Home Truths about Online Home Businesses:
Millions of people the world over (but especially in technology loving countries such as Australia & USA), are taking up working from home. A sort of business seachange so to speak. A high percentage of this new home work is structured around being online. It's a work revolution. The technological revolution of the workplace that will change how most of us live. Obviously there are both advantages and disadvantages that need to be fully investigated before undertaking the important step of "giving up your day job" in order to launch into the virtual world of promises of zillions of $$$.
- No commuting to work every day on public transport or in traffic! Yay! No commuting means saving money, saving time and saving yourself through less stress. Simply crawl out of bed in the morning, grab a cup of coffee (tea in my case) and there's your trusty computer waiting for your barrage of ideas which have fermented overnight in your mind as you lay comatose.
- You are your own boss. You make or break your online business with your ideas, your knowledge, your dedication and the amount of work you put in. You are responsible for what happens to you and your business. There's no-one else to take responsibility as all decisions lay firmly at your door.
- You have flexibility! This is a big one. If business conditions change, so can you. Often much more quickly than large organisations that lumber along with cumbersome systems that don't react to changing economic climates until a year or so after the event. You also have flexibility for your personal life. If you have children, time consuming partners or other major interests, you can schedule your work around their needs (this is an option - doesn't mean you have to!).
- No office politics, backbiting or problems with coworkers to gingerly negotiate, as usually it's just you! An online home business is just bees knees for those of us who can't be bothered to invest our precious energy in such things.
- You will save more money buy not buying work clothes. You can work in your pyjamas, in your gardening gear or in the nude if you want (although working nude is a bit of a problem in winter!).
- You have control over how your workspace will be. Your office can be home like - it's your home away from home so you should feel good there. It should be well organised and a pleasant space.
- Various taxation benefits are available eg. you can claim for a home office. Part of your mortgage or rent could be claimable along with everything you would normally have at work including your computer, tea, coffee (essentials for long hours of computing), electricity, even toilet paper and dish washing detergent. You need an accountant's advice to check this out further. You can do major extensions to your home as part of your home office (as your business grows of course) and this would be claimable. You may need additional storage space for the physical products that your online business sells, for example.
- The advantage of not having to have specific qualifications. No necessity for years and years at university to graduate and then find out that particular career path is no longer available or in very limited demand, as technology has moved on while you had your head in your books. However you certainly need a lot of knowledge about lots of different things including technology.
- The sky's the limit - everything is possible! You could make a million $$$ or more!
The Cons - and there are plenty of them
- There are cons everywhere, that's life. However there seem to be far more in the virtual world. The first rule of the internet is "Anything Goes". Scam artists abound on every corner. So be cautious and have your wits about you whenever investigating new business opportunities. Sometimes, they are not what they seem. Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware.
- Remember you are governed by consumer laws of the country you reside in, if a "system" or product was instigated somewhere else with different laws, this is immaterial. You must abide by your country's consumer laws if you are promoting a particular product or system in that country. For example spamming in Australia is now illegal. You cannot broadcast unsolicited email. Potential customers must have opted in, to your email database in order to receive your email.
- Your hardest, most difficult boss will be yourself - a whip lashing taskmaster who always wants you to do more and who is never satisified.
- Initially you will need to put in a lot of hours to get the business going. You could make promises to yourself to take it easier once established, but the time never seems right to slow down.
- You could become a social recluse (a bit like myself!). It doesn't seem worth the time to get ready, go out of the office, socialise and then drive home when you have a new great idea that you just have to implement straight away.
- Because you will probably work harder and longer, you expect all those you deal with to do the same! This can cause conflict in your home and with other businesses you deal with. Remember not everyone will have your work ethics.
- When you eventually crawl into bed in the wee small hours, it still doesn't stop. You could be suffering from a syndrome I term "computerbrain" where your mind works overtime while you are attempting to sleep. You may end up, going back to the office until you either collapse from exhaustion or get the job done to your satisfaction.
- You could become physically less active as you are sitting most of the day computing. You need to make a special effort to go for a walk every day and get some sun as long term, vitamin D deficiency is possible and this can lead to osteoporosis, amongst other things. Don't laugh - I have seen computer workaholics with white pasty skin. Even my staff now comment on my own whiteness!
- You can make lots of money, but you could not make much at all. Or even worse, you may actually loose lots of money. Research your business idea until the cows come home, proceed cautiously and keep your feet firmly on the ground. You absolutely MUST be a practical realist. Don't fall for the trap of thinking you can make a quick buck! It takes time and lots of work!
It's a Lifestyle, not a job
Your new online business is not only your job, it will become your lifestyle. So you had better believe fully in what you are doing. It could be difficult if you don't have family support. This online business could be the making or the breaking of you. It will certainly teach you to be resourceful.
How do I know these things? Because I've done it. I run a successful online business as an adjunct to my physical business which I also run from home. My home based business is one of the most successful in Australia and New Zealand in it's particular industry. So I encourage you to do your research and go for it, if that's what your heart AND head are telling you. Follow your own intuition and keep your feet on the ground. The sky really is the limit. You won't know if you don't ever try! Don't give up your day job immediately, do your online business as a hobby to start, so you can see how it goes before taking one of the biggest steps of your life. It just might pay off in the long term.
I sincerely hope you got something worthwhile out of this guide, if you found it helpful, please vote for it.
Until next time, regards, Rose