Last Updated on January 19, 2021
Are you in the process of starting a home-based business? If so, and whether you intend to do it part-time or full-time, it’s essential to deal with some of the common pitfalls of home-based entrepreneurship before they happen. Unfortunately, too many people get an idea for a money-making enterprise and dive right in.
Within a week or two they often feel as though they’ve hit a brick wall, are unable to get much productive work done, and end up halting operations.
The good news is that with a bit of planning and proactive brainstorming, just about anyone can turn a worthwhile concept into a profitable business, and do it all from the comfort of their spare bedroom, den, or basement.
Here are some of the most frequently noted problems that folks run into when they jump the gun and begin their home-based project without proper planning, along with a proposed solution for each one.
Write down the names of five people you know who operate businesses from home. Call or email each one, and ask about the single most troubling problem they face as at-home entrepreneurs. Chances are, all five will say family distractions are at or near the top of their complaint lists.
Since remote jobs, telecommuting, and non-office-based careers have become more common, many have been noticing that it can be a challenge to maintain privacy, quiet, and sacred office space within a home they share with spouses, children, and extended family members.
A solution is to have a detailed discussion with your household and let them know that you are serious about this venture, need privacy to get your job duties done, and need to keep dedicated hours during which there can be no disturbances.
As long as you are specific about your needs, and post your official hours on the outside of the door where everyone can see them, the interruptions will eventually die out. Be patient because it takes people a while to get in tune with your schedule and your need for quiet.
Financial uncertainty is a more subtle dilemma than the others but presents just as much of a problem for solo workers. If you don’t have your personal finances in good order, you’ll be getting a shaky start at best. There are dozens of pieces to the financial puzzle for setting up a new for-profit enterprise, but the key thing to remember is that you want to cut all the fat out of your personal budget so that your business finances don’t suffer. How to cut waste out of a personal budget?
The work-around is a productive strategy to refinance multiple student loans into one convenient monthly payment. The beauty of this strategy is that you can do all the legwork online and basically change your current relationship with education debt. It only takes two minutes of checking to discover whether you can chop several years off your student loan payments with a new, slimmed-down refinancing agreement.
For many people, going this route pays several dividends, like better terms, a more flexible repayment schedule, and advantageous student loan refinance rates. Once you have the personal side of the ledger under control, there will be more freedom to make the right decisions and investments for the purpose of growing your new company.
Lack of Motivation
For better or worse, there’s a lot to do in a private residence. Compared to a standard business space, your at-home work area includes far too many tempting diversions, like a fully stocked kitchen, computer games, a comfortable couch positioned right in front of the TV, pets or children who are always happy to play with you, social media accounts calling out for attention, and much more. If you don’t have an innately high level of motivation, you’re dead in the water amid all these temptations.
The way out is there’s a multi-pronged approach to ramp up motivation and banish the lure of all those attention magnets. Step one is to set and keep regular hours, just as you would at a traditional job. It’s not enough just to post the hours, but to actually work during those times. The posting on your door is more for the purpose of keeping others at bay.
When it comes to doing the work itself, you have to fully understand the essence of what it means to be your own boss. Many people find that a stopwatch or timer helps. Clock yourself for one-hour sessions with a short break after each one. Staying ontask is tough when you’re alone, but after a few weeks you’ll get the hang of it.
Equipment and Computer Problems
If your job-related activities call for a more powerful computer than you currently have, find out the specs of the machine you need and purchase it. Often, it’s just a matter of adding memory, a few apps, or a couple peripherals to your tech setup. However, it can be eternally frustrating if you have to add things one at a time, as you discover each new requirement. Some people seem to be always in search of the right printer, monitor, or Wi-Fi arrangement.
Getting it right as part of your initial business plan, you can thoroughly research what tech items are needed for the job at hand. Then, acquire everything at once, before you begin the entrepreneurial venture. And don’t forget to keep receipts for tax time.
If you’re like most that are self-employed, any purchase that’s directly related to the company can be written off as an expense when you calculateself-employment tax. With the current tax rate at 15.3 percent, a $2,500 receipt for office supplies will chop your tax bill by at least $382.
Remember that it’s not always necessary to buy new supplies. You can always repurpose extra items you have around the house or make bulk orders from supply stores at substantial discounts. For tax purposes, be careful to have dedicated supplies, things that are only for the purpose of your at-home enterprise. This is one reason it’s smart to maintain a space that is only used for business purposes, like a converted bedroom or a partitioned area in the basement.