Do You Have What It Takes to Run a Home-Based Business?

Yes, you’re eager to put the commute and the office politics behind you and finally bring your brilliant idea to fruition. It sounds like a dream come true; but home-based business ownership is not for everyone. Before you leave the workaday world and its steady paycheck, you need to determine whether you have what it takes to make it as a home-based entrepreneur.

Here are nine characteristics of successful home-based business owners that will help you to determine whether you have the right personality traits, experiences, and values to make a go of it, before you invest your valuable time, energy, and financial resources.

  • Confidence: Home-based business owners need confidence to pull through tough times. You have to be positive, focused, and dedicated, and you must truly believe that your venture will be successful.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit: Most entrepreneurs discover their affinity for making money at an early age: launching a baby-sitting empire at age 12, selling lemonade, delivering newspapers, or working after-school jobs. If you have what it takes to run a successful home-based business, you know that the harder you work, the more likely you are to succeed.
  • Vision: If you are to succeed, you need to be able to see the future. You don't need to be prescient, but you must be able to predict trends in your industry and to evolve to meet new needs. You must also be able to picture your business as a successful enterprise.
  • A maverick mentality: Many successful entrepreneurs couldn't hack it in corporate America; they cannot fully realize their vision while working as a cog in a larger machine. Of course, the mere fact that you don't like working for someone else isn't enough to guarantee your success; but successful mavericks approach their businesses from a unique perspective that gives them a competitive edge.
  • Preparation: Are you really ready to strike out on your own? Do you have a small nest egg, inheritance, or retirement income to live on until you get the business going? Have you built up a network of contacts and possible customers through your previous lines of work, or will you be starting from scratch? The answers to these questions will help to guide your decision and subsequent progress.
  • Discipline: As a home-based business owner, you will have to work even when you don't want to, and without someone to look over your shoulder. Sometimes you will have to force yourself to choose work over fun, a boring task over a more satisfying one, or a sales call that frightens you over one you can make without breaking a sweat.
  • Focus: You have to stay focused when telemarketers call, when neighbors show up at the door, when laundry and dishes beckon, and when your children demand attention. As a successful home-based business owner, you have to master the art of multitasking and learn to stay focused on the task at hand.
  • The ability to work alone: Home-based entrepreneurs are the ultimate self-starters. They don’t need to be energized by frequent communication during the workday. If you are someone who takes frequent breaks to chat with coworkers or friends, a home-based business may not be for you.
  • Courage: To start your own business is a huge risk; to go it alone is even more of one. You will face rejection and will have to live without a steady paycheck at first. But if you can make it through these trials, you'll be rewarded for your hard work.

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