Increasingly, parents, divided over staying home and bringing in a paycheck, are turning in their briefcases for the luxury of working in their pajamas. It doesn’t hurt that home businesses are seen as a way to solving the daycare dilemma, eliminating the guilt of going back to work, and, of course, eliminating packed transit, or navigating Calgary’s nightmarish traffic.
However, if you are considering starting your own business, it is important to remember that Statistics Canada reports that 45 per cent of Canadian small businesses fail in the first two years. Long odds for something you put your heart and soul into.
If the numbers don’t scare you, then you might be ready to start your own business. The following questions will help you decide if you are ready and able to start a home based business:
Do you want to be your own boss, or do you just want some more time to be with your baby? Your work might have telecommuting, flexible hours, or job sharing which might be a way of managing your financial situation while enjoying the time you spend with your children.
Do you have a skill, such as accounting or writing, which can be done from your home? Instead of starting from scratch or discovering hidden talents, do something you know. The most successful home based businesses are built on what you do best.
Is there a place where you can set up a home office? If you get distracted easily, working from home is a minefield of diversions. You can watch TV, do laundry, and play with your children when, in the meantime, you should be working. A home office will allow you to shut out the distractions and also allow you to leave work behind a closed door after hours.
Are you willing to work long hours to make your business a success? Starting your own business means long hours, if you don’t have children. If you have babies and toddlers around, you probably will be working after they have gone to bed or during naps to get your work done.
Can you work in isolation? One is the loneliest number. If you enjoy meetings around the water cooler or bouncing ideas off colleagues, working from home will be a tough transition.
Finally, if you still want to start your own business, do your research! There are tonnes of resources on the internet and at your local library. Remember, your business is your baby. Being prepared will help you avoid needless worry and sleepless nights.
Nanica is a freelance writer who works at home part-time amid the distractions of her three cats, her husband, her new baby and the never ending pile of laundry.
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