Every business faces its unique challenges. However, certain obstacles usually plague businesses of a similar structure. It’s the same for home-based businesses. The common challenges of home-based businesses typically include not being taken seriously, separating work and family life, staying organized, and privacy concerns.
But there are solutions to every problem.
6 common challenges of home-based businesses and solutions.
If you’re looking to start a home-based business, here are some challenges you may experience and how to counter them.
1. Low professional image
One of the most significant challenges of any home-based business is the low regard prospects often have for them. On seeing a home address on a website, prospects may subconsciously visualize the business owner in pajamas in their garage. In essence, home-based businesses might not be taken seriously by clients.
One solution to this challenge is to acquire a virtual mailing address. You pay a third-party company for the address, which could come as a virtual office or mail forwarding service. Whatever the case, you don’t have to work from the location. However, you may get an on-demand conference room for meeting with clients. Furthermore, customers can send your mail to that address, from where the company can forward it to your home. In addition, it’s cheaper since you are not renting and furnishing an office space.
Having a business address in a reputable commercial location can improve your online company’s professional image.
2. Separating work and family life
One notable challenge home-based business owners face is work-life balance. Chores and parental care would compete for your time. Speaking professionally with clients on the phone can get challenging when there’s a two-year-old crying at your feet. You might also find that you’re dying to get back to your laptop even when your partner or kids desire quality time with you. This can put a strain on your family relationships.
It’s hard. But that’s where time management comes in. Structure your day and set apart work hours just as any traditional workplace would do. It doesn’t have to be nine to five. You could schedule your work hours to coincide with when your kids are at school or asleep. If you have a spouse, consider having a separate room for work rather than your bedroom. Also, set ground rules so nobody disturbs you while working.
3.Privacy and security concerns
Privacy is often a problem for home-based businesses. It’s not uncommon to have clients knocking at your door, thinking it’s your office address. But you can avoid that by using a virtual mailing address or virtual mailbox rather than your home address.
A virtual mailbox will also help keep you safe as you wouldn’t have to publicize your home address, which may expose you to threats.
And thankfully, mail forwarding companies usually offer a mobile app where you can scan and view mail online. You can discard irrelevant ones and forward only important ones home. In that case, you limit how many business documents enter your personal space.
4.Feeling of isolation
Working from home can be solitary, especially when you are the sole worker in your business. This is common among freelancers, home-based photographers, drop shippers, etc. You’ll find the new isolation and loneliness soul-crushing if you have a naturally outgoing personality.
By having specific work hours and sticking to them, you can create time to go out and socialize, even as little as a video call with friends can help.
Space is a challenge many home-based businesses face, especially when the house isn’t significant. When there aren’t enough rooms, you might be unable to have a dedicated space for work. And depending on your work, you may require a lot of equipment.
Compromising some of your personal space for work is a worthy trade-off you may have to make. However, keeping your home office organized is key to making the most of any available space.
6.Overworking or procrastinating.
Small home-based businesses tend to squeeze out every second of the day in an attempt to be successful. If you’re passionate about your business, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. But it can become a problem when you don’t allow time for family and life.
While hard work can help, overworking is not sustainable long-term and will only lead to entrepreneurial burnout.
Your brain needs sufficient sleep to maintain optimal productivity. So if you aren’t being very productive, that’s not good for your business.
On the other end of the spectrum, some remote workers regularly procrastinate. Failure to keep up with deadlines could compound the workload and make it overwhelming. Then, you’d have to hurry as the deadline approaches, and quality may suffer.
Identifying the challenges you’re likely to face when working from home is helpful. You can be proactive in discerning when they occur so they won’t spiral out of control. If you currently battle with any of these challenges, consider using the above tips to address them.