Re: Take the job or run the business from home?

Subject: Re: Take the job or run the business from home?
From: "Bergen, Jane" <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 09:20:49 -0500

Hello, Doug,

It will be interesting to see the responses you get, but there are some
"up front" questions that would seem to affect the outcome here:

* Do you have everything you need to work from home? I am thinking of a
good fax machine, a phone dedicated to your business (or some kind of
workaround for this), a good working environment (i.e., no kids
screaming in the background when you talk to clients)?

* Do you LIKE to work from home? Are you easily distracted by "home
things" (tv, neighbors, pets, etc.) Some people find they need the
mental separation of work and home, although I've heard of some people
managing it by providing an outside entryway to their home office, by
dressing up (within moderate limits, obviously...just no working in your
pjs), by establishing set hours and sticking to them, etc.

* Do you have enough contacts/clients to get you started?

* Are you the sole source of family income? Can you afford to coast
between projects?

More comments below.....

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Doug Noyes [mailto:dnoyes -at- KINGSTON -dot- NET]


> Do I stay in place or give up the business (for a while) and relocate?
> Can I manage the start-up from another location (I will
> return on weekends to be with my family)?
> FYA: I have experience in developing and delivering
> training, technical writing, and program management.

I can't imagine how you could do much training and/or project management
work from home, but maybe other list members have more experience. Both
of those activities require lots of face-to-face people work in my
experience. But lots of technical writing activities can be done from
home very successfully.

Maybe you could compromise and work on site only a few days per week?
How far are you from the larger cities? Would it be possible to commute
a few days per week?

You might want to check some books on setting up home businesses. I've
seen some excellent books on setting up home-based "writing businesses"
and Peter Kent has a good one targeted specifically at technical writers
(check or do a web-search on the name Peter Kent). These
books will give you lots of answers to questions you haven't even
thought to ask yet, including the legal ramifications of working from
home. Usually small towns in the U.S. don't have too many regulations
about working from home, but I don't know about Canada. It's something
to consider.

Good luck. This topic is surely of interest on this list. Many of us
have or have had dreams of working from home. It would be really helpful
to hear some stories from those who have done it (successfully or not)
or who are doing it now.

Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
AnswerSoft, div of Davox Corp.
Richardson, TX, USA
(972) 997-8355

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