Below is a guest post by Stephen Jeske.
Working from home may sound like a dream come true. Becoming the master of one’s own destiny from the comfort of your own living room–a proverbial “King” or “Queen” of the castle–does have its perks. But it also has more than its share of pitfalls and perils.
Even if you do look amazing in a stately crown or jeweled tiara, it is important that you carefully consider the pros and the cons of starting a new home business.
Do you have what it takes?
Not everyone possesses the traits required to successfully navigate the pitfalls associated with running a home business. It is important to engage in some serious and truthful self-assessments before embarking on a new start-up.
- Do you possess a high level of stick-to-itiveness–even when things are not going according to plan?
- Do you tend to think things through before acting?
- Do you really want to become your own boss and assume heavy responsibilities?
- Do you possess the knowledge required to run a business?
- Are you willing to put in long hours for little or no financial reward?
- Do you have excellent people skills and enjoy working with the public?
- Are you able to lead and motivate others?
- Do you tend to maintain a positive outlook even when things look grim?
Possessing these requisite qualities will not guarantee entrepreneurial success, but entering into a home-based business without them is a recipe for disaster.
What are some potential obstacles to success?
- Not having a safety net. The vast majority of new start-ups live in the “red” for a very long time–sometimes months or, in some cases, years. It is important that you have enough money set aside to get you through the lean times and sustain your business until it works its way into the “black.”
- No benefits. If you are leaving a job that provides you and your family with a health plan, a pension, and dental insurance, you are going to have to budget for replacements. You will need to purchase a new medical plan, stash money away for retirement, and pay to fill Junior’s cavities.
- No steady income. A traditional job comes with the guarantee of a steady and reliable income. Your home-based business makes no such promises. If you are uncomfortable with taking risks, self-employment will likely cause you far too much stress.
- No defined boundaries. Working at home blurs the boundaries between your work life and your home life. You will have to cope with interruptions from your children and spouse. And, speaking of your spouse, you are going to be spending a great deal more time together. For some, this is not problematic. For others, it poses a huge challenge.
Before plunking that tiara on your head, it is important to consider each of these cold, hard realities.
Who can I go to for help?
If you are still interested in opening your own home business, there are several places within the state of Louisiana that you can approach for assistance.
- Louisiana Small Business Development Center. This statewide program is designed to provide a full range of support to small business free of charge. They are a great source of start-up information and also provide consulting, workshops, and an online resource library.
- New Orleans Startup Fund. This evergreen seed fund is designed to assist early-staged businesses in the Greater New Orleans region.
- Louisiana Secretary of State. Here, you will find all of the documents that you will need to register your business, plus they have a handy checklist for new entrepreneurs.
If you have performed a thorough self-assessment, examined the perils and pitfalls of self-employment, and are still interested in starting a new home business, you may just be the next Willie Robertson. Just don’t go shopping for that new crown or tiara until after your empire has turned a profit.
What advice can you offer someone who is starting a new home business in Lousiana?
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. She is a social media addict who has written a barrage of stories on social media marketing, blogging tips, and Reputation.com. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.