Working At Home

The Work at Home NZ article contains information on how to work from home, and the types of businesses that you can do from your home.

Many Kiwis choose to work from home to take control of their own future, to achieve their career goals, or simply to do what they love! Working from home has challenges of its own: find out how to get started and where to go for advice.

Working from home has challenges of its own, but those who successfully make the transition to self employment enjoy a more flexible lifestyle, and take control of their own career – rather than waiting around for promotions, pay rises, mergers and other advances that are out of their control.

So, What Kind Of Work Would Suit Me?

Like any question of career, you’ll need to do some career planning and consider your own strengths, skills and interests. Don’t let your inexperience stop you from exploring new areas, but do be realistic about the work skills you’ll need to be successful in your chosen field. There are many choices if you want to start your own home business or work at home in New Zealand.

  • Establish Yourself As A Freelancer. What skills or work experience do you have? Many skills can be applied to contract or consulting work, such as web design, computer troubleshooting, writing for print or web, or an area of specialist expertise.
  • Buy A Franchise. There are many NZ franchise opportunities that can allow you to work from your own home. Consider in-home child care, working as an independent real estate agent, or buying an lawn mowing franchise.
  • Become A Virtual Assistant. These days you don’t need to be on-site to provide excellent administration, accounting or bookkeeping services. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can become an assistant extraordinaire!
  • Turn Your Passion Into Your Business. Do you have a passion that has the potential to be turned into a great home business? If your heart is committed to a project, you’ll spend more time on it and increase your chances of successfully working at home in NZ.
  • Buy And Sell Through Online Auction Sites. Through the phenomenon that is TradeMe, many Kiwis have been able to sell products online, avoiding the costs of retail overheads and ‘testing the waters’ before launching their own fully-fledged business. As well as selling your own products, you can also find success in buying and selling on a particular type of product or collectable.

How Can I Set Up My Own Business?

The ‘work at home’ dream may not be reached overnight – you’ll probably have to take some gradual steps towards self-employment. This will give you confidence in your venture and greater knowledge of the market before taking the leap! Here are some ways to get your work at home scheme started.

  • Starting Your Business Alongside Your Existing Full Time Job. This will mean time to assess the viability of your venture and reduce financial impact if it all goes pear-shaped or you realise it’s not the right thing for you. This is also a good option for those facing mortgage payment pressures or other financial obligations. Once your business has shown promising results, you can make the transition to full time entrepreneur.
  • Working Part Time Alongside Your New Venture. Cutting back your hours to part time is an ideal option for many, but relies on the flexibility of your employer or your ability to find a well-paid part time job. Aim for 3 or 4 days a week in your regular job and 1 or 2 days committed to your new venture. You might also want to consider freelance or contract work – which can demand a good hourly rate – but remember that freelance income can be inconsistent.
  • Get An Assistant. While you handle strategic decisions and find ways to make your business grow, an assistant can handle accounts and administrative tasks for a few hours each week. Be sure to include a clause in their contract to prevent theft of intellectual property.
  • Using Your Savings. While it’s not recommended to use all your savings in one go, consider taking a portion of your saved pennies to invest in your business or to use for living expenses while establishing your business.
  • Discuss Your Plans With Your Partner. It’s essential to let your partner or spouse know what your aspirations and long term plans are. If you get your partner on-side, you’ll have someone to share the financial load, as well as an important source of moral support and advice.
  • Approach Existing Business Contacts. If you require support when beginning your business venture, think about people you have met through past or current employment – these contacts could be an important source of support for your new business. They may be able to offer you finance, shared clients or industry-specific advice.

Help, I Need More Advice!

Remember, starting a new business won’t mean an overnight success. The successful businesses you see have hours of planning, set up and ongoing development behind them. Give yourself a chance to succeed (without giving up!) and try to envisage your new business as a work in progress, continually growing and becoming more profitable and secure.

Here are some useful resources for Kiwis wanting to work at home in New Zealand.

  • – a government-run website to help you start, manage and grow your business.
  • The Small Business Company – experts in best practice for small business, offering tools and resources for business owners and managers in New Zealand.
  • HomebizBuzz – an independent resource for home business owners, small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed New Zealanders.
  • The Icehouse – a business growth centre helping business owners and managers transform and grow their businesses.