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About Your Home Business?
Doubts about starting
a home business can serve as a healthy "reality-check,"
but if your fears aren't confronted they can hold you back from
realizing your work-family dream. Fight your fears with awareness
by Lisa M. Roberts
Making a career change like the launching
of your first home business is bound to stir up some serious
doubts. However, don't be alarmed if questions like "Can
I really do this? Do I really have what it takes?" keep
poking at your psyche. Even doubts have their role in a home
business plan. More often than not they act as reality checks
rather than enthusiasm meltdowns.
For instance, you may be sure
home business will fit in well with your lifestyle but not too
sure you have all the skills you need to pull it off. Doubts
like this are healthy -- it means you are grounded in reality.
Yet you will discover, simply through firm commitment to the
"cause," that you can address these issues in a resourceful,
However, if you find yourself
hesitating at the edge of the diving board for too long, you
may never take that final leap into entrepreneurship. So now
is the time to get down to those bottom-line concerns. The following
are the five most common objections to home business -- identify
your primary fear here so you can move on!
The Five Most
Common Objections to Home Business
1: "I don't want all that responsibility!"
You are far more interested
in working within your field of expertise than in embarking upon
the unknown territory of business ownership.
- That nobody expects you to be
an expert at all aspects of business management. As long as you
are strong in the area of the core service your business offers,
use outside help to keep your business in order. Ask around;
- Starting small. Take on one
project at a time. Grow your business alongside your courage
and expanding knowledgebase.
- Take on a partner whose strengths
are your weaknesses.
#2: "I need a full, steady income."
You believe home business
is a financial risk.
- Moonlighting. Start your business
on the side while retaining your present employment. Make the
switch only after a secure clientbase is lined up.
- Reducing your full-time employ
to part-time, then make up the difference in salary with supplemental
home business projects. Enjoy a steady (albeit reduced) paycheck
on the one hand, and growing, untapped profit potential on the
- Trimming your present salary
down to its true profit. After child care, transportation, wardrobe
and lunch are weeded out, a $50,000 annual salary may really
boil down to a mere $10,000 flowing into the family budget. A
$15,000 net home business beats that. Knead your figures; work
#3: "I don't have the time."
You are a parent juggling
too many responsibilities as it is.
- Employing as many of your family
members as you can -- spouse, older children, Mom and Dad (if
they live nearby). Turn a home business into a family business.
Promise them pay upon profit, and you might develop an enthusiastic,
hard-working support team in-house.
- Taking a good look at your recreational/relaxation
time. Set some of it aside for professional development. Self-fulfilling,
productive work can be more of a stress-reducer than complete
downtime like TV viewing.
- If, like most parents, you're
completely drained by nightfall, try turning in an hour or two
early. In a few days, your natural clock will be set on an earlier
schedule, and you can squeeze some bright, early-bird hours in
before your household comes to life.
#4: "I'm too social."
You believe home business
is inherently isolating.
- That small business is a social
business. Start knocking on doors, introducing your service,
making contacts and building business relationships. You'll be
meeting more new people and developing strong business relationships
than you ever thought possible.
- Joining small business and trade
associations and attending as many social events as you like.
- Starting a local home business
support group in your community -- a network of friends and associates
who are willing and able to gather for a cup of coffee, talk
shop and share gossip on a monthly, weekly or daily basis!
#5: "I'm too shy."
You find the sales end of
business ownership intimidating.
- That there are other ways to
sell your service besides cold calling, networking or phone contact.
Try direct mail, newspaper or yellow page ads, flyers, press
releases, web pages, etc.
- Hiring a salesperson to represent
your company. Advertise in the local paper: "Part-Time Salesperson
Needed -- make your own hours." Interview candidates and
enlist the one who most fits the sales persona you wish you had.
Pay on commission.
- Joining Toastmasters. Membership
is full of shy professionals who are tired of having that particular
personality trait hold them back from pursuing their financial,
professional and/or personal goals.
Remember, working from home must
simply make sense to you and feel right at your core. Everything
else will fall into place. Even the doubts...
- © 1997 Lisa M. Roberts, all rights reserved. The above article
is an excerpt from How
to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide
to Home Business, a title highly recommended by La Leche
League, Home Office Computing and the Family Christian
your own copy today!