How to Work from Home: Identifying Your Needs and Offerings

The number one questions I seem to get lately is "how do I get started working from home?"  The question is simple, but the answer is not.  To have a thriving work at home situation, you really need to ask yourself quite a few questions.  Laying out your answers as an informal business plan is the best way to get started in the process.  Here are some some of the first questions to ask to help you know how to work from home.

1.  Do you want to work for yourself (own your own business in a 1099 or freelance situation?  Or are you comfortable being an employee of a company but doing your job from your home instead of an office?

2.  Do you have any unique or creative skills that would allow you to create something and sell it for a profit (soap making, for example)?

3.  Are you able to teach others how to do something and charge a fee for your services?  (Teaching a coupon class, for example, would be a skill set you could pass on for a profit.)

4.  Do you perhaps enjoy doing daily, everyday tasks that aren't necessarily very specialized (cleaning houses, for instance) but that you can do very efficiently and that others don't have time to do themselves?  Can you charge a living wage for these services?

5.  Are you already successful at a small business niche (regardless of how many hours you do it) that you could mentor others in?  (Consulting to help someone create a blog, for example, is a lucrative side business.)

6.  If you already work full-time outside of the home, what hours of the day can you set aside to begin building your small business into something you can switch to later on?  (Is there a 2-hour block of time after the kids go to bed, for example, that you could begin brushing up on your skills so that you can begin work as a freelance community manager down the road?)

Getting a handle on these questions will help guide you as you begin looking for work-at-home and freelance opportunities.  Stay tuned for the next article in this series, where we will help you identify which career niche is right for you!

*Photo by skampy via Flickr

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