At a glance, it seems like an all round wonderful idea. Browsing through T-shirt designs in your PJs with a donut in one hand and a cup of hot chocolate in another, while the laptop is resting on your knees? Check. Never missing a lunch break again unless you want to? You’ve got this. Staying up till midnight as you’ve just bitten by an inspiration bug, without worrying about the dreaded morning alarm? Here you go...
You get flexible working hours…
Congratulations - you are your own boss now! No one is going to restrict you with unreasonable deadlines anymore, and yes, you get to spend as much time with your loved ones as you choose to. This is great - after all, managing a T-shirt printing business is a creative process and being sad about skipping your daughter’s kindergarten graduation is not exactly an inspiration booster.
… but time management and self-motivation can get tricky.
Ultimately, there are two types of people in the world - those who need external deadlines and motivation and those who are better off determining those for themselves. Be honest with yourself and think about how you’re going to approach goal setting for your T-shirt printing business without any verbal cues from the bosses. In such a competitive field, being ahead of competitors is important, and there is nothing worse that losing your business to being a little bit too relaxed.
You don’t have to deal directly with clients as much …
Clients are great, obviously. We need people buying shirts to keep our businesses running. But with t-shirt printing, as in any business, there will always be those who insist on making your life difficult. Working from home gives you distance between yourself and your most irate customers. It’s a much less stressful way of dealing with people.
… but finding clients may be harder than you think.
You’d be surprised how much being out there physically and working face to face with other people does for expanding your client base. Having a brick-and-mortar shop in the right location is still a really powerful customer building tool. Building a client base online, from scratch, is a tricky business, and although we’re sure you’ll be fine eventually, the very start of your couch office journey is likely to be a rocky start.
There’s no employee in-fighting …
Even if it’s not written anywhere in official papers, there is often a silent competition going on at the workplace. Some people will inevitably attempt to look better in the eyes of bosses by actively sinking others, and this is not exactly a productive situation. Working from home enables you to avoid such issues.
… but you lose the joys of human interaction.
Keep in mind, however - a little bit of competition can be great to enhance productivity. Besides, who said colleagues and peers can’t become great friends? The world doesn’t only consist of sharks.
There are many pros and cons of building your T-shirt printing business from home, and we’ve only listed a few of them to give you a general idea. Do your research, think it through - and if you truly feel that the pros outweigh the cons for you personally, take the plunge and try managing your business from home.
After all, you never truly know until you try.
- Joseph Guilar reporting for American Screen Printing Association.