Are you craving the convenience of running a business from your own home? While a home business permits flexible working hours and lower start-up costs, staying at home requires an iron will. Defining the line between personal and business can be a problem for some people. Take this test to determine if you and your business should stay at home.

Answer "yes" or "no" for each of these five questions. When finished, give yourself two points for every yes answer, and zero points for every no. An evaluation of your score follows the quiz.

1. Do you have the technology to communicate with the outside world such as a separate phone line, fax machine, e-mail?

Yes/ No

2. Do you have space in your home for an adequate private office?

Yes/No

3. Will you be able to resist taking care of personal business during business hours -- such as family, shopping, haircuts, etc.?

Yes/No

4. Can your business compete with other businesses from your home?

Yes/No

5. Can you operate your business by yourself or with little help?

Yes/No

Answers:

0-3: Something is wrong. You may not have the right type of business, work style or work space to run your business from your home right now. To succeed in business from your home, you need adequate work space with communication equipment and a disciplined work style that will enable you to separate home and work under one roof. Get Email Counseling to find out how you can prepare for success.

4-6: You are getting there. You may need to make a few concessions in order to succeed in a home business, but these changes are manageable. It may be a matter of purchasing the proper communication equipment such as e-mail, a fax machine, or a separate phone line. This is simple to fix. But if you are the type of person who is easily distracted, beware! Working at home requires a lot of discipline.

7-10: When's the grand opening? You have what it takes to open up a home business. You've got the work space, the communication tools and the right attitude. But be sure to plan carefully before opening day. Do your homework. Separate your personal life from business life, and stay in touch with the outside world by joining trade associations and receiving trade publications. Good luck!

Copyright 1999 Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). All rights reserved.