Everybody dreams about it - having a leisurely cup of coffee on a lazy morning, enjoying life as your home-based business continues to bring in the big bucks. Well I hate to burst your bubble, but this home-based business thing is HARD WORK, so before you hang up your tie and high heels, here are a couple of good and bad things to expect.
You write your own paycheck
That's exactly how it is with a home-based business and being your own boss. YOU WRITE YOUR OWN paychecks! How much you earn depends on how hard you work plus you get to keep ALL the profit. There's NO BOSS to tell you that the company hasn't been doing great so all you're getting is 45 cents as your bonus, while he comes to work the next morning in a bright, shiny new Porsche!
Problem is, you then realize "Hey! Just a minute I've got to put some aside for that rainy day, retirement fund, vacation, etc, etc. I'm MY OWN BOSS NOW!". So you find the paycheck that you actually write for yourself at the end of the month has a few less zeroes in it! How's that for irony?
It's hard work
Having your own home based business is a lot of hard work. If you're used to taking 30 minute coffee breaks on company time, you're in for a real shock. Assuming you're running a one-man show (which is usually the case for new start-ups), then you're likely to find that there's not enough hours to do all that you want to do, let alone have a leisurely cup of coffee!
The good thing about this is that every ounce of sweat you put into your home business will ultimately yield results. Remember, the pyramids weren't built in a day, but when they were completed, they lasted for generations. That's the way it is with your home-based business. You're working hard to build a better life and future for your family that will probably last long after you're gone.
The buck stops where you are
Whether it's a virus that crashes your computer, an unpaid bill or a customer complaining on the phone, when you own a home-based business, the buck stops where YOU ARE! Every problem becomes YOURS. There is no computer division, accounts department or PR department to blame. It's a bit frightening when you consider that you are the central - and probably the only person - who can keep your business going.
If you're worried about making the wrong decisions, let me put your mind at ease - YOU WILL! You ARE going to make wrong business decisions, but don't let it discourage you though, because even big-wig CEOs make mistakes. Will there be tough times? DEFINITELY. Tough times bring out the best in people and every mess you get INTO and OUT OF, makes you a better person - smarter, tougher and more resilient. After you've gone through a couple of ups and downs, you'll get into the groove and go with the flow - that's the way it is with business and that's the way it is with life in general.
Different type of benefits
If you're like me, you've probably grown accustomed to (and taken for granted) the many benefits of a regular nine-to-five job - free medical and dental, vacations, paid training, coffee breaks and the occasional business lunches.
I found that for me at least, running a home-based business has given me priceless benefits. Tops on the list would probably be the fact I'm closer to my family. In addition to taking care my websites and running our home catering business with my wife, I'm also the official driver, handyman and maid all rolled up into one. Even though it gets totally crazy sometimes, I love that I'm always there for my kids. Oh, they still make it a point to drive me up the wall everyday, but I'd rather be driven up the wall by them than by my maniacal ex-boss.
The Naked Truth
OK, here's THE NAKED TRUTH about having your own home-based business - YOU SET THE RULES, YOU CALL THE SHOTS. That means you can do things anyway you want, from your working hours to your filing system to what you wear (or don't wear!) at work. Careful though when you set lousy rules, you'll end up with a lousy system, a lousy business and worse, a lousy reputation. In the end, it's going to hurt that paycheck that YOU write for yourself every month. Just because it's a home-based business doesn't mean that you can throw professionalism out the window. In fact, an even higher level of professionalism may be required because you're operating independently and competing with established companies.
Of course how much flexibility you enjoy depends on what kind of home business you're running. Since my mornings are spent taking care of my websites and writing, I don't physically interact with people much, so I do have the liberty of working in my bathrobe or anything else I choose (I leave it to your imagination). While lost in cyberspace, I also have the liberty of snacking anytime I want, which accounts for my growing waistline. Then in the evenings, when my wife and I are busy with our catering business, I'm definitely fully clothed, complete with my tidy apron and smiling my best smile as we take care of our customers.
So What Now?
There you have it folks, my run-down of some of the basic stuff you can expect when you start a home-based business. You may earn less and have to give up some status for the first couple of years, but when you consider the big picture and take into account all the other intangible benefits, there's nothing quite like being your own boss! As your business grows, you'll be writing yourself bigger and fatter paychecks. Then, you can sit down to that leisurely cup of coffee, enjoying a lazy morning, while your home-based business brings in the big bucks! Care to hang up your tie and heels, anyone?
About the author
Andrew Shim is the owner and editor of http://www.PositiveMoneyIdeas.com a website which offers FREE IDEAS for those interested in starting their own freelance or home based business and http://www.PositiveTones.com a FREE resource website for Positive Living. He and his wife run a successful home catering business. When not up to his eyeballs in veggie, meat, gravy and being official taster for his catering business, he manages his websites, writes for numerous other sites and magazines and fools around with his kids.