Misconceptions of Working From Home.
Most women who start a business usually have to start at home. The types of businesses we (women) start are often not “worthy” of funding from outside sources. Is it because we don’t go after them because we think no one will fund them? Well it’s all over the web how women get less than half the amount of funding that men do. But we’re not here to talk about that. I choose to work from home. I could have found office space with all the overhead but I didn’t want to work in that environment. I left that environment. I love working from home. Key word work. Even though I go from my bedroom to the living room where I set up a home office, I take it serious. The only time I leave for business is to meet with someone, attend an event or for my own events. So what are the misconceptions we fight when we work from home?
Fantasy vs. Reality
Often times people go into a home based business or self-employment and think it will be so easy to work for themselves. They however only see the benefits or pros of being self-employed. Some people seldom think past the pros to the cons. While being their own boss, having flexibility in their work schedule and control over their work assignments are the gleaming reason most people leave corporate America and dive into working from home, it is not as simple as that. Even though working from home as many benefits, it is still a business venture. The right planning, strategic marketing and execution as well as knowledge on the business that is being started are key factors that will lead to success. Don’t forget your accounting practices and legalizing your business.
A business plan, even if one page, is the roadmap you will take in order to place yourself as a business owner and not an employee. It is crucial that you have clear, concise, targeted goals in mind so that you are not all over the place. Yes, working from home meets more of your family/life balance needs and personal goals but it is not a time to relax and think money will come to you. Your hustle has been turned all the way up. You went from a 5 or 10 (if you were a rockstar employee) to a 20 as an entrepreneur. But you need to be strategic with your hustle to get customers or clients and to build your brand.
Working from home requires dedication and often times more hours than when you were an employee. Home based business commercials led people to believe that working 7 hours a week will net you thousands of dollars a month. That is an extremely rare opportunity. In reality, working from home in the beginning can feel like a 24/7 workload. That’s why a business plan is so important; it helps to map out your moves and strategically helps you assign tasks for the day so working around the clock is not your reality.
I enjoy and do my best work from 11pm to 2am, like writing this blog post. But I still need to be able to meet a client or attend an event at 8am, if I have to. So I know my time has to really count.
Working from home is something many people only dream about. It can be a reality if your misconceptions are thrown to the side and your reality opens up. Working from home can be your career or business, you are the boss and you should treat it as such. Being the boss allows you to create the profession you have always wanted. But, don’t forget that hard work and planning is also involved.
Anyone can have a business but it will not benefit you to keep it under the radar or from the state of Texas or whatever state you live in. Uncle Sam will always find his money. That’ real talk. It is extremely important once you have decided to start a business to do the following.
- Choose which business structure will work for you. Your choices are Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership. I choose LLC for a number of reasons.
- Once your business structure is chosen, file the appropriate paperwork. This could take a couple of weeks to come back to you. There are fees attached so make sure you file correctly. There are no refunds if you make a mistake. Mine in Texas actually came back within a month. And for $300 I invested, I take my business very serious. It’s my source of income now. So being legitimate does have tax perks.
- After your paperwork is filed, you will receive information from the State Comptroller who will give you your tax identification information.
- The IRS will be the next step in setting up your business. You need to read all documents associated with the IRS. One mistake and it could cost you money. You also need to file with the Treasury Department. That is free. It would be nice if you could just file and they do all the work. I mean, I did pay $300 for them to give me a list of departments to register with. That’s where a lot of people would give up. Don’t. It’s not hard or complicated. Just annoyingly extra tasks to do.
- Open a bank account so you will have a designated place for business funds. Choosing the same bank as your personal accounts may not be the best choice. Get information from several banks and see which one will fit the needs of your business. I was able to open my business account with just my certificate from the state. In fact, I needed my business account to do the above steps.
During this process, it is important to consult with an attorney or tax specialist if you have any questions. Starting a business may seem like a daunting task but it is necessary. Do not delay. Legalizing your home based business is just as important as having health insurance.
Having a home business does not mean you should take it lightly either. Treat it like a business and you will start to see the benefits of business.
So I say if you are wanting to do a home based business, read this post and take action. There is never a “perfect” time. You have to make it the right time for you.
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