How to Start a Successful Business from Home 1/3 – Deciding if it’s really for you

How to Start a Successful Business from Home 1/3 – Deciding if it’s really for you

 In this series, we look at what you need to know about starting your own successful business from the comfort of your own home. In the first installment, we’ll consider the very important matter of whether it’s actually the right option for you.

Running a business can seem glamorous and exciting, but it’s also very hard work, and it requires a very specific mindset. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. So without further ado, let’s look at what you should be considering.

Do you have the practical skills?

When you’re getting started, you probably won’t have the cash to outsource many of your tasks. You’ll be a one-man band, and that means that you have to be able to do pretty much everything on your own. Carefully consider whether you’ve got the skills to deliver high quality products or services to your target market. So, suppose you’re thinking about becoming a copywriter. Will you be able to churn out masses of strong content that gets results for your clients? You can of course learn new skills, and your previous work experience will stand you in good stead. Even trainee jobs could have taught you a lot, but always make sure you’re up to speed before rushing in feet first.

Do you have the personal traits?

After the initial honeymoon period has worn off, you’re in for one of the toughest challenges of your life. Not having a boss breathing down your neck, for example, might seem like a dream come true, but can you really force yourself to get out of bed at 6 am or work well into the small hours when you have deadlines looming? Business owners need tremendous amounts of motivation. In addition to this, you’ll need to be resilient and prepared to deal with your fair share of knock-backs.

Can you deal with the uncertainty of self-employment?

It takes time to build a business, and the reality of the situation is that you probably won’t be making much cash in the early days. When you have a mortgage and bills to pay, this can be problematic. It requires strict budgeting, and possibly a very understanding and supportive partner. It takes a certain type of person to be able to cope with these circumstances, and you need to think about whether you’re happy to live through uncertain times while pursuing your goals.

There’s no doubting that fact that entrepreneurship sounds appealing at first glance. The chance to do work that you love on your own terms is something that so many people dream of. Before taking the plunge though, think long and hard about these areas that we’ve outlined. They’ll help you to make a more informed decision.

In the next installment of the series, we’ll look at what opportunities are available to budding entrepreneurs.

This article was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of AllTheTopBananas. ATTB allows you to search for and browse through UK jobs in one place, from London engineer jobs to Liverpool receptionist jobs. You can also upload your CV to increase your chances of being headhunted. 

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

TEntrepreneurs Growing Forward – today our guest blogger Lindsey Harper Mac writes about the choices  small companies may have to make to survive the economic winter.  Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

When a business has been in existence for a few years, has solid cash flow and all is running smoothly, the life of the business owner can look easy to outsiders. But chances are, getting the company to that point required the owner and founder long hours of hard work and great financial and lifestyle sacrifices.

Independent small business owners often start their businesses by investing their life savings, taking out small business loans and even maxing out their credit cards to get the company started until funds from client billings start coming in. Many don’t even give themselves a paycheck for the first year or longer. This is a huge risk and sacrifice they and their families make. Even if the business succeeds, it means that numerous purchases, vacations and any spending that is not absolutely essential must be put on hold until the business gets on solid financial ground.

Likewise, the new business owner must often work long hours to get the business running smoothly and to get enough client billings in the pipeline so there is sufficient cash flow. This can take several months and sometimes years, creating an unbalanced lifestyle that is essentially all work and no play. Not everyone is willing to make these sacrifices. They aren’t willing to work that hard, that long or do without the things they want to make it happen.

But, if they don’t, and the business should fail, all the money they borrowed to invest in it is gone and must still be paid back.

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward –  established companies must make hard decisions

Additionally, even owners of established companies must make hard decisions when the economy takes a downturn, or when a major client decides to cut costs and do in-house what they had been outsourcing to your small company.

One small company, Quality Environmental Professionals, Inc., or QEPI, headquartered in Indianapolis, had tough decisions to make late in 2008 and early 2009 when the economy took a downturn.

QEPI owner, Deb Peters, cut her company’s reliance on color copying, which was costing $9,000 every quarter, and implemented sharing files electronically, and using black and white copies when paper was necessary. Another change she made was in the employee break room, where she stopped buying employees’ coffee in individual packets and began purchasing large cans of coffee from Sam’s Club. By making these and other cuts, Peters was able to keep all of her 34 employees instead of making cuts by layoffs.

