The internet has truly democratized the world of business. Anyone with a computer, a solid broadband connection, a good idea and the determination to see it through can create a profitable business right from the comfort of home. Thousands of people every year give up the rat race of the traditional work environment to set their own schedule and be their own boss in an online startup. It’s incredibly liberating, financially viable, and can seriously increase your quality of life. However, it isn’t a slam dunk success all the time. As the expression goes if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. You’ve got to keep the pitfalls in mind to make sure your venture is a success. So here are some of the most common obstacles when starting a home business.
First on the list has to be time management. When you are an employee at a company there is a simple structure you have to follow. There are office hours, and your boss expects you at your desk during that period of time. You’ve got a lunch break, and if you regularly extend it you will get spoken to. While the open schedule of your home business is a sure perk, it can also get you in trouble. Some people aren’t naturally that good at time management or self motivation. There are tons of distractions at home, from the television in the corner to the refrigerator packed with food, to the needs of your kids that are now right there in your face all the time. You’ve got to be disciplined and set hours you’ll stick to, or you’ll be in trouble.
Another common obstacle is setting up the proper work environment. Part of why people work from home is to have more of a casual feel to the work day. But that can work both ways. If you find you spend every day in pajamas or sweatpants you’ll discover it to be quite difficult to create quality work. The same goes if you don’t have an office. Working in the TV room or the laundry room will only suffice for so long, and you’ll notice your effectiveness will be way down. Do whatever you must to set up a quality workspace, so that the focus remains on your results.
You might also find equipping and organizing your new business can be a serious hurdle. On the equipment side you’ll need a quality computer, a full-bodied internet plan, a way to manage all of your documents and additional accessories for the particulars of your work. If you have a retail business and ship products online you might find the stock starting to overtake your living space. Think about how you are going to manage these problems before they get out of hand.
Finally, don’t forget about the perils of losing your work/life balance. Improving this area is often what motivates people to take on building a home-based business. But while one obstacle is the constant pull of distractions from your personal life, the flip side of that coin is never ending your work day. Small business owners already work longer hours than most people, and think about their business even on off days. When you work from home, your work is always right there on hand. You might find your working hours extending well into the evening, or continuing on through the weekend. At some point you’ve got to pull that naked internet plug from the wall and think about something else. Otherwise the balance you were looking for will skew too far in the wrong direction.