If you are a mum who is planning to work from home part time, it is possible that you could do it without extra training, but depending on what your plans are, you might need to have a little training to help you run your business smoothly. If you intend to have staff at any point, you will need help with the minefield that is employment law. There are all kinds of responsibilities which you as an employer will have towards your employees even if they are working from home part time. It is very important that you take everything seriously from the start – a friend who is helping you out while your business venture takes off is entitled to the same level of care as an employee you have chosen from a field at interview. Health and safety guidelines alone will need hours of study and if you are providing a work place you will need to prepare a very detailed risk assessment, something which is very hard to do without training.
If this all sounds a bit scary, don’t worry too much. There is no such thing as too much preparation if you are planning to run a business which is going to grow and potentially make it possible for you to live a very comfortable life with little ongoing effort. In the early days of working from home you might think that there is no need to look into all the ins and outs of company and employment law, but it is just as well to be prepared. If you are a freelancer, for example, you may suddenly be given a huge project which will need a lot of temporary staff and quickly – it will be too late then to start looking into the practicalities, you need to know it all in advance.
Most local Chambers of Commerce will have short courses running regularly or you can sometimes get training one to one by arrangement. Your local college of education will certainly have business courses, but you will really need to plan ahead if you want to get on one of those as they often start by terms, which might not suit your timetable. If you just want some training on one thing, for example how to prepare a contract of employment or what to do if you need to discipline a member of staff, there are lots of online guides to help you. The Citizens’ Advice Bureau will also be able to point you in the right direction.
One good way – and some would say the best – is to offer to work for free for a company which has the skills you need to learn. Work experience is not just for youngsters and you will learn a lot more by shadowing someone who is doing the task you need to learn about on a daily basis than from any number of courses. Be honest with the company when you make contact. Some might feel a little awkward training a would-be competitor but most businesses are confident enough to feel comfortable helping the new kid on the block.