The idea of going to school and getting a good job, experience the security of working for a single corporation for most of your adult life, and enjoying your golden years with a comfortable retirement plan sound like a fantasy in the modern age. However, it was part of reality in the Leave it to Beaver era for many people who had a good education and could secure corporate jobs.
The sartorial Ward Cleaver managed to keep his domestic life together and have the time and patience to counsel Theodore “Beaver” on how to better manage the vicissitudes of life because his family life was supported by a predictable socioeconomic structure. While, of course, the Leave it to Beaver TV series which ran from 1957 to 1963 was something of an idealization because not everyone enjoyed the benefits of just compensation for loyal service, at least it was possible to float the thesis of social harmony and economic stability in those years.
Now in the 21st century, an ambitious person is more likely to test an unusual question that would have baffled a straight shooter like Ward Cleaver: “What would happen if I started my own business from home rather than stay miserable at my current job where I feel harassed, overworked and underpaid?”
With the advent of the Internet, this is actually a real question. If you have a skillset that you could do over the Internet, say computer programming, you could outsource your talent to a number of business clients. Perhaps, you could investigate their business process problems and write code to create a software solution.
Here are 3 big problems you might face and how to overcome them:
1. A Business Address:
There is a certain social stigma to working from home, even if the reality of the situation is that you are working far more industriously and have the potential of earning in one month what most people earn in a year because there is no cap on your ceiling. Unfortunately, when you tell prospective clients that you work from home, they often suspect that you’re often unemployed or too lazy to get a regular job. As a result, they are unlikely to trust you with a contract.
The solution is not to rent an office so that you can fit into other people’s prejudices about the world of work, but to join a digital mailbox network. For about ten dollars a month, you can get a virtual business address and a digital mailbox. You can choose a real street address in your state. Prospects can find and contact you through your website via search engines and through business directories. You will be able to enjoy all the advantages of a regular business address, including managing your postal mail and receiving packages.
With just a little bit of creative thinking, you can create the perception of having a small office where you work regular office hours without the added expense of renting an office in a commercial building.
2. Insufficient Staff:
If you’re running your own business from home, or working with just a few people from your home office, you will not have enough staff for many office functions. The solution is to outsource the work or to use software that automates many tedious tasks making it possible to do the work in less time. For instance, no one may have the time manage company finances because everyone will be too preoccupied with marketing or fulfilling projects for clients. However, you can outsource the accounting work or use one of the myriad accounting programs on the market.
3. Rapid Success:
If you’re doing well-paid work from home based on your technical skills and get enough clients to give you regular work, you might face an unusual problem—rapid success. With low overheads, high project fees, and no corporate salary bracket, it’s possible to achieve astonishing business growth.
This is particularly likely to happen if you are in a field like advertising technology where demand for specialized help in creating online advertising far exceeds the number of B2B firms that can supply this level of expertise. It takes an unusual amount of talent to create Google PPC ad campaigns that result in a high ROI because you have the right mix of copywriting skills and search engine optimization knowledge.
If you reach this point where you have to turn away work, you will probably need to rent an office space so that you can hire additional talent to manage the influx of increasingly higher amounts of work.
Build Your Own Business
Although your chances of working for “a big company” with its headquarters in New York City and driving to work in a Plymouth like Ward Cleaver may have a nostalgic appeal, in the modern age, you are now in a better position to make your small business run like a big one even if you’re starting from home.