Many people start home-based businesses in the hopes of setting their own work schedules and increasing their free time, but few people realize the careful planning that is required to achieve these goals. In fact, time management is one of the more important challenges a home-based business owner may face. Experts recommend that home-based business owners set up a workable schedule immediately upon starting their ventures in order to establish good habits. In many cases, the limited amount of work available in the early stages of a home-based business's existence may cause the entrepreneur to establish a pattern of running personal errands or watching television during work time. In this way, lethargy and unproductive use of time become ingrained and perpetuate themselves. Instead, downtime that has been reserved for working should be used to market and promote the business.

As a result of these and other factors, an estimated 40 million Americans now work from their homes. This number includes employees working from home for a larger employer as well as self-employed. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of home-based business owners are women, who choose this option either because of childcare concerns or because of a perceived glass ceiling limiting their earnings potential in the corporate world. Running a business out of the home offers a number of advantages, including time savings, control over working hours and conditions, independence, and flexibility. Starting a home-based business is also considerably cheaper than starting a business in rented facilities. In addition to saving money on overhead expenses, commuting costs, and wardrobe expenditures, many home-based business owners can deduct a portion of their rent or mortgage interest from their personal income taxes.
It’s not all bad, of course. I never have to miss anything my kids are a part of, and I do get to enjoy a lot of time with my little people. I have been forced to learn to compartmentalize my time and set clear boundaries, which is a good thing. I have had to learn not to feel guilty for working in front of my kids, though admittedly I still struggle with that sometimes. My husband more than pulls his own weight, so overall, the benefits outweigh the challenges.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it's not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
It’s no secret: getting out of bed to go to work in the morning is hard. Traffic jams, metro delays, and the daily grind of an office routine can all seriously detract from our excitement to show up at the job every day. But what if you didn’t have to show up at the job every day? What if you didn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning in order to be a productive contributor to your company?
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