Written by: Christopher Chitty
Running a home business can be difficult but it is no less difficult than running a regular business. The usual principles of commitment and determination are necessary components in ensuring success in any venture, no matter what form it takes.
Why some home businesses fail can be attributed to complacency. Working from home has its fair share of distractions and since your living conditions are far more comfortable than that of an office, the tendency to postpone work and deviate is very high.
This is why home businesses are best operated if you do something you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Combine this with your talents and skills and you will be better motivated to work.
A home business is not a get rich quick scheme nor is it a get out of work card. In this aspect, running a business at home is incredibly trying. If it fails, you have only yourself to blame. If it succeeds, you may have to end up working more.
But be mindful of the fact that not all businesses are capable of being operated from home. To save yourself a lot of trouble in the future, make a list of all viable options and pick the top five which you know will allow you to work at home such as blogging or a consultancy service.
HDB has established a list of businesses that are permissible under the Home Office Scheme;
1. Accountancy Services
2. Architectural Services
3. Consultancy Services (e.g. Business, Engineering, IT/Management, Education)
4. Design/Advertising Services
5. Transportation Services
6. Estate Agency
7. Insurance/Financial Planning Services
8. Technology-based and knowledge-intensive business
9. Trading Office
The next part is arguably the most integral; how are you going to make money?
Determine through thorough research which one of your ideas has the best revenue generating potential. Also figure out how you intend to get clients and how much they should pay you for your services.
Since you will be working alone (at least for the moment), you need to factor time and personal costs involved for producing products or services for people. If it is a service such as consultation, costs such as travelling and food per month have to be tabulated.
As a business is about making money and you need that money to pay your bills and grow your business, you cannot charge improperly or poorly. Doing so would only negatively impact your venture.
If your chosen idea ends up costing you more than it should make you, either revaluate your personal and production costs or choose something that is of a lesser strain on you.
You may be excited to get started but unless you know how you are going to make money without incurring much personal loss, you are going to have to take your time.
If you are running a home business to supplement your income through mediums like blogging, then you do not necessarily have to worry too much. However if this venture is meant to replace your day job completely, you will have to very carefully and seriously consider the money making potential of your chosen concept.
If it is to be a real business, you will need to come up with a full business plan. While you may not necessarily be showing this plan to anyone, it will undoubtedly serve a dual function of helping you stay focused.
And that is the key to finding success with a home based business; focus.