Running a Successful Home Business
Justin and Chad started their software business out of Chad's living room. The two discuss the pros and cons in working from home and how they transitioned between the two.
How did you decide to start your business?
We decided to start the business based off of a product Chad had been developing. Since it was a good product, Justin took the reins and thought it could be sold. One day we put some information together on how we would sell it and then, we started.
Where did you start?
We started from Chad's living room. We had the computer, looked up our demographic and began making calls.
How long did you run the business from home?
We ran the business from home for almost 7 months. It was a good way for us to cut costs in renting office space. It was also just the two of us and one other friend. So we didn't need the formal atmosphere.
When did you transfer to an office atmosphere?
When it became more than just the three of us working at the house. We wanted to hire employees. At this point we needed to make a decision. Because of the nature of the work we couldn't continue running it out of the house if we wanted it to grow. Many businesses can be completely sustained from a house. But if we wanted real employees and a professional work environment we had to move from the house to a real office.
What was the best part about working from home?
The flexibility by far. We were all very motivated to work so we set up a time schedule. Justin would come over to my house at 8 in the morning and we would work for hours. If we had been really productive that day or made lots of sales for example we would leave early and go have fun. I was living near the beach at the time. If we sold 5 accounts we would go to the beach. There were weeks when that happened two or three times and others when it didn't and we would work until 5.
Now, being in the office we have employees. If they get 5 accounts we're happy, but we certainly don't let them go to the beach!
What was the worst part about working from home?
Some times we would go so enthralled in what we were doing we would be working 12-hour days. Justin would go home, have an idea and call from his house and we would discuss it for another hour. If we were out having fun at a bar with some friends we would always end up talking about work in some capacity. Just separating the two was the worst part. Home was the office and the office was home. It's part of starting a business though I guess.
Now when I leave the office, I still think about work. But its nice to have my house just be my house. When it was my office too, life felt pretty manic.
Do you miss being someone else's employee?
Sometimes. Sometimes I want to just go to work, get my paycheck and not worry about the business so much. It becomes a lifestyle difference. Like I know if my business doesn't do well, I don't earn enough. It was nice when I just went to work and let someone else worry about it.
Would you do it again? Did you like working from home?
It was great actually. It's stressful and hard at times butt it was really fun too. All my friends were jealous that I haven't put a tie on in years. My life was about the business but I was in control of it. We had beach days and those days were the best.