Starting a Home Business – Transitioning from Your Day Job to Working at Home

Starting a home business gradually

When people consider starting a home business, they may not realize that the first step in achieving their dream is to have explicitly stated goals (a plan) and then slowly working toward them. One goal in your list of home business goals, should be the date you want to begin working from home full time. If you think that you’ll just quit your job and start your new work at home life, you’re probably mistaken. Very few home-based workers have the means to cut the safety line of their day job income and jump into the deep end. You’d be well advised to touch your toes in the water first then wade in the shallow end for awhile before making a splash in the deep end.

Many successful home-based businesses owners realized their dreams because they were realistic and made a slow transition from full-time day job to full-time home business. For some, it meant working a day job and working for themselves at night. For others, it meant keeping their day job and building their home-based business on weekends, or, reducing day job hours to half time and committing the other half of the week to their home business.

There are many benefits to a slow transition into working full-time in your home-based business. A gradual transition will allow you to:

1) Reduce Financial Burden

If you quit your day job and begin your home-business career without a transition period, you’ll experience great financial pressure. Freelance income is often variable from month to month and you’ll no longer have the safety net of a reliable and steady income. There will also be expenses associated with starting a business like paying for website design, marketing and advertising, insurance, software, bookkeeping, business registration fees and the like.

If, on the other hand, you make the transition gradually from your full-time day job to your home business, you can spread associated startup costs over time. You can set aside money each month until you’ve saved a few months of income. When you begin working full-time in your home-business, these funds can be used as a safety net when unexpected expenses arise or when your freelance income experiences inevitable valleys.

2) Gain Experience

If you remember back to a time before you began your working career, you’ll remember the “Catch 22” you may have faced: to get a job you need experience, but you get experience you need a job. This is somewhat true of providing services from a home-business. You’ll be competing with other established companies that may have a strong presence in the marketplace, experience providing services, a portfolio or body of work to showcase, and knowledge managing business finances.

If you slowly transition, working part time at first, you’ll slowly gain this experience without undue emotional or financial stress.

3) Build a Roster of Clients and Portfolio of Work

If, over time (1-3 years for example), you keep your day job and work part time building your home business, you’ll slowly get clients, build a reputation, establish a presence and build a portfolio. When the time comes to quit your day job, you’ll do so with far less stress and a greater assurance that you’ll succeed.

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4) Reduce Stress

Working for yourself has its freedoms, but it also increases both emotional and financial stress.  If you quit your day job today and begin your new home business tomorrow, the stress is further increased. When you work for yourself, it’s all on you. When you worked at a day job all you had to worry about was showing up and doing your work. You could rely on a pay check. In a home business, not only do you have to do the work, you’ll also have to wear many hats. You’ll spend some of your time doing administrative work, business planning, performing small business accounting, and marketing. You are also responsible for finding work!

If you gradually transition from your day job to running a home business full time, these stressors are still there but are drastically reduced.

Read “Managing Self-Employment Stress” for some quick tips on staying sane as a home business owner.

5) Create a Home Business Plan

If you’ve done any research into starting a home business you’ve probably read that having a business plan is essential. A gradual transition from your day job to working full time in your home-based business will allow you to develop a detailed business plan.

You’ll have plenty of time to:

  • define business goals.
  • describe the features and benefits of your services.
  • describe your competitive advantage.
  • understand your target market including developing customer personas.
  • research competitors in your market.
  • develop a marketing strategy.
  • create a financial plan.

Resources for Starting a Home Business

How Flare Accounting Helps Home Business Owners

At Flare, we understand that running a home business takes work! Flare Cloud Accounting makes it easier by giving self-employed professionals, freelancers, and consultants the tools they need to easily perform home business bookkeeping, invoicing, expense tracking and budgeting. Best of all, you don’t need any business experience to use Flare.

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