I promised I would return for the second installment of ‘how to set up your own super work from home business’ – and here I am!
But first, allow me to just take a moment to sigh. Heavily. It’s been one of those days (again!) and this foul weather is really not helping much. Especially as it seems to be that, every time I open the door to take the boys somewhere, the heavens open and we all get completely soaked. Bad enough, but then factor in a toddler who actually seems to have a pathological fear of the rain (and also wind, sun, and pretty much any other type of weather that isn’t exactly 20c and slightly overcast) and you’ve got a sure fire recipe for fun and games.
Poor old BP was very poorly today too, so myself and the boys trooped over to her house to look after her lovely little girl while BP went off to hospital. It’s nice looking after little girls, it is such a welcome novelty after trying (and mostly failing) to keep up with two maniac boys who never stop moving. Mind you, BP’s little girl also moves around a fair bit. She has a wonderful determined streak as well – she’s a tiny little thing, but I actually felt quite intimidated at times when she fixed me with her almost teacher-like stare and told me to read a book / give her a breadstick/ pick her up. I’ve got respect for that. She’s 18 months old, smaller than DB2, and yet she’s got authority. You go girl. She can definitely carry on the business when BP and I are too knackered to keep it up any more. DB1 and DB2 are similarly in awe of her, which is hilarious. She will have to give me tips.
This is BP daughter and DB2 – he’s messing with her hat here, but seriously, he’s respectful of her authority. Ha ha!
Anyway – down to the nitty-gritty.
Yesterday, I waffled on about ‘The Big Idea’ and how to test the idea rigourously right from the word go, to see if it’s got staying power. Today, I’m going to talk about:
Time and Money
Big admission here from me. When I first started work on the business, I had no idea how time consuming it would be. Or how much money would be required to get it afloat.
So, right from the word go, you need to be asking yourself these sorts of questions:
1) Am I actually going to be able to find enough time to do it?
It’s very easy to breezily say ‘yeah, I can do it in the evenings, no problem’. (I know I did!) But the reality of it may be very different.
I’ve lost count of the amount of evenings that I have been so tired after a full on day looking after the boys, doing housework, doing other chores etc, that I’ve just been desperate to collapse in front of the tv, but haven’t been able to. Ditto times when I’ve had a pounding headache, or agonising period pain, but still had to plug on through. Ditto times when my kids have kept me up all night the night before.Sometimes you will NOT want to work in the evenings, but you will have to anyway. It’s a tough commitment to take on at times.
Also, don’t just presume you’ll be able to do it all in the evenings. You might be able to. But you might not. I definitely am not able to anymore. Suppliers, customers, banks and agents don’t tend to want to do business at 8pm! Boo!So you also need to think about juggling it during the day. Which leads me to…
2) Is this extra demand on my time going to affect my family and friends?
It might not. You might stumble on an idea for a business that requires very little work. If so, can you please tell me your secret? Please? (note of desperation in voice there…) But most likely, it will have some sort of impact. There have been times when my husband has been a little put out, as I’ve left him alone all evening while I work. There’s also been times when I’ve had to lean on him to look after the kids whilst I deal with issues and problems, which puts pressure on him.
Also, (and this is me getting a bit serious here) – there is no worse feeling than when you know you really need to do work, and you’ve got both your children looking at you pleadingly, begging you to drop everything and play. It’s sometimes exceptionally hard to juggle. It can be done – but, in my experience anyway, only if you are willing to completely knacker yourself out in the process. If you like relaxation and peace and quiet, you might want a rethink!
3) Have I got the money to get this off the ground, and how much am I happy to risk?
It is pretty easy to underestimate how much it will cost to launch a business. I remember us naively thinking we could do it for under £1000. Ha! Just so you know, it was A LOT more.
Some businesses probably require a fairly minimal start up cost. Some a lot more. Which ever category you fall into, I would advise you work out as precisely as you can just how much you are likely to need to spend, down to the last detail. Don’t do what we did and estimate things. As chances are, they end up being a lot more expensive than you realise. Don’t agree to let people do things for you without first checking the price. (we learnt this the hard way!)
Work out where it’s going to come from to.
-Have you got money saved? Are you going to be devastated if you lose that money?
-Do you need a bank loan? Are you happy to take one on, and happy to take on the repayments, which can sometimes be hefty?
-Or do you have family that might be willing to help out with that initial expenditure? How would you feel if you lost their money?
-PS- another option – find a Business Angel. They are very much like the Dragons off Dragons Den. Exactly the same system. You pitch your idea, they decide whether to invest money in you or not, and they generally want a substantial cut.
I am aware that this section has been a bit negative – but don’t worry, its not all doom and gloom. In fact, loads of things about being in charge of your own business are awesome beyond belief. But it’s good to be realistic right from the word go.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about fine-tuning your ‘Big Idea’ into something that starts to vaguely look like a business! Exciting!