The Home Business Editor: Jon Volat

Most forward-thinkers would inevitably choose to work from home with simply a better understanding of the many advantages involved.  Everything you could possibly need to enjoy your day- the cozy home office, the pets, family, (the FRIDGE!)… right there at your fingertips.

Working from home means no boss to answer to, and far fewer (potentially) annoying coworkers to make a day stressful. There is no commute for hours in snarled traffic to an office that is likely to be uncomfortable, impersonal, and inconvenient. Instead, you can roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee (set to brew the night before) and be at your desk in a matter of minutes. For these reasons, the ability to work from home is frequently the “if only I could just” dream of cubicle dwellers everywhere.

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Additionally, those who work from home receive significant tax benefits per codes set forth by the IRS. With a little professional tax advice, the work from home entrepreneur can deduct all manner of expenses that would otherwise be taxed. And this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the realization of financial savings. Work from home entrepreneurs also save countless dollars by not having to buy expensive clothes to meet the office dress code. Even more cost-effective is completely eliminating the daily commute. Running up the savings further still is the cost-effectiveness of eating home-supplied groceries in the comfort of your home vs. the often unhealthy “ordering in” or going out for lunch or breakfast every day.

One would imagine the privilege of working from home is an undertaking everyone would pursue. The truth is that while working from home certainly offers a tremendous number of benefits, it also presents a unique set of challenges. The very things that attract the work from home entrepreneur—the couch, the fridge, kids, pets, and so on—can also be significant hurdles to productivity. Distraction comes easily when working from home, and it’s not impossible to see productivity plummet dramatically. Any entrepreneur who wishes to work from home must have significant discipline in order to make the process viable. You must be able to get up in the morning and still get that  nose to the grindstone, avoiding the potential wasting of several hours or even an entire day.  Productivity can later increase, but lost time can never be reclaimed.


Additionally, the seemingly refreshing absence of a boss or coworkers can manifest itself as a liability. In truth, many people actually need supervision; oversight of their daily activities to ensure that productivity goals are being met. Likewise, it’s often very useful for employees to interact with coworkers to get a fresh perspective on problems, or to get new ideas for a business project. The work from home entrepreneur operates in a virtual vacuum; they are remote and removed from daily “office” contact. Talking by phone or by way of online instant messaging or email are options (commonly used today in “telecommuter” settings), but the “face-to-face” element is still absent.

Requirements to Work From Home

With these issues in mind, the first thing required for an Internet entrepreneur to work from home productively is a healthy dose of self-discipline. One way to achieve this is to be very specific regarding the setting of goals both over the short (daily) and long (weekly, monthly) term. Many successful work from home entrepreneurs structure their day meticulously by creating a daily list of tasks to accomplish. But creating such a list is only part of the challenge. Once a given list has been codified, action must be taken on a consistently applied basis in order to bring said tasks to completion. But good planning and aggressive follow-through significantly increase the accomplishments that a work from home entrepreneur will succeed in attaining.

Another element needed to make a work from home enterprise profitable is the use of a “plug-and-play” system that puts all needed automated systems and business processes in place, making it simple to start and run a work from home business. More often than not, these systems can be implemented with only a modest capital investment and come complete not only with automation, software, systems and processes, but with training, support and mentoring as well. One of the best things about a “plug and play” system—a virtual turnkey “business in a box”—is that the work from home entrepreneur doesn’t need to undertake learning a business model alone. By simply applying the business processes that have already been developed, tested and proven, the new work from home entrepreneur gains a significant advantage over the individual who tries to “start up from scratch”.

Working from home is an undertaking everyone should experience at some point in their career. Be forewarned, though— working from home carries with it its own unique set of challenges and potential problems. Only by fully understanding these challenges, and then addressing them accordingly, can the prospective work from home entrepreneur succeed. The key is to treat your business like a business… applying a healthy dose of discipline in the process. By following these steps diligently, and by applying commitment, dedication and a solid work ethic to the start of a business, the work from home entrepreneur will inevitably succeed.

Jon Volat
Online Business Coach

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