Home-based businesses

The reality of running a home-based business

Many people dream of working from home. No more commuting to the office, no set working hours and the freedom to come and go as you please. Starting a home-based business can be exciting and it is definitely a big bonus not sitting for hours in rush-hour traffic trying to get into work. However before taking the plunge you need to be aware of some of the harsh realities of this type of business.

The cons of a home-based business

The irony is that the very same reasons why you choose to run a home-based business can negatively impact you and the success of your business.

Working in isolation

So finally you can work in peace and quiet, without the constant distractions of colleagues. You get to wear comfortable clothes, listen to your music and even work outside if the weather is good. Unfortunately it also means you have no one to bounce ideas off, or discuss problems with. Being isolated can lead to you being less productive as being around other people can help give you a new perspective on things, they offer support when you get stuck, and can offer a much-needed distraction when you need a break.

No fixed working hours

I will admit it, I am not a morning person. For me getting up at 5:40am to be in at an office by 8am is just plain cruel. Running a home-based business means that I can work the hours that suit me best, and this is also one of the key benefits for most entrepreneurs working from home. The major downside to having no fixed working hours is, having no fixed working hours.

Let me explain – there are always a million and one things to do and you can get trapped in “work mode” for hours on end without a break. Even if you only start working at 8:30am you may only end your working day at midnight. There is no start or finish time so you can literally work yourself to the point of exhaustion.

Self discipline

Procrastinators beware – if you want to be a successful home-based entrepreneur you have to be disciplined.With no-one to push you into setting and meeting deadlines or targets, it can be so easy to let things slide. Not all tasks involved in running a business will be enjoyable, for instance admin, therefore entrepreneurs tend to keep putting them off.

Your business will not succeed if you do not have self-discipline. This means making action plans and sticking to them. It means doing all those unenjoyable tasks and pushing yourself to set and meet targets. Procrastination will only hinder your progress.

Business image

There is still a stigma attached to home-based businesses. While it will enable you to keep your costs down so that you can spend more on product development and promotion, people still often view home-based businesses as less professional. They tend to think that the quality of the product or service will not be as good as that of a business based in an office block. Even though this is a myth as quality is dependent on the business itself and not the location, it is still something to consider when deciding to run your business from home.

Having said all that, you can be a highly successful entrepreneur running a home-based business. Think about all the well-known brands that started from humble beginnings like Facebook – started in a college dorm room, Apple – started in a garage. As long as you are focussed, disciplined, know how to manage your time effectively and can stay motivated you can be successful.

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