If you are thinking about working from home you certainly aren’t alone. In fact you’re in rather good company. LinkedIn and Hewlett-Packard both started from home. The Wall Street Journal just ran a great article by Colleen Debaise (author of The Wall Street Journal’s Complete Small Business Guidebook). The article includes the following five questions to consider before you take the plunge. Are you ready?
1. Am I passionate about my product or service? The start-up phase is stressful. You’ll need zeal to get through the rough patches, especially in the early days when hours are long and initial profits (if any) are lean.
2. What is my tolerance for risk? There’s no guarantee of success — or even a steady paycheck. If you’re risk-averse, entrepreneurship probably isn’t the right path for you.
3. Am I good at making decisions? No one else is going to make them for you. Consider how you might handle these early decisions: Do I incorporate? Do I advertise? Do I borrow money from friends or family?
4. Am I willing to take on numerous responsibilities? A start-up entrepreneur must juggle many roles — from chief salesperson and bookkeeper to head marketer and bill collector.
5. Will I be able to avoid burnout? Many entrepreneurs find it hard to step away. You’ll need to develop a work/life balance to avoid working seven days a week, losing touch with friends and upsetting loved ones.