, and predictable work load.
When you decide to start your own business, you face an unpredictable work load, and also an unpredictable income.
Some months you can have a lot of work and as a result, a lot of income.
Other months, you could find few buyers and a greatly reduced income.
If you need a fixed income to pay important bills such as your mortgage or health insurance, then you should try to keep some savings stowed away in case you need it.
Here are some work from home businesses that you can start up!
Got a hobby that you really love doing? Could you make money from your hobbies? Take a look.
Love to cook or bake? Turn that passion into your own catering business.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of UK Packaging who supply businesses of all sizes with packing materials.