Are you suited to running a home or small business?

Running a small business, possibly even from home, is not everyone's cup of tea. In fact, for some people it's just the wrong thing to do. If it doesn't suit you, it can be frustrating and even depressing. Here are some things to take into account before taking the plunge.

The questions below will help you decide if running a home business is right for you.

This is not one of those quizzes on which you score a certain number of points. Owning your own business or working from home is a lifestyle decision which is far more complex than adding up points scored arbitrarily on a generic question-and-answer form. However, the following questions can help you decide if being self-employed or working from home is right for you, and if it is, which areas are your strong points and which you might need to work on to make running your small or home business fun, easy and successful.

Do you have a great idea for a business which meets a proven demand?

Do you have a skill or set of skills which others need and want?

Do you have a product you can market which others need and want?

Do you have an inspiring vision for your business?

Are you tired of working for others? Would you enjoy setting your own goals and perhaps enjoying financial rewards beyond what a salaried job could offer?

Do you want to work flexible hours, in your own environment, avoiding the traffic (most of the time) and determining your own future?

Do you have a suitable space to work from? Can you create one?

Can you develop good relationships with suppliers, associates and customers? Do you have the people skills to handle difficult situations and to negotiate effectively?

Do you enjoy setting your own goals and direction, and do you have the self-discipline to help yourself achieve them?

Are you disciplined enough to work from home when other domestic tasks beckon? Are you disciplined enough to work out a business plan, and follow it? And to revisit it and change it when necessary?

Do you enjoy your own company or do you need the company of colleagues during your work day?

Can you walk away and shut your office door when there is work to be done but not necessarily to an exceptional deadline?

Can you sell your services or product? Do you know how to market it, and how to follow up leads to close a sale? How many sales do you need? (What value is your product or service? How many units (which might be hours) do you need to sell in a month to sustain your business?)

Do you understand and can you manage finances? Cashflow? Can you keep books and can you leverage your business to attain maximum rewards?

What is your quality control like? Do you keep good control on the quality of your own work? Have you planned your business?

Do you know what is needed to make it successful - and do you know how and where to get those things you cannot supply yourself?

Do you have the tenacity to sit out the bad times and the temerity to make the most of the good times?

Can you live with the fluctuating income your business will produce or will it drive you insane not having a steady paycheck?

Do you have some kind of security - a nest egg, other income in the family, or ability to go without - to tide you over the lean times?

If the answer to most of these questions is yes, or if you are prepared to address these issues, you are likely to enjoy running your own small or home business. How much of a success you make of it depends on a variety of factors - but having the determination and setting effective goals is a great start.

The path you are contemplating going down is not always easy, but it is very satisfying. Good luck in your endeavours!

Topics: 

  • Startup
  • Home business
  • Self-employment

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Heather Douglas's picture

I started Bizbuzz (or HomebizBuzz as it was called then) in 2000, when I worked from home and realised there was nowhere for home businesses to find relevant information, nor a community of like-minded people to tap into for support, or just a chat. A few years later, Smallbizbuzz was born, and...