Running a home business can be fraught with challenges and difficulties. Not least because your home might not be the right location for your business. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common home business problems and possible solutions so you can solve them and decide if running a home-based business is the right choice for you.
In this article, we'll cover these common home based business issues and how to solve them:
- You might not have enough space to run a business from home
- Your home business might not being thought of as a “proper business”
- Working from home alone can cause isolation and loneliness
- It can be easy to procrastinate when you work from home
- Your home business needs just as much promotion (or more) as any other business
Common home based business issues (& how to solve them)
Working from home is becoming a more common way to make money, whether you are a prolific blogger, a crafter or a financial adviser. Setting yourself up in a home office can be perfect to help you hit the ground running with your new money-making venture.
However idyllic it sounds, there are some aspects to setting up a business from home that take some getting used to and some reasons why your home might not be the right location for your business.
You might not have enough space to run a business from home
Unless you are running a drop shipping business, you will need a significant amount of space to run your own company from your home. That means you need to choose one of two options. The first is to clear out a space like a spare room, garage, or garden office to dedicate to your business. Remember you will need space in which to work, and in most cases space in which to store your products before you send them on to your customers.
The second option is to use something like these mobile storage containers to solve the space problem. They work by coming to your property to pick up and pack the business items you do not have space for. The service will then take the mobile contained away with them and store it in a secure location. Then when you need the items you have in storage they will deliver them back to you at no extra cost, thereby providing you with a flexible and cost-effective storage solution for your home business.
Your home business might not being thought of as a “proper business”
You know that you work just as hard, if not harder than your counterparts in corporate offices, yet when you run a business from home, the perceptions of others may not reflect this. Some larger businesses may be reluctant to work with you if they see you as small, worrying that you won't be as professional as your competition.
There are some actions you can take to remedy this. One is to invest in proper branding for your business that spans your marketing, website, and business stationery, as this will provide a cohesive look that will inspire trust.
Some home-based businesses even choose to use a virtual address, often in the business district of a major city, which can help them when potential clients compare them to their competitors. You can also use a professional phone number and have a virtual assistant to answer calls.
Don't forget, you ARE a real business... so don't forget about self-employed business insurance and all the other important things a real business needs!
Working from home alone can cause isolation and loneliness
Working from home can seem wonderful in the beginning, especially when you don’t need to get up at 6 am for your morning commute or get dressed if you don’t want to. However, when you are running your business from home, alone these feelings of freedom can very quickly turn into a sense of loneliness and isolation.
You may be used to the camaraderie of the office when you were working full time. You could share a giggle, have a chat, and enjoy a catch-up over lunch… Now you are working alone.
This can take some getting used to. However, to avoid isolation, it’s vital that you can get outdoors and take a break every now and then. Plan some social time, or time outside of the home each day. You may like to go on a walk, head to the gym, or join a club so you can get that all-important social interaction each day.
Getting outside and into natural light will lift your mood and help you to recharge your batteries in between work sessions.
Consider joining a local networking group for entrepreneurs to help you make connections. This can lead to social events and can help you to develop a like-minded support network to share problems and advice. If this is too outside your comfort zone then find online networking groups in your field.
A good and realistic routine can be very helpful as well, it can support you with staying motivated while at the same time not pushing yourself too hard. Remember that your perfect and most productive day when running a business from home may not be one that you can replicate consistently, so cut yourself a break, and make sure that your routine works for you.
It can be easy to procrastinate when you work from home
It’s all too easy to fall into the procrastination trap when working from home unless you follow some simple rules. Firstly, forget about the concept of pyjama days. Yes, they sound wonderful, having lie-ins, getting up when you want and settling in front of the sofa with your laptop open and your favourite coffee in your hand while still in your jim-jams.
There’s no way that you will be as productive doing this. The TV will be on and you will soon be scrolling mindlessly through your Facebook feed. And just one more episode of the latest box set that you are watching before you start working again after lunch.
Don’t do it. Get up at a sensible time, get dressed, and never settle in front of the TV. Instead, get yourself a home office and separate your home and work life, this will help you stay productive if you work from home.
Your home business needs just as much promotion (or more) as any other business
Starting and running a business from home is all-consuming and unless you outsource business tasks, then you’ll need to take care of everything yourself. This includes the marketing and promotion of your business and many people don’t know where to start.
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you can’t employ the same marketing tactics as big companies do in order to get noticed. In fact, you need to get your home business out there in a crowded marketplace and you need to shout about it from the rooftops so people know of your existence!
Set up social media accounts to promote your business, and a professional website, attend networking events online and in-person, write a blog about your business, post on LinkedIn and find ways to reach out to potential customers/clients so they know about you.
If you want your business website to appear higher up the Google search results, consider hiring an SEO company and investigate the SEO strategies that they employ that could get you more hits to your website. Or learn it yourself. Follow SEO companies online, read their blog posts and learn as much as you can! Learn these SEO acronyms so you can understand the lingo.
Most importantly, you need to get your business out there! Unless you have the funds to pay a company to do this for you, then you will need to take charge of your own promotion! Running a business means you will be the admin, owner, accounts, marketer, advertiser and more, unless you pay people to do these jobs for you. Promoting your business is so important and you need to find a way of doing this from home that works for you.
Final word on the challenges of setting up a home based business
Running a business from home can be a lot of fun, but it can also be hard work and very different to being an employee at a place of work. Whilst many spread the benefits of a home-based business, such as how working from home can save money, there are some drawbacks you need to be prepared for in order to make it a success. You’ll need a suitable place to work away from the distractions of your household, self-motivation, the determination to make your home business as professional and reputable as any other, and to learn essential marketing skills to ensure you find customers and generate enough income to be a success.
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