Work flexibility is defined as the freedom to determine ‘where’ and ‘when’ one will carry out their work. While corporate jobs with flexibility would allow you the freedom to decide when and how you work, there will always be some level of restriction. But home based businesses are considered to be one of the best solutions for flexible working, as it will provide the business owner complete freedom and control over their work. Being your own boss, running your own business from home allows you to work when you want (or can), where you want (or possible) and how much you want to work. Currently home based businesses are seen as the fastest growing form of startups all over the world. I guess there is no surprise as to WHY this is the case right?
Why we need flexible working?
Home based business owners can achieve work flexibility through:
Personal freedom: Since you are your own boss you will decide where you work, when you work and how much you work. You have complete control to make it work within your own terms. This reduces stress from your life.
Better work/life balance: Because you have the freedom to manage your work, it allows for you to better balance your personal and business needs. You would be able to attend to your children’s/family’s needs as and when they require it, without worrying about the consequences on your work activities. Imagine how this will destress your life?
Increased productivity: As a home business owner you will most likely do something that you are passionate about or love to do. Also as you are responsible for the success of your business and your life, the natural tendency is to be as productive as possible. You will spend time on tasks that are only value adding and or essential for the success if your business. Your time is precious to you, so you will use is productively.
What are Home Based Businesses?
Home based businesses have been in existence for centuries. Some of the most traditional home based businesses seen are:
Food business: for those with great culinary skills, making delicious foods to sell from the comfort of your home kitchen is a great option.
Tutoring: for those with teaching skills and a passion for education can easily setup tutoring classes right at home. This is a very lucrative business in many countries.
Professional practices: professionals such as lawyers, architects, doctors can easily run their private practices from home.
Child care: many Montessori’s and daycares operate in the care givers home.
The advancement of technology has created many new forms of so called new-age home businesses. These are also popularly called online businesses. Some of these are as follows:
Selling products online: It Is quite easy to setup an online store these days. So you can start selling any types of products online.
Blogging: If you like a little bit of writing and have a knack for research, then starting a blog is also a good option these days. You can even blog for others and make good money.
Virtual assistant: If you have experience in administration or have a specialization such as social media, web design, book keeping or project management, then you can start off as a virtual assistant. This is actually my forte and I’ve been busy developing my own home based business in this category.
Freelancing: Whatever your skills are, going freelance is the start for doing your own thing (aka business). There are millions of freelancers all over the world today and the numbers are rapidly increasing. Freelancing allows you to determine how much you work, where you work and when you work.
These are only a very minor subset of all the thousands of home based business ideas that are out there today. Whatever your passion is, there will definitely be away to start your own thing from home.
There is always a challenge!
While running a home based business provides one with the greatest opportunity for flexible working, it also comes with a price (as always). Running a home business is not easy, in fact it is downright difficult.
Some of the greatest challengers when running a small business are as follows:
High level of risk: Unlike being employed, risk is an inherent factor when running your own business. Be it financial stability or growing a customer base, the stakes would be quite high specially during the startup phase.
Enormous work load: As its your own business, you are responsible for all aspects of it. Your workload will cover everything from book keeping, administration, marketing, brand building, customer services, technical support, etc.
Balancing act: While a home business will provide you with great work flexibility, there will be a very thin line between your personal and business needs on a daily basis. This will require a lot of discipline and some great time management skills to master the balancing act.
So this is my view on how Home Based Businesses and Flexible Working fits in together. While we are generally used to associate work flexibility options with corporate jobs, it doesn’t have to be the only solution. Home based businesses provides a whole new dimension to achieving work flexibility and it has a lot of promise and opportunity. That is why I consider a Home Based Business to be the Best Solution which will allow us to Make It Work!