It seems pretty straightforward, right? You start a business, do all the business owner stuff, set up your home office, and run everything just like you would if it were housed in a separate building.
Yes, that’s exactly right, but the problem is that the simple change of venue and environment can make it difficult for you to approach it as a normal business. The following points are some invaluable cautionary tips that you may not have considered before starting a home business.
It takes a special kind of person.
There isn’t really anything that can prepare you for the experience of running a small business from your home; you simply have to dive in and see how it affects you. Everyone thinks it’s a professional dream come true to work from home, but you quickly find that it is, in a way, very emotionally and mentally taxing.
It actually helps a great deal if you are accustomed to solitude and aren’t bothered too much by working solo because you’re going to be doing a lot of that.
Work life bleeds into home life.
It’s critical that your work space at home is as independent as it can be from the rest of the house. Here’s one caveat: Everyone is different, and everyone works differently; so, you may be more comfortable mixing work with your home life than someone else might be.
Even so, there really needs to be a separate space where only work happens. Just keep in mind that, no matter what you do, there will be times or circumstances that will cause your personal home life to encroach on your business space. When it happens, you just have to devise ways to stay focused and protect your work space.
You will encounter cabin fever.
After some time of working out of your home, cabin fever becomes a real concern. Remember that you will be eating, sleeping, working, and spending time with your family, all in the same building, every day.
If you don’t take measures to offset this, you’ll probably end up going a little nuts from the daily routine, which will then diminish your productivity. It is definitely manageable, but it’s important to have an action plan for handling it beforehand by composing a plan to get yourself out of the house on a regular basis, for example, as your schedule allows.
Every day is still a day at the office.
One of the secrets to keeping it together when running a home business is to literally treat it the same way you would if you were driving to an office every day. Wake up early, get dressed (don’t work in your P.J.’s), and get to your desk. Also, make sure that you keep a regular office schedule, and be careful to adhere to the office hours that you’ve set for yourself.
You have to be an exceptional communicator.
In the same way that employees of a company who are working remotely have to be effective communicators, you will need to have the same skill as a business owner working out of your home. The reason is that, unless you were to use video conference for every conversation and meeting you have, you’re going to be communicating with people primarily in writing.
That means that you have to not only be good at writing, but also be well-versed in using web tools and resources. Basically, being good at using text speak probably won’t be enough to stay in contact with colleagues and the rest of your team.
Running a business from home is not for everyone. It absolutely gives you a great deal of freedom to work and design your own space just how you need it, not to mention that you don’t have to worry about a daily commute.
That said, it may start to drive you crazy after a while, and your productivity may suffer as a result. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to adapt to the home office environment and make it work for you; therefore, it’s certainly worth at least trying it out to see if it suits you.
Find some more advice about running a home business in this post:
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.