Top 6 challenges facing home-based businesses

Setting up your own home-based business and working around your family priorities sounds ideal, right? Many of us start up a business from home with the expectation that we will achieve better work-life balance, forge our own path and follow our dreams. However, after operating my own businesses from home and talking to other home-based business owners it is apparent that many of us struggle with the following challenges:

1. Isolation

It’s so quiet. When you’re used to the hustle and bustle of a busy office or work site, it can feel like the walls are closing in on you.

Aim to get out of the house on a regular basis – join the local Chamber of Commerce, attend networking events, meet potential clients over coffee.
Consider working out of a co-working space – fantastic for social interaction, networking and creating business alliances.

2. Boundaries

When your home is your castle, having people (employees, suppliers, clients) continually traipsing through your house may be disconcerting.

Have a dedicated work area – preferably somewhere away from the main living area, where you can close the door and walk away from when you’re finished for the day.

Create a routine that suits you and clock on and off. Make winding down after work a habit – go for a walk, play with the kids, something that helps you to leave the work day behind.

Be clear with family & friends about work time. Even though you’re at home you are actually working! Let people know that you’re not available for drop-ins, chores and errands.

Learn to say no!

3. Motivation & energy levels

How do you stay motivated and inspired when you’re on your own for so many hours of the day? Are you self-disciplined? Do you get your energy from working quietly on tasks by yourself? Or from interacting with other people? For extroverts like me, working from home can be very challenging. I find I need to regularly interact with people either in person or over the phone, otherwise my energy levels drop.

4. Not being taken seriously

You’re a solopreneur based at home so you’re not professional or worthy or cutting edge. Right? Wrong! We know people with this view are wrong but how do we change their perceptions?

By being professional, ethical, credible and providing outstanding service of course!

5. Always on the clock

Technology is a blessing and a curse. While it allows you to work from home it also means you’re accessible 24/7. And your office/ workshop is right there, making it so easy to just check in one more time.

Schedule in work time, family time and personal time. Make the most of those quiet moments – when you really need to focus on a task. If possible, turn off mobile phones, laptops and other devices after hours. Don’t be tempted to check emails and messages at all hours.

6. Doing it all yourself

Who wants to be Supermum? It’s exhausting. Let other people help. Kids love having a purpose and being independent so encourage them to get their school bags ready and make their own lunches. Pre-prepare meals for those busy week days. Ask Grandma to take the boys to soccer.

When you can afford to, outsource those activities that you don’t enjoy or have the knack for. Free yourself up to concentrate on your strengths: win that new contract, deliver outstanding service.

Yours in happiness.

Dianne Krome (founder of Equilibrium Business Consulting)

Equilibrium was born out of a desire to share my experience in business with other small business owners and help them along their business journey. Equilibrium works with small businesses in Brisbane and surrounds. Sign up to Dianne’s newsletter to get free business tips to help manage the balance in your professional and personal life to achieve your ultimate goals.

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