Other small businesses cut back on hiring cleaning and lawn care help and asked their employees to help with those tasks to prevent in-house layoffs. A survey of 100 human resource executives conducted by consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas found that more than 66.7 percent of these companies cut travel expenses, and more than 6 percent began letting their employees telecommute to cut office space expenses. Work instead could be done through online conference calls and other technology, such as instant messaging, to communicate with their customers, materials suppliers, vendors and with company employees in satellite offices. In some cases, the satellite offices were dispensed with altogether, resulting in even more savings, and employees in those offices now work from home.

Working together to get through lean times usually strengthens a business overall and positions it for growth during the next economic boom.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Confidence isn't arrogance

Water confidence course

Confidence – like many others I was brought up with dire warnings against the sin of hubris.

Hubris means extreme pride to the point of arrogance True hubris usually indicates a loss of contact with reality and a substantial overestimation of your own abilities.

I wrote here last week about the value of confidence in your own ability – self efficacy!

Of course, interesting questions are what is too much confidence and what risk does it carry?

In fact,  research suggests that there can be benefits for an individual in an overestimation their abilities.

Research by Gervais and Goldstein’s in 2003 found that a two-player team consisting of one overconfident and one more rational person outperforms a team consisting of two rational people.

This is because overconfidence enhances effort levels – over confident people try harder.

It seems that over-confidence probably accounts for the ultimate success of some serial entrepreneurs.

There is  evidence that  the earlier failed ventures provide valuable resources for entrepreneurs’ future use,. Even though entrepreneurs may be unable to explain why their performance has improved, they will be acutely aware of it and may use it to better calibrate their likelihood of future success. Being highly confident in their abilities keeps them trying and learning from their experience, until eventually they succeed.

It may even be that the prosperity of some societies reflects a culture that allows more confident individuals and entrepreneurs to undertake more challenging and risky tasks with greater conviction. Survivors set up new businesses, achieve technology breakthroughs, develop new drugs, initiate and articulate novel ideas and theories and so on.

But in societies where people are more preoccupied with establishing when and how they could be wrong, they become more timid, indecisive and achieve less  (Brockner et al., 2004; Kahneman and Lovallo, 1993).

Higher confidence appears to increase the odds of success from creating wealth to saving jobs and lives.

But of course over-confidence does carry risks, as recent behaviour by the Banks has demonstrated.  It is always worth keeping in mind Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus whose arrogance led him to sign a deal with the devil and lead of course to his ultimate damnation. However much you believe in your own ability, touching base with reality and caring about how the rest of the world is getting on can never be wrong!

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 .

You don't have to be arrogant to succeed but….!

Water confidence course

Like many others I was brought up with dire warnings against the sin of hubris.

Hubris means extreme pride to the point of arrogance True hubris usually indicates a loss of contact with reality and a substantial overestimation of your own abilities.

I wrote here last week about the value of confidence in your own ability – self efficacy!

Of course, interesting questions are what is too much confidence and what risk does it carry?

In fact,  research suggests that there can be benefits for an individual in an overestimation their abilities.

Research by Gervais and Goldstein’s in 2003 found that a two-player team consisting of one overconfident and one more rational person outperforms a team consisting of two rational people.

This is because overconfidence enhances effort levels – over confident people try harder.

It seems that over-confidence probably accounts for the ultimate success of some serial entrepreneurs.

There is  evidence that  the earlier failed ventures provide valuable resources for entrepreneurs’ future use,. Even though entrepreneurs may be unable to explain why their performance has improved, they will be acutely aware of it and may use it to better calibrate their likelihood of future success. Being highly confident in their abilities keeps them trying and learning from their experience, until eventually they succeed.

It may even be that the prosperity of some societies reflects a culture that allows more confident individuals and entrepreneurs to undertake more challenging and risky tasks with greater conviction. Survivors set up new businesses, achieve technology breakthroughs, develop new drugs, initiate and articulate novel ideas and theories and so on.

But in societies where people are more preoccupied with establishing when and how they could be wrong, they become more timid, indecisive and achieve less  (Brockner et al., 2004; Kahneman and Lovallo, 1993).

Higher confidence appears to increase the odds of success from creating wealth to saving jobs and lives.

But of course over-confidence does carry risks, as recent behaviour by the Banks has demonstrated.  It is always worth keeping in mind Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus whose arrogance led him to sign a deal with the devil and lead of course to his ultimate damnation. However much you believe in your own ability, touching base with reality and caring about how the rest of the world is getting on can never be wrong!

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 .