Going with the Flow

Well, here we are, less than 48 hours into the new year and I’ve already got a minor crisis on my hands.

Welcome to the world of the home business owner!

Tomorrow is supposed to be back-to-school day. However, thanks to this morning’s diagnosis of Strep Throat, my daughter, Jennifer, gets to extend her holiday break by one day. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem – after all, part of the reason I work at home is so that I don’t have to worry about having to take time off from work when one of the kids are sick – but tomorrow is the day I am supposed to oversee the first of three large bulk mailings being done by one of my clients. To make matters worse, the weather forecast for tonight and early tomorrow is calling for sleet and snow.

Fortunately, my husband has been able to re-arrange his schedule for tomorrow and so, assuming the weather cooperates, he will stay home with Jennifer while I take our youngest to his daycare before heading over to the job. I’ve already worked out a contingency plan in the event the roads are bad enough to close the schools (my client is a local Catholic high school) in the morning.

When you operate your own business, contingency plans are vital, especially if you also have children at home. As you plan projects and schedule deliverables, try to envision the types of things that may prevent you from proceeding according to plan. Which of these things are within your control (i.e. procrastination) and which are totally out of your hands (i.e. illness, weather)? For those things you cannot control, what can you do to minimize their impact? Does your business require you to meet with clients outside of the home? Is there someone who can watch your children when they are sick?

The way you answer these questions may help you decide which type of home business may be right for you. If you are fortunate to have someone – a spouse or a friend – who can occasionally watch your children, then you can probably pursue work that may occasionally require you to be out of the house. If, on the other hand, you are the sole or primary caregiver, you may be better suited to a position that is entirely based within your home.

There are a number of factors which may have some impact on the type of home business opportunity you ultimately try to pursue. The key is to try to identify the potential obstacles early in the process. Once you do this, you will be able to reasonably set your expectations.

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About Michele Blandino

Michele Blandino is a freelance writer based in central New Jersey. She is also a wife, mother (Jennifer - age 9 and Michael - age 4), daughter, sister, scrapbooker, Girl Scout leader, active church member, school volunteer, occasional walker, and long-suffering Rutgers Scarlet Knight fan.