a homebased business and you feel the thrill of starting your own company.
After all, why not start a business from the ease of your own home. The
advantages are many. To name only a few, no rent for office space to pay,
no long commute and most importantly, you set the hours and days you work.
Bob M. of Collection Services
started his homebased business three years ago for just those reasons and
one more."I was at work when a family crises erupted,"says Bob, a single
dad of two. "I always had to check with my boss to see if I could leave.
I had to wait to be replaced, and it would delay my being with my
family during an emergency for four or five hours.
The joy of working from your
home is that you have a business and a family. You can blend business and
your personal needs, but it does not happen by chance. You have to learn
to balance both and be flexible. Nowhere does this show up more than in
that messy love triangle, you, your business and your kids.
Virginia S. of Telemarketing
Services, was knee-deep in a phone call with a prospective client she had
been courting for months. Suddenly, Virginia's two screaming daughters
came into her office. Their pet turtle and just bitten the five year old.
"On the returned phone call,
" Virginia reports, we talked for 45 minutes about the challenges of being
a parent and working from home.
I can relate to these situations
myself. The other day I returned home to find my four year old son Zachary
seated at the computer and typing away. When I walked in he said, "Daddy,
Daddy,look what I can do". I glanced at the computer screen and realized
Zachary had moved several icons to various locations. I was lucky, he could
have done much more damage. But the stories are many, where kids sometimes
delete files and much more.
Some parents who have small
children at home hire a baby-sitter. This can assist in getting
down to business. These parents feel that by being a stair flight away
from their child, who is being cared for, is better than being in an office
and giving their child to a daycare center.
Another approach to help
cover both the domestic and business fronts involves the adults in a tag-team
approach to sharing responsibilities. The method ensures that at least
one parent will be available to take up the slack at work or play.
SET A SCHEDULE
Establish your business
schedule. Customers have to know when they can reach you. You need time
to focus on your business and its daily activities. If hiring a baby-sitter
will allow you a regular part of the day for you to do business, then do
it. Most importantly, you must be flexible, because your kids regardless
of age do not understand a schedule. Keep in mind that the interruptions
are your kids telling you that they want to be a part of your life.
Create a separate office
space. You can concentrate on your work more easily if you're not invaded
by the sounds of the doorbell, the family telephone or the children
squabbling over television.
Take time out. You now have
a more flexible schedule. Take advantage of that and spend some of that
hard won time on your family.
Reduce disappointments. Treat
your children as if they were customers. Don't say you'll be there when
you know you won't. Follow through when you say you will be there.
The decision about whether
or not you should work at home is complex. The success of that business
depends largely on your personality. If your business requires that you
spend 12 or more hours a day working, then you might do better setting
up shop away from the house.
If on the other hand, you're
willing to give it a go, remember that the most dangerous part of working
at home might be the pleasure of having fun with your children.