Launching your own business can be both daunting and exhilarating. There’s the charge of taking ownership of your financial future, and the fear that you won’t be able to commit to it for a long period of time. Starting a home business is even more daunting when you realize you really don’t have a designated place to meet with clients, and you wonder, “Will I really be able to do this?”
There are some mistakes people make when they start their business from home. Although it’s a very attractive option: not having to pay rent for an office, keeping the cost of work clothes, travel, and payroll down; however, for some it can be challenging to work from home, and can also prove to be their demise, unless they defer from falling into these home business traps:
Isolation Nation: So, you’re all alone, working away, and there’s no one to talk to about the last episode of Game of Thrones (Can you believe what she did with those dragons??), and the isolation is costing you your productivity. Plan to work some days from a coffee shop, or a park (if your job and weather permits). Attend networking events and meet with other businesses. This will give you that social factor you crave and keep you on your home business path.
Pulling the Plug: Even when you’re ‘done for the day’ you’re never really done, are you? That computer woos you back and before you know it, you’re working every day, all day in disconnected increments. Don’t feel guilty for not returning an email sent on a Saturday (unless it’s an urgent, time sensitive matter-everyone knows you have a smartphone). Set distinct office times-9 to 5 is best-and don’t answer the phone or emails or work outside of those designated times, otherwise, you’re likely to burnout quickly.
Winging It: There’s nothing worse than going on with your day without a list or a plan (well, maybe leaving your house without your pants on is worse, but it’s just the same). If you don’t write down your daily tasks in whatever medium you work best in, then you won’t be able to stay focused and get your tasks done in a timely manner. Categorize them as urgent, action, long term, and mark them off as you go about your day to make you feel and be more accomplished.
Disconnecting The Dots: When you work from home, it’s easy for people to think its ok to call you during the day, to pop in to say hello, for children to migrate into your home, and for you to give in to your inclination to play one more level of angry birds. These interruptions are time suckers and will continuously kill your day to the point that your clients will notice your counterproductive ways. Bad business will kill your business, so make it clear to everyone, you are only available to chat or to meet at certain times or on certain days to keep from losing focus. And fight the urge to check Facebook every 20 minutes. No one is that interesting. No one.
All Play, No Work: It’s not easy designating a space for yourself to work when you live in a small space. When you have kids invading you area, it’s more difficult defining your work space. Whether you have a small desk, a small room, or a small corner of your dining table, be sure it functions solely as your work station, and no one is allowed to enter or impede on it. This is where their (and your) bread and butter comes from, so teach them to respect your area, and along the way, you’ll learn to respect it as well.
This is your baby (aside from your real babies). Treat it with kindness, be diligent, and don’t lose focus on your brand or business. You went into this with the intent of being independently wealthy, and carving out a niche for yourself. You can’t do it, I don’t care how you argue this, if you fall into these bad habits. Keep your nose clean, and keep from developing these habits, and you will find your business begin to climb that ladder of success!