Working at Home: Tips for Success
The Business Side
First, you want to make sure you choose the right kind of work for you. Otherwise you could be doomed from the start.
For example, medical billing and transcription services are big at-home businesses. But if you hate paperwork, that won't be the right line of work for you.
"A person is much more likely to succeed when they select a career or business that matches their skills, strengths, passions, time and money needs," says Spencer.
Consider businesses that are related to your current career. You will then be armed with years of knowledge about the industry, and you'll have lots of contacts who may be able to help you get your business started.
If you're trying something completely new, make sure you do all the reading and networking you can before you leave behind your current career.
Whatever kind of at-home job you choose, prepare to be a salesperson. Almost all home-based careers require some type of selling. Spencer says whether you offer a product or service, you need to articulate why your potential customers should buy from you or use your services. There's a huge field of competition out there; if you are passionate and confident about what you do, selling yourself will be much easier.
If you think you're lacking on the organizational side, you can improve your skills to find a "system" that works for you. If being disorganized reduces your productivity, Spencer says you could even hire a professional organizer to help you set up. And start reading sites such as Organized Times (Organizedtimes.com) for tips.
You can also take steps to boost your motivation. Spencer says motivational tapes, books and seminars can help light the fire. You could also consider hiring a personal coach who can give you one-on-one help. Spencer recommends sites offered by personal coach Philip Humbert (Philiphumbert.com) and Success Networks International (SuccessNet.org) for starters.
On the money side, you'll find some comfort in your bank account, if you can set aside extra funds before you leave your office job. You should do your best to save enough cash to cover a few months' of personal and business expenses, to keep you going until the checks from your new business start rolling in.
If your spouse brings home a paycheck, try banking your salary and living only on the money your spouse earns. It will give you a trial run to see how your family's finances will fare if there's a lag time before you start generating a bigger income.