For so many people, working from home is the ultimate dream! They imagine themselves sitting at the computer in their pajamas, making their own hours, and being in charge of their day. Ah, that does sound amazing, doesn’t it?
But let’s be honest. Working from home is often much more difficult than people realize, and it’s just not for everyone. If you’ve been thinking that you’d like to work from home, whether it’s running your own business or working for someone else, it’s vitally important to know if you’re truly ready to take the plunge.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Working from Home
1. Are you self-motivated?
Whether you’re working from home for yourself or for someone else, you’ll have to be self-motivated. There won’t be anyone stopping by your desk to make sure you’re working or to encourage you to keep going on those rough days. You’re going to have to be able to motivate and inspire yourself to keep plugging away. Are you prepared to do that?
2. Are you a procrastinator?
You’ll have a hard time managing a freelance business if you’re always putting work off until the last minute. Yes, working from home can mean setting your own hours, but you can’t fall into the habit of procrastinating. That will only result in added stress for you, and maybe even sub-par quality of work, which isn’t going to be acceptable to your clients and customers. You just can’t run a business that way. You have to stay focused and on schedule, and make sure you’re getting things done on time. Are you up for that?
3. Do you have extra money set aside?
Unless you’re going into working from home with a remote part-time job already lined up, it’s a good idea to have some extra money in the bank. Contract and freelance positions can come and go, and you may have to survive long breaks in between assignments. On top of that, until you get your business established, it’s highly possible you won’t be making much money. It’s always a good idea to have a little “nest egg” to fall back on in the event of an unexpected drought in work and income. How much money do you have set aside for those periods when funds might be tight? I recommend enough cash to pay 2 months of bills.
4. Do you have short and long-term plans?
If you were working a traditional job, you’d likely have hopes and dreams for advancement. When working from home, you can’t wait for someone to give you a raise or a fancy title. Instead, you need to know from Day One what your goals are for the future. Where do you want to go? You need to have a plan in place to help you reach those goals. If you have not put together a business plan and/or a goal for the future, you are not ready to work from home. Is your business plan ready to go?
5. Can you network?
Working from home and building a business requires lots of networking. While in a traditional job work just comes to your desk every day, when you work from home you have to bring in your own clients and customers. Luckily, modern networking isn’t too difficult, thanks to social media. But it does take time and skill to see results, and you have to be committed to marketing yourself and your business if you want it to grow. Are you ready to start networking?
6. Do you have a backup plan?
The fact of the matter is, working from home may not be a good fit for you. It’s been my experience that you’re not going to know for sure until you do it. But every smart girl has a backup plan just in case things don’t work out, so before you commit to working from home, make sure you know what you’ll do if things go south. Hopefully you’ll never have to implement that plan, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s there if you need it. What’s your backup plan?
Are you dreaming of working from home? Or if you’re already working from home, what other questions do you think would-be solopreneurs should ask themselves before taking the plunge?