Skills Needed to Work at Home
To run your home-based business successfully, you will need a range of skills. These are described in general terms below. If you lack any of these it does not necessarily mean that you should not set up a business. However, if you feel any of these areas is going to present serious problems, you may need to consider taking on a partner or employee to handle that aspect of the business, or using a specialist adviser or consultant. You might also consider taking other courses to acquire the skills you need.
These are the skills that you need to actually make the products or deliver the service you are offering. For some types of business you will need to have relevant experience (probably gained as an employee) and perhaps some professional qualifications. For instance, no-one today would set up as a car mechanic without at least some relevant training and experience. On the other hand, for other types of business, specific qualifications and experience may not be essential. Whatever your business, however, if you expect people to pay you for your work, you will need to have the necessary technical skills to deliver a good quality product or service.
To run a business successfully you will need a range of financial skills. These include skills in such matters as bookkeeping, negotiating credit terms with suppliers, invoicing, credit control, estimating, drawing up budgets and controlling cash flow (the flow of money into and out of the business).
Marketing is the process by which you identify potential customers and persuade them to buy your products or services.
If you are going to employ others, you will need a variety of management skills in such areas as recruitment, motivating staff and team building. You will need a knowledge of employment law and health and safety requirements. You will also need to be able to fulfil legal requirements in matters such as deducting tax from employees’ pay.
Whether or not you intend to employ others, you will need organisational skills to ensure that every aspect of your business runs smoothly. This includes setting up systems for dealing with orders and enquiries, keeping customer records, and so on. It also includes time management, i.e. ensuring that your time is used as efficiently as possible.
Many people think from time to time about starting a business, but frequently it goes no further than that. Often it takes the spur of a sudden change in circumstances for vague plans to crystallise into something more definite.
With the uncertain global economy it’s a good idea to start looking into a small home business venture with low start up costs to help insulate any financial hardship that could arise.