According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018, more than 5 percent of Americans worked from home in 2017. That figure has been on the increase since the turn of the century, and some optimistic projections see it rising to 30 percent or more by the latter half of the 2020s.
For all sorts of reasons, there’s never been a better time to jump on the work-at-home bandwagon. But getting started isn’t as easy as many would-be work-at-homers imagine, particularly when they’re also trying to launch a new business or professional endeavor of their own.
Let’s take a closer look at five things every budding at-home entrepreneur should do to smooth the transition.
1. Don’t Leap All at Once
First, recognize that you don’t have to go cold turkey on traditional employment. A graduated transition is better from a financial and scheduling perspective, anyway. Start by asking your current boss for more flexibility, including permission to work from home part-time. According to the experts at Fairy GodBoss, employers increasingly see work-life balance as a selling point to attract and retain talent, so your higher-ups may be more receptive than you expect to your request.
2. Choose a Work-at-Home Opportunity That Fits Your Values and Skills
Next, choose a work-at-home opportunity that you actually enjoy, and that offers real room for growth. For instance, if the thought of supporting good causes in your community appeals to you, you’ll consider an opportunity like fundraising distribution. As a fundraising distributor, you sell profitable fundraising products to the organizations that need them most — and you can earn a pretty good living doing it. As the team from ABC Fundraising tells us, full-time fundraising distributors can earn $5,000 per month or more.
3. Set a Regular Work Schedule That You Actually Follow
Set and hold yourself to a regular work schedule that aligns with your natural rhythms and non-work obligations. As a new entrepreneur, you’re likely to be working more than 40 hours per week to start — perhaps far more. But when you work is up to you.
4. Outfit a Dedicated Home Office Space
No, your kitchen table doesn’t count. Set aside a little-used spare bedroom or bonus room and create a dedicated workspace, complete with ergonomic furniture, office equipment such as a print-scan-copy machine, good lighting, and whatever else you need to be productive.
5. Organize Your Physical and Digital Space for Success
Your home office needs to be organized better than the rest of your house (probably) is. Create a sensible filing system for your physical records, such as receipts and invoices, and purchase any cloud services you think you’ll need to keep your business running smoothly. At minimum, you’ll want cloud storage for your digital files and business accounting software to keep your finances in order.
Are You Ready to Make the Leap?
It takes a lot of gumption to successfully navigate the transition from traditional employment to full-time work-at-home entrepreneurship. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once — or even all in the same year. In the long run, you’ll be far better off taking things slowly and deliberately. As the old saying goes, it’s better to be second and right than first and wrong.