Whether due to losing their jobs or the desire to be in charge, more and more people are turning to home-based self-employment for the income they need- and for the freedom that they desire. Most people who work from home have the same motives: they want to be in control of when they work, how they work, and how long they work. These home-based workers talk about “firing their boss” and dream of working in their pajamas and spending more time with their families. In the last five years, the recession and unemployment rates lead to a surge of home-based businesses, with more and more people taking the leap into business ownership.
Of all the people struggling to keep a business afloat in the current economic landscape, it’s the home-based businessmen and women that have my deepest sympathy. Few people start a home-based business with a full knowledge of what it takes to be successful, or what problems to watch for. This article isn’t to convince you not to start your own business; rather, I want to tell you about five very common mistakes that home-based entrepreneurs make, in the hopes that awareness of these issues will lead to your success.
1: Too Much DIY
People create home businesses because they have a unique skill or other valuable assets that they can use to generate revenue. Often, that skill is the only thing new home-based entrepreneurs take into account: it’s easy to forget that, besides “doing the work,” you are your own marketing department, billing department, receptionist, and tax advisor. If you do decide to hire freelancers to help with some of the additional work, then you become a manager, as well as a temp worker when freelancers don’t deliver. When you work from home, you will always be the hardest working person in your company.
2: Lack of Quality Time with your Family
When you’re successful, work pours in. That means the better your business is doing, the harder you will have to work- and that means longer hours. Since you’re doing multiple jobs within your company, the eight-hour workday is no longer an option. There will be days when you begin work before sunrise, have lunch at your desk, and work through dinner. Without appropriate time management and delegation, the success of your business will cause the failure of your personal life.
3: Lack of Boundaries Between Home and Work
When you work from home, it is all too easy to let work overtake the “home” portion of the day. When you don’t divide work time from play time, one will always suffer-You’ll be too busy trying to meet your deadlines to spend time relaxing or taking care of your household. Some people respond to working at home by forgetting to work; others respond by forgetting that it’s actually a home. Finding the middle ground is a tricky proposition.
4: Keeping Your Family Happy is Difficult
As I’ve mentioned above, working from home is difficult and requires working long hours in front of your computer. Sometimes, though, working won’t look like work to your family- they will assume you’re playing around on the computer and not actually doing anything important. Working from home doesn’t have the clear and obvious trappings that normal day jobs have: you don’t commute to work while fighting traffic, respond to inane memos or submit performance reviews. Though you may have to work longer and harder than someone with a more typical job, it may be hard for them to believe. If you’re not careful, resentment may grow and fester between you and your family. The key is to ensure that you and your family continue to understand and appreciate what you do for each other.
5. Distractions Causing Slow Growth
In all the homes of home-based businessmen and women I’ve known over the years, a common scene unfolds: the entrepreneur sits on the couch with his or her laptop while the TV blares, surrounded by pets and children demanding attention. This, of course, just lends credence to the idea that the businessperson isn’t hard at work, which leads to spousal resentment and terrible arguments. None of that is conducive to a peaceful and productive working environment. The more distractions exist in your home office, the less productive you will be. If you can’t be productive, there’s no way to grow your business- and if you don’t grow your business, you’re not going to be able to afford the entrepreneurial backup you need to reclaim your personal and social life.
Many people who quit their jobs to work from home end up blowing through their savings, and soon they find themselves looking for another day job after an unproductive gap on their resume. It’s not an easy path to take, but when done properly, it can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling- as well as the start of something truly great. Please check out my next article, “7 ways to be successful working from home,” for some tips on how to do just that.
About the Author
Alex Papa has started several businesses form home. He has learned to overcome the issues home based entrepreneurs face. He has also developed and “moved” some of his businesses out of his home to business premises. Alex has recently published a business startup course where he shows how anyone can find a business idea and build a small empire within a few years. In his blog you’ll find the latest Symantec Norton coupon code.