Reflections on life, marriage, and purpose...by a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Working From Home Resources

Samantha left the following comment on this post:

Thanks for sharing that info! Please keep us posted on other ways you are working from home. My sister is going to begin working part-time at her job (right now I take care of her kids full-time), and I'm hoping to find a way to make extra income from home. My dream is to work from home, but I don't even know where to start:) So I love hearing about other peoples experiences. Also, if you have any books about starting home business please share. Thanks again!

First of all, that's wonderful news about your sister! She must be excited to get to cut down on her hours and have more time to spend with her children!:o)

I will happily share about my experiences working from home as I go along. I'm not an expert by any means, just someone who is hoping to successfully implement what I'm learning about home businesses. I will tell you up front that I think my biggest challenge so far has been getting past my fears and doubts to move forward. I'm one of the best planners and list-makers out there, but when it comes time to actually start doing what I have planned I tend to freeze! God is teaching me that a home business is not going to just happen for me. It will take diligence and perseverance. As long as I'm praying and seeking God's direction, I have to trust Him enough to step out past my comfort zone and simply try my best without worrying about potential failure!

You asked about books. Well, I have read or at least thumbed through just about all of them I could find! Micah and I have spent countless hours at the library and at our local Barnes and Noble over the past few years, hoping to soak up some life-changing knowledge. I think there are two main types of books on entrepreneurialism:

1. The first type contains technical/legal knowledge. When you start a business, you will need to know things like: how to acquire a business name, open a business checking account, whether the business you're interested in is highly regulated (such as the food industry), etc. You could probably do fine with just about any manual by a relatively articulate person who knows about these topics. If you can find a book pertinent to your particular state and/or type of business, you might find that all the more helpful. Before you go out and buy a book, see if you can get what you need from websites or simply copy down the information you need from a library book.

*My advice: don't accept any of the garbage out there about financing your business with any sort of debt, whether that's credit cards or business loans or borrowing money from friends and family! If you can't afford it, you don't need to be doing it. If God wants you to have a certain type of business, He will provide the resources. Sometimes you just have to start very small and allow your business to develop as the money comes in. You should learn how to budget and be a good steward with your business finances, just as you would with your personal finances. Allow common sense to take the reigns when you find yourself reading the book of some guy who's telling you that you can buy your way to financial freedom with debt. That's like saying, "I'm going to climb to Heaven by digging a hole!" Maybe a few people have gotten "lucky", but there are certainly countless more who have crashed and burned with that approach! Dave Ramsey's resources really helped my husband and I put our heads on straight about debt. I especially recommend his book "The Total Money Makeover". You can also listen to his radio show.

**Also use your common sense when considering the things some of these books will tell you you NEED! You may need a computer for many businesses, but you don't need a fancy office getup. You may or may not need all of that fancy software. Don't sacrifice business quality, but do be creative in finding ways to attain it with less money!

2. The second book type contains creative knowledge. These are the inspirational and motivational books that seek to help you decide what type of business to start, offer creative ways to market your business or claim to have winning strategies for making you rich. Ignore ALL get-rich-quick books or websites. Stay far, far away from "business opportunities" that offer you wealth but remain vague about what you will actually be doing to acquire that wealth! If you have an inkling that something might be a scam, it probably is.

I've enjoyed browsing through idea books, but ultimately realize that nobody else (who doesn't know me, anyway!) is going to be able to tell me exactly what I should do. You should seek to determine your special niche by praying and assessing your own interests and skills. A good (though not exactly cheap) resource to help you do this is Dan Miller's 48 Days to Creative Income. Some of his other business start-up resources look helpful too, though I haven't read them. Dan Miller also offers a free newsletter.

Some other resources that offer business ideas are:

-the Business Owners Idea Cafe website. See their Business Owners Profiles page to meet entrepreneurs in action!

-Crystal's e-books offer ideas and real stories about women in home-centered businesses. "The Merchant Maiden" is the only one I've read, but "How to Start Your Own Business: For Christian Young Women" looks good too!

-I've also found interesting info. on www.Wahm.com, even though the site is technically for work-at-home mothers:o).

-If you find any books for work-at-home moms at your library, check them out for relevent info. as well. They often have a more home-centered focus than your typical entrepreneurial resources.

Once you narrow in on your niche, look for websites or books that specifically address that particular business.

For marketing ideas (that's my husband's department), Micah has enjoyed the Guerilla Marketing books. We have this one and would like to get this one and perhaps the ones specifically for writers and home-based businesses.

Whew! Well, sorry this is so long! But hopefully somebody will find it helpful:o) Does anybody else have good home business resources to offer?

3 Comments:

Blogger Samantha said...

Thank you so much Erin! You're such a sweatheart! This helps more than you know.

3:02 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Mrs. Wilt said...

Erin,
What a helpful post! Thank you!

3:31 PM, March 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a very helpful post! thanks for sharing.

12:29 PM, March 23, 2006  

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