|Many of us who start a home business do so while we're still|
working another job. Our jobs provide us with money for
living expenses - and, if we're lucky, for funding at least
a portion of our business startup costs.
Most people in this position hope to eventually leave their
jobs to work from home full-time. But when's the "right"
time to quit? While there's no black-and-white answer to
this question, here are a few things to consider...
=== Are you confident in your ability to earn an income?
Some 'experts' recommend that you stick with your home
business for at least a year before you consider quitting
your job. This will give you the opportunity to 'feel out'
any possible trends that may occur during the year. For
example, you may find that sales are slow during the summer,
and that your strongest months are from January to April.
If your business has been profitable for at least a year,
you'll probably feel reasonably secure that you can
continue to turn a profit even after you leave your job.
=== How will you manage your finances?
It's easy to get comfortable with a steady pay cheque. But
once you quit your job, your business earnings will likely
fluctuate from month-to-month -- sometimes significantly.
How will you plan and budget to cover mortgage payments,
day-to-day expenses, child care, and emergencies? Do
you have a contingency plan for times when business is
lean? Will you have to change your lifestyle, and how?
Are you willing to make these sacrifices? Will there
be enough funds left over to invest into your business?
If not, who can you turn to for a loan, and will you
Ask yourself questions such as these so that you can
anticipate, minimize, and even prevent potential
=== Do you have a proper working area available to you?
Running a home business is still business, and you'll
need a place where you can work comfortably. The old
cardboard box in the corner of the family room may
have been okay as a makeshift "office" when you only
spent a couple of hours a day using it... but do you
really want that type of setup when you're running a
Ideally, you should have a working area where you can
concentrate -- and with some basic furniture that won't
give you aches and pains by the end of the day.
A separate room is best. That way you'll be able to
keep your business equipment, files, and materials
organized and safe from the hustle and bustle of your
personal or family life.
=== Is your business continuing to grow?
Many people find that their business grows in leaps and
bounds for a few exhilarating months. Then growth starts
to slow, until it 'flatlines'. This could be due to any
number of reasons... but a common reason is that you
simply don't have the time to continue to build your
business while you're still working your job. But your
business isn't yet bringing in the same income as you
currently make at your job. What do you do?
Unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer. Ask yourself
if you're ready to take that final leap - to quit your job
before your business earnings have replaced your income.
How will this impact your lifestyle?
=== What does your family think?
Family support is always welcome when you're working hard
to build a business. Keep in mind that it's exciting and
scary for them, too: they're also affected by the changes
in income and lifestyle. Sit down with them and have an
open discussion on any upcoming changes.
Best of luck with your pursuit of a new career!
About the Author
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide for beginners on how to build an online business on a
shoestring budget. Visit her online at
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html or request
a series of 10 free reports to get you started. Send a
blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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