The Ultimate Work-Life Balance: building a business from Home

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By Jim McKinley

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

For those individuals with an entrepreneurial streak, building a business from home could be the perfect launching point for a new career. Not only will you have the luxury of eliminating your commute, but you’ll also have complete control over when and how much you choose to work. While you may have the perfect idea for a home-based business, there are some steps you need to consider as your ideas take shape.

Turning your idea into Reality

Building a business from scratch is exciting, but it certainly isn’t a walk in the park. While the creative process is fun and necessary as you form your ideas, there are some steps that will help you establish yourself as a company.

Be sure you know the essentials when you start, such as getting a business license and setting up a website and email address. Learn what you can from your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC); often, you can qualify for free small business consulting if you’re just getting started. Take time to educate yourself about taxes, and think about how you’ll manage bookkeeping and accounting.

Along with the admin, you’ll want a bulletproof business plan. What do you want to accomplish with your business? How do you see it growing in the coming years? By making a solid plan, you can start goal setting and really get the ball rolling.

How to grow: hiring remote workers

Most successful companies all have one thing in common: they understand that it takes a team to pull off something extraordinary. As you think about growing your business, consider how you might recruit remote workers to join you.

Be sure to craft an honest and compelling job description. Most remote workers value flexibility, so consider how you might portray the position in a way that would appeal to qualified candidates. Post to online job boards, and consider perusing LinkedIn to see if you can recruit someone with the right background and skills.

Managing your Team

Luckily, there are several online platforms and tools designed to keep remote teams connected. For example, Slack is a great option for ensuring good communication. Through Slack, it’s possible to create both team-wide and project-specific channels to help manage concurrent conversations. The platform also allows for a newsfeed, which you can use for updating the entire team with important information.

When you’re ready for a team meeting, Zoom video conferencing can help create a sense of community. The platform allows for different types of meetings: both presentations and brainstorming meetings work well on Zoom.

Along with utilizing tools and platforms, consider how you’re communicating with your team. While it may be tempting to email or message your employees whenever you feel like it, it’s a good idea to take a step back and allow for some space. Determine what mode of contact works best and use discretion when following up on requests. Using acronyms such as NNTR (no need to respond) can help your team understand your expectations and follow suit.

Starting a Business during a pandemic

While starting a new venture amidst a pandemic or nurturing your recently launched business may be challenging right now, there are some upsides.

For one, time is on your side. With many states and cities requiring residents to stay home, you’ll have time to devote to your business, whether it’s looking for creative income streams or perfecting your business plan. Interest rates are also quite low right now, so if your business needs revenue, it’s a great time to look for small business loans, as well as private grant programs, to help you start or keep you afloat.

Even the best business plan could use some tweaking in light of the new pandemic reality. Get creative and see how your business can adapt to the current state of the economy.

If you’re done commuting to your office job and want to achieve a more healthy work-life balance, building a home-based business could be the perfect transition. While it may seem daunting initially, these steps will help you make a solid plan for turning your ideas into a reality and helping you succeed in your new venture.

Jim McKinley hopes to use his knowledge as a retired banker to help people make sound financial decisions.

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