The idea of working from home can seem quite an attractive prospect.
However, many people are deterred from doing so, no matter how attractive it may be, often for entirely the wrong reasons. On the other side of the coin, some people enter the world of home businesses for entirely different wrong reasons.
So what are the common assumptions or misconceptions when it comes to this way of making money, and what is the reality?
Common assumptions which put people off starting a home business include the belief that it's a huge gamble, that there is no certainty in terms of income, that it costs a lot of money to get started, and that it requires a high level of business experience, understanding and acumen.
It's a shame that these assumptions put so many people off because many of them are untrue.
To start with, buying a home-based business should not be a gamble. If you're in the luxurious situation of not actually having to work, then you can certainly experiment with ideas that may or may not work out.
However, for the majority of people who decide to switch to working at home, it involves a great deal of research and planning. No business is likely to succeed, no matter how large or small, how established or how new, if it gambles without preparing itself first.
Launching a home-based business should not be a gamble
The internet holds a wealth of reviews, forums, discussion boards and other places where you can chat to others who already run a business from home successfully, and find out more about any ideas you have.
A gamble is simply a decision that hasn't been thought through first.
If you want to work from home, don't imagine you'll pack your day job in on Friday afternoon and wake up on Monday morning ready to start earning your own wage - it won't happen. Instead, plan, research and prepare and turn a gamble into a decision.
Needn't be expensive
Some people assume that getting started on your own at home must cost a lot of money. It's certainly true that if you're going to choose the franchise route, you could be looking at a large investment, but not every work-from-home opportunity is a franchise, and there are many opportunities which cost less than the price of a meal out, while others are almost entirely free.
As long as you have time, a computer and a telephone you'll almost certainly be able to get started. It depends on the nature of the business you're interested in, but there are certainly many attractive opportunities which cost relatively little.
Other people assume that to be successful, you need a high level of business understanding and experience. This is certainly not true.
Most of us have enough understanding of the way the world of business works to be able to start a business. Of course, if you have a high level of experience you may be looking at promoting a more dynamic, substantial business model, but that doesn't mean to say that the rest of us don't have a chance.
If you can write a shopping list, drive to the shop, buy products and then get home and follow a recipe to cook a meal, that's about all you need to get started in many cases. The reality is that there are so many different home-working opportunities that regardless of your experience or business knowledge there will be at least one scheme to suit you.
The trick is to research and prepare beforehand, using forums and discussion boards to find out about opportunities that are available and what's involved. Many people in these forums are more than happy to share their knowledge, experience and understanding, offering advice and tips to help others get started.
But on the flip side of the coin a great many people launch a business idea for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, in these cases they are highly likely to fail.
If you get into a car without a map and no real idea of where you're going, the chances are high you'll end up either going round in circles or getting lost!
Don't jump into a work-from-home scheme if you think it will be easy, or that you'll have lots of free time, or that your family will all sit quietly and let you get on with it, or that you'll be a millionaire by Christmas. Often it is hard work with many people working far longer hours than those who stayed behind in the office.
Even though there is now a new breed of mumpreneurs, juggling family commitments and pressures can still be very tough if you haven't carefully thought it through and discussed it with them beforehand.
Having said that, if you enter a work at home scheme for the right reasons, well prepared and with your eyes fully open, the rewards and satisfaction are incomparable when it all works out.