The freedom to create your own schedule, the opportunity to earn an unlimited income, and the pride of having your own company are all strong motivating factors for starting a home-based business. People who work from their homes don’t have to worry about disapproving supervisors looking over their shoulders while they work. The commute from your bedroom to your home office is another benefit; walking a few steps won’t cost you a cent in gas for your car. People who work from home usually have more availability to spend with their family members and friends than people who work outside of their homes. While it is true that there are many benefits to working from home, you should ask yourself the following important questions before you start a home business of your own:

Is the business I want to start a good choice for me?

There are many different types of organizations you can operate from your home, but you should pursue work that you feel matches your strongest skills. Don’t just start a company based only on what you think consumers need and want; it should also be one that you are either experienced at doing or are naturally good at.  For example, if you plan to start a catering company from your house because you think it would be profitable but you are a slow and inexperienced cook, you should not start the business until you improve your cooking skills. There may be a lot of high school students living in your neighborhood who need help studying chemistry, but you should not tutor science if you yourself struggle with understanding the material.

How much time do I want to devote to building my business?

People who work from home are 100 per cent responsible for the success of their businesses. If you decide to run a home-based organization it is up to you to create your goals and schedule. You need to decide how much time you want to devote to your work and how much money you want to earn each day. While it is totally fine to work part-time hours from home, it is also important to devote enough time in your day to market your business to potential customers. Getting out of your house to attend business networking events and interact with other people should be factored into your work schedule. Depending upon the business you have, you can make use of telephone and Internet technology to advertise your brand. Building a steady client base can take time.  You must first know if you are up to the task of building a company from scratch before you start the process.

Can I afford to do this?

Some individual home-based ventures are expensive to start because of the supplies and tools needed to work the business. Other home businesses such as tutoring cost very little (under $100) to launch and operate. The numbers need to make sense for you and for your situation. If there is enough money in your bank account to cover your business expenses, then your company will likely thrive. If, however, you are struggling to make ends meet and need to work at a traditional job for a while so that you can save up money to start your own business, make the sacrifices that need to be made. It is fine to pursue a dream of working from home, but you should approach your finances with a strong realistic view.

Home-based businesses rely on marketing for survival, and marketing requires time and money. Some marketing methods such as word of mouth are inexpensive, but you still need to put in your time talking to business leads. Make sure that you have the time and money to support your marketing ideas before you launch your venture.  Create a separate emergency bank account from a small portion of each sale you make to pay for future expenses that might arise for your company.   It is very important to write an action plan about how you intend to guide your business towards success. Stick with what you know and invest your time and money wisely to increase your chances of succeeding as a home-based business owner.