Many people dream of working from home. The idea of waking up just a few minutes before you need to start working, skipping rush hour traffic altogether, is awesome. Being able to work all day in your pajamas if you choose is appealing too. There’s plenty of great reasons why having your own in-home business will grant you more freedom in your life.
With that being said, having an in-home business presents some unique challenges. Much as we all like to think we’d better off of working at home, not everyone is cut out for it. Your workload doesn’t decrease just because you’re in a home office. There are far more temptations and distractions to overcome. In short – an in-home business can be even more challenging than working in an office every day.
If you’re thinking of starting your own in-home business, you need to be fully prepared for what you’re getting into. Read the following insights about starting a home-based business that you may not have thought about, then decide if it’s right for you.
You Have to Maintain a Strict Schedule
Do you think that running a home-based business means you can start your day whenever you want, and close up shop when you feel like it? It does…to an extent. What many people don’t realize is that running a home-based business requires even more discipline than working in a traditional office setting. There’s no boss checking in on you, no timekeeper to check in and out on. Just you and a list of tasks that need to be accomplished. Watching TV or taking a nap in the middle of the day will become very real temptations.
If you want to complete your workload and deliver great results to your clients, you have to maintain a set schedule. Your clients will expect to know when they can get a hold of you. If they can’t, you’ll quickly find yourself out of work.
Planning on Watching Your Kids? Not if You Want to Get Work Done
For some reason, many parents think that if they could just work from home, they could handle both a full-time job while they watch their children. Here’s some expert advice – don’t try it. Research has proven, time and again, that trying to multitask destroys productivity. It only gets worse when you try to swap between to unrelated tasks. Call me crazy, but I don’t see much similarity between writing a business proposal and changing a dirty diaper.
If you have a home-based business, it’s essential that you keep your work-related tasks and your parenting tasks separate. You may not have planned on hiring anyone for your business, but if you’re a parent, you need at least one – a caregiver for your child. You can treat a nanny like you would any employee, with a salary, set schedule, and benefits. You will have to comply with employment laws and pay employee taxes, so make sure you’re prepared to handle these costs before you start your business.
You Need a Dedicated Workspace to Succeed
As tempting as sitting on the couch while you type may sound, it’s a terrible idea for home business owners. If you’re surrounded by your spouse or children who run around in public areas like they always do, you’ll lose focus and the quality of your work will suffer.
In order to be successful, you need a dedicated workspace in your home. It needs to be organized in a way that you can focus on work, instead of hunting for office supplies all the time. You also need to establish some ground rules for your workspace, such as:
- When it is and isn’t acceptable to enter your workspace
- What you don’t want people touching or using in your space
- Hours that you need to be left alone
You Have to Be a Salesman, Marketer, and Business Manager Too
One of the leading reasons why people choose to open their own business is so they can do what they really love to do. While it’s true that you can focus your business wherever your passions lie (if there’s a market for it), if you’re a business owner, you have to do more than just your core function. In order to make money, you’re going to need clients. That means sales, marketing, and business management. If you’re not contracting anyone to help you with those functions, that means you have to do them all yourself.
Throughout the day and throughout the week, you’ll have to do some prospecting, market on social media, and manage your cash flow. None of these are necessarily fun tasks but they are essential. If you’re not prepared to manage all of these areas, don’t open your own business.