There are many challenges to working at home. One of the biggies that keeps many people from getting started is building a regular, steady income. Depending on the work-at-home career you choose, building and maintaining an income may be a significant part of what you do. It’s one reason many people seek telecommuting jobs. However, even in a job, which can vanish in an instant, it’s important to stay diligent about income. Here are tips to building a steady income from home:
1) Keep your day job. Starting your home-based endeavor part-time around your regular job eases you into working at home and insures you still have income until your home-based work generate income. It’s not always easy to add building a side-income from home to an already busy schedule. But it’s often cheaper and easier than going out and getting a second job.
2) Build a nest egg. Except for investing back into home-based work, avoid spending your extra income. Even in the case of buying things for your work-at-home venture, make sure it’s on tools or services that will directly help you make more. A new printer might be nice, but do you really need it now? The best way to avoid financial disaster is to have a nest egg that can last at least 6 months.
3) Focus on the long term, not on the quick buck. While the Internet has made making money at home faster and easier, it’s also loaded with bright, shiny programs that promise big bucks for little effort if you just get in now. Jumping at every program making over-the-top promises is a sure way not to succeed working at home. Working at home requires a long-term concentrated effort. If your focus is jumping around, nothing will get the attention it needs to start working for you.
4) Revere your work-at-home career. Although you might be starting part-time, that doesn’t mean your work-at-home career isn’t important. Too many people treat their work-at-home effort as a hobby or something they fit in when they have the time, and then they wonder why they aren’t successful. If working at home is important to you, then treat it as such. Give it the attention as you would a job; something you do every day.
5) Stay current on news and trends in your industry. While you don’t want to get distracted by bright, shiny programs, you do want to keep informed about what’s going on related to your work-at-home career, otherwise, you’ll get passed over and left behind. Work-At-Home Success and how I market it is much different than when I started in 1998. When I launched WAHS, Google, blogging and social media hadn’t been born. It’s challenging enough to compete with all the other work-at-home websites out there, if I hadn’t adapted and adopted new technology as it came along, and continued to learn about new work-from-home options, I’d be out of business.
6) Market, market, market. It doesn’t matter what work-at-home career you choose, marketing is a part of it. If you want a job, you need to market yourself by writing a great resume, searching for and applying to jobs everyday. Even if you get a job, you should keep your resume current and your options open by networking. Home business owners, freelancers, bloggers… anyone counting on making money by having other people buy from you, hire you, or visit your website, needs to market every day. Once you start selling, getting clients or earning income, keep marketing every day. You have to keep up the habit and momentum. One reason many people fail at home is that they stop marketing. If you don’t market, people don’t know about you and therefore can’t buy from or hire you. Think of it this way… everyone knows about Wal-Mart and yet, Wal-Mart still runs ads. Out of sight is out of mind. So keep yourself in your market’s mind.
7) Track your results. The best way to make more from doing less is by knowing what efforts are producing results and focusing on them. Do you know how many subscribers you get by tweeting versus guest blogging? Does your networking on LinkedIn bring more clients than Facebook ads? You only have so much time in the day, so you should focus on the tasks that earn money and tweak or get rid of the tasks that don’t.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.