One of the great things about working from home, and running your own business, is that you have a great deal of flexibility. Your dress code is flexible. Your schedule is largely flexible. The types of jobs you take can be flexible. However, there are some issues that you can run into when you work from home, and these are not so flexible. One of those issues is what to do if your Internet is not available.
Working from Home: Do You Have a Back-Up Plan?
Technology has been a boon to me; it has provided me with a way to provide for my family while working from home. But what happens when the Internet is not accessible? When you rely on something being available to you in order to get your work done, it is important that it is always there for you. A day (or two!) of lost work can be costly, throwing off the family finances — especially if an important deadline is missed, and a client looks elsewhere as a result. Recently, I found out that I need a back-up plan for working from home.
In my case, when the Internet goes down, it becomes necessary to find someplace else to work. I don’t have a laptop (I work on a desktop), so I can’t just go down to the local wi-fi hotspot at the coffee shop. But the time limit at the library is one hour per day. So that limits me as well. My recent back-up plan consisted of doing what absolutely, positively had to be done right now in order to meet my commitments, in the hour available to me at the library. Of course, once had access to the Internet again, I was able to hop back on and get more done. In order to avoid this travesty, I think that I might need to buy a laptop — or at least a serviceable netbook — so that I am not unprepared.
Regular Jobs and a Back-Up Plan
A back-up plan isn’t just necessary for those who work from home, though. Even those who work more traditional jobs may find themselves needing a back-up plan. What happens if your car breaks down and you can’t get to work? Do you know the public transit schedule? Is there someone you can ride with? Do you have enough “personal leave” to cover unexpected emergencies?
The recent recession has taught many that lay offs are not the only threat to income from a regular job. You also have to worry about reduced hours. Do you have some other way of earning money in case your hours (and your income) are cut? Income diversity — cultivating multiple income streams — is one way to help you prepare for unexpected income reductions. An emergency fund can also be helpful as a back-up plan to a loss of income. It may not completely replace your income, but it can help you get through a tough time.
In the end, it is important to consider the factors that could impact your income, changing the way your money moves through your personal economy. Consider what could go wrong, and then create a back-up plan that can reduce the impact.
Photo credit: Scania Group