There are so many different reasons to start working for yourself, and not everyone’s is exactly the same, but broadly, these reasons fall into three categories: First, people who want to earn extra income on top of their regular jobs; second, people who are unemployed and are either struggling to find full-time work or prefer not to enter the job market; and third, people who have chosen to leave whatever full-time job they have and be self-employed instead. Whichever of these three categories you fall into, there are three things you will need before you get started to make sure you can make the most of working for yourself.
1 – A Plan
You’d be surprised at how many people start trying to work for themselves without any kind of plan. They might have an idea, then immediately start trying to make it happen without any proper planning. They soon realize they are in over their heads and, more often than not, find their great idea is turning into a huge failure. Now, you don’t need to have the next five years mapped out in detail, but take a bit of time to research the work you’re planning on doing, what it takes to market yourself, and all the details of running your own business or sideline gig. If you use a company that gives you the plan, you’re a few steps ahead, because a lot of the planning and admin are taken out of it for you. Make sure you understand the way the company operates, though, so you can maximize your earning potential. Don’t forget, your plan should also include things like what your working hours will be, how many hours you’ll work per day and what critical activities you need to focus on to get the result you are after. We’ll go into what makes a good plan in a future article.
2 – A Space
Whatever work you’re going to do, dedicate a space that’s suitable for the work and for you. If all you need is a laptop and somewhere to put it, it does make things a lot easier, but try to find a space that can be used permanently. There’s a good reason for this. Self-discipline is vitally important to being self-employed, whether it’s full-time or in addition to your regular job. It’s so easy to get distracted if you’re not being supervised and when you’re working for yourself, time really is money. One of the ways to instil a sense of discipline is to have a dedicated space for work. Make it clear to family, roommates or other people you share your space with that this is your work area and when you are there, you are not available for leisure activities. It also helps you focus on your work and get into an “I’m working now” mindset.
3 – The Right Equipment
For many work from home opportunities, all you need is a laptop or desktop computer, a telephone line and a good internet connection. Make sure that your computer is up to date with the right software, has a big enough hard drive and enough storage space, and isn’t likely to crash on you halfway through an important piece of work. If the work is going to entail spending a lot of time on the phone, look into a call plan that gives you unlimited calls for a fixed fee, or look into telephone alternatives like Skype. Make sure before you start whether making those calls will cost you more than you’re making! As far as your internet connection goes, make sure it’s with a reliable supplier. Whether you’re using something linked to you phoneline, mobile data or satellite internet, it needs to be reliable and affordable. For these and any other equipment to run your home business, take the time to research it. It’s always tempting to buy the cheapest option, but if it’s poorly made, it could let you down at a crucial moment. That doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive kind, though – often you’re paying for a name and not quality. Read as many reviews on the product as you can, find out if there’s a way to test it for yourself, and always make sure there’s a good warranty on it.