A home-based business comes with many benefits like independence, control over your schedule, and the ability to work as hard as you want to meet your income goals. Though the idea of being your boss, running errands during the workday, and spending your lunch hour napping on your recliner may be intriguing, don’t let the glittering perks divert your attention away from the inevitable challenges.
Remember, if running a home-based business was easy, everyone would be doing it. So, what speed bumps should you expect on the road to entrepreneurial success? Take a look below.
If you want your clients to take your business seriously, it has to look professional, even if you work in your pajamas all day. Should you mistake listing your home address as your business address, you may be inadvertently repelling potential customers who may be sceptical of your brand’s legitimacy.
Fortunately, you can give your business a more professional appearance by investing in a virtual business address subscription. The cost is tax-deductible and gives your business a professional-looking address while keeping your home address private. A bonus of using a virtual business address is that you won’t have to update your address every time you move house.
Another way to appear more professional is to get your business branding in line. A uniform look for your newsletter and marketing materials will help your business look put together in the public eye.
Building a customer base
Finding and keeping clients is the hardest part of every business plan. When you’re running home-based business, drawing in customers can be even more challenging–given that there are limited networking opportunities.
To overcome this challenge, make a customer retention plan to keep current customers coming back and help spread your business via word of mouth. If you can make every customer’s experience a great one, you’ll have an easier time keeping and gaining new clients.
When there’s no clock to punch or official office hours to follow, it’s easy to work too much and never take a proper break. You can burn out if you don’t schedule break times during the day and days off.
Should you decide to set up your home office in a sleeping area or relaxation hub, you might feel tempted to send one last email during movie night or play catch-up right before bed. Store your home office essentials in a separate room to keep temptations at bay. If your desk must be in your bedroom or a shared space, try to keep it as distinct from other parts of the room as possible to create physical boundaries between work and play.
If you’re still having difficulties enforcing workday breaks, you can also use time clock software or set timers. That way, a high-pitched alarm can snap you out of your professional trance and give you the nudge you need to grab a snack, take a walk, or tidy up the kitchen. Remember, break time can have many different faces, so choose what works best for you and your productivity levels.
Many people who transition to working at home find they miss the water-cooler chats and camaraderie of the office.
You can take your work to a coffee shop or restaurant to be around people and break up the monotony or schedule time into your day to reach out to other people for a conversation to make it feel less isolating.
Big companies have an accounting department to deal with the highs and lows of financial planning. Unfortunately, when running a home-based business, there is a chance that you’ll have to handle the ins and outs of accounting yourself. As a first step, find budgeting and financial planning software you can afford, then do your due diligence to learn the ins and outs.
Another step for financial planning success is to keep your business expenses and income separate from your spending to make planning easier.
Along with the accountant hat and the CEO, you’re also the marketing department of your home-based business. If you’re in the dark with marketing, read some popular books on marketing your business.
Join some online forums about marketing and promotion in your field to absorb the tips and tricks others share. Your business website markets your products and services 24/7, so make sure your website design makes the right impression.
Running a successful home-based business has its challenges, but you can overcome them all if you face them head-on. Remember always to treat yourself as you would treat a prized employee. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole of professional burnout, putting your home-based business at risk for failure.