When it comes to starting an at-home-based business, there’s no doubt about how exciting this can be. You get to choose your schedule, you get to have flexibility, you’re in charge, and the best part is the fact that you don’t have to deal with any commutes whatsoever. But with that said, when it comes to running a business in the comfort of your home, you can count on common challenges occurring. Honestly, at home or not, there’s always going to be challenges, so it’s not like this should get in the way or anything.
Honestly, a lot of these common challenges can easily be overcome! So, here’s what you can expect, and here’s how you can tackle these so you can create your dream business all in the comfort of your home!
There’s a Chance for Distractions to Happen
Alright, so distractions can honestly happen anywhere. It’s especially common in offices since you’re constantly hearing people have chats on the phone, with coworkers, meetings present, and people constantly walking by. So, it can be pretty hard to get work done, and to a degree, it can be the same at home, too.
In general, working from home often means dealing with a multitude of distractions, from household chores to family members needing your attention. If you have pets, then you can expect some distractions from them too. In general, managing your time effectively can be a real challenge when it comes to handling these distractions because it might mean you’ll get behind on work or might not even be able to work at all for a day.
So, what’s the solution? It’s going to help you a lot if you’re able to designate a dedicated workspace that is free from household distractions. Meaning that you’re going to have to set clear boundaries with family and friends about your working hours and them coming into your workspace (like a home office or a work corner in the living room). It’s also going to help you out a lot if you go ahead and create a daily schedule and prioritize certain tasks that need to be done at certain times; overall, this can really help you stay organized and productive when working at home.
You Might Feel Lonely
If you’re working from home under an employer, there’s a chance of feeling lonely, but even running a business alone can make you feel lonely, too. So combining that with working from home as a business owner can be a hefty combination. Even if you’re introverted, there’s still the chance of those lonely feelings setting in from time to time.
You’re not really going to have that office banter, those employee lunches, those end-of-the-year parties, and happy hour on Fridays when you work alone. Unless you hire employees (which, depending on your business, could be possible), then you might not feel so lonely, but not all businesses need employees.
So, what’s the solution to the feeling of loneliness when you’re working an at-home-based business? Well, it’s really all about staying connected with peers and networking in your industry. You might want to consider joining some online communities, attend virtual networking events, and engage in video conferences with clients or colleagues. It might even help out for you to even join some co-working spaces, and shared offices are also an option for those who seek a more structured work environment.
Not Every Business Can Be Home Based
So, this is absolutely true: not every business is going to have the capability to be home-based. If you want to open up a brick-and-mortar store but you live in a small apartment, then it’s not going to be possible. Of course, it’s always going to depend on the business idea itself and how much space you have/ how much property you own.
So, honestly, there isn’t much of a solution to this one. Some businesses can be entirely operated from home and can be successful, like ecommerce. Even some heavily regulated industries can have the power to be operated at home, such as supplements or vitamins; it’s really all about outsourcing to other professionals, such as nutraceutical packaging companies, warehouses, certain fulfillment centers, you name it.
So, there really isn’t a solution to this one. Some businesses can be home-based (might require thinking outside the box), and some are literally not possible in the slightest. So, if you absolutely want to stay working at home for this business, then you’re going to either have to change to another business idea or think outside the box on how this business can still be applicable to working from home.
You Need to Motivate and Discipline Yourself
This is one of the best things about being a business owner, but also one of the worst things about being a business owner. You need to be the one to keep yourself accountable; no one else will. So it’s all on you. Without a boss or coworkers nearby, it’s up to you to stay motivated and disciplined. In general, procrastination, no motivation, organization, or schedule, plus the lack of structure, can hinder your productivity. Thus leading to a potential failing business. You are the one responsible for this business, and you’re the one responsible for your actions.
So, is there a solution to this? Well, it’s really about willpower and forcing yourself to be accountable. Meaning you’ll need to set clear goals and deadlines for your work. Some simplistic things you could do would even to be creating a daily to-do list and forcing yourself to just stick to it. Reward yourself for completing major milestones. And not to mention the fact that you should surround yourself with visual reminders of your goals and consider finding an accountability partner to help you stay on track. But at the end of the day, this is all on you.
Your Business Might Come Off Potentially Looking Unprofessional
Thankfully, this idea is slowly dying out that you need to have an office or some workspace outside of your home in order to constitute a business as an authentic business. The major rise of businesses being created during COVID did help push the narrative that real businesses can take place solely in the comfort of people’s houses. But with that said, home-based or not, your business does need to appear professional if you want it to survive. Clients and customers, regardless of your industry, will question the legitimacy of your business.
So, when it comes to the solution to all of this, it’s all about creating that professional image from a distance, of course. So, you’re going to want to create a professional website, business email, and branding materials. It might even be best if you went ahead and considered using a virtual business address and phone number to give the appearance of a physical office. Plus, last but not least, you’re going to want to deliver exceptional customer service to build trust and credibility.
Legality and Tax-Oriented Considerations
This is just a whole confusing headache for everyone, really. Some home-based business owners may face unique legal and tax challenges, such as zoning regulations, permits, and tax obligations. Not everyone deals with it, but some do, so you’ll need to look and see if you’re a part of this or not.
Is there a solution to this? Well, you’re going to have to research the specific legal and tax requirements in your area. You’ll need to consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure compliance with your business. Plus, when it comes to taxes, like any other business, you’ll need to keep detailed records of your business expenses and income to simplify tax preparation.
Separating Your Work Life and Personal Life
Home-based or not, this is actually very common for business owners, and if you’re working from home under an employer, it’s still pretty common. It’s easy to overwork or feel like you’re never fully off the clock. Usually, for the average person, the second they get home, they’re able to immediately create that separation from their work life and immediately transition into their personal life. If your office is at home, it’s harder to create that barrier.
What can be done? What’s the solution to this common problem? It’s all really about establishing some boundaries with yourself. You’re in control of your time, so you need to be the one to set up these boundaries. So, by defining specific working hours and personal time, you’ll be able to keep these more separate. This can include some standard things like taking regular breaks, practicing self-care, and making time for hobbies and relaxation. Remember that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for your well-being and long-term success.
While there are more than enough fair share of challenges that any business owner is going to face, you having the comfort to work at home doesn’t need to be a barrier. While sure, there might be some things that are out of your control, such as zoning or space within your home, taking these out of account, you can hands-down expect to run a smooth business at home!