There are so many reasons why someone would start a home-based business. First of all, you don’t have to pay for the lease. Even better, you might get to deduct a part of your utility bill as a cost of running a business. Second, you get to save time on the commute and establish a base of operations that’s available 24/7.
Then, there’s the comfort of working from home, and in the era where you can rely exclusively on a telecommuter workforce, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t do such a thing. Therefore, working from home makes running a business much easier in more than one way, but it’s still far from easy. That being said, here are the five biggest mistakes that home-based entrepreneurs make.
1. Not setting clear boundaries
When you first start working from home, you might have a hard time explaining this to people who are close to you. Just because you’re not away, they’ll assume that you’re fully available to keep them company or listen to their problems. Friends and relatives are the least of your concern; you may even have a problem explaining this to your partner, family, and roommates. Therefore, setting clear boundaries early on is something that will determine your productivity and set a strong precedent for the future.
2. Being too deadline-focused
As a home-based business, chances are that you won’t have to work standard hours but will, instead, have some deadlines to honor. Nonetheless, a traditional 8-hour workday model is like that for a reason. You see, if your deadline is in a week, wouldn’t it be more efficient to do two hours per day for six days and then revise it all on the last day, than to work for 12 hours straight in order to get everything done in time? The choice is yours, but self-disciplining yourself is far from easy.
3. Believing that your current setup is enough
People who start a home-based business without telecommuting imagine a scenario where they sit on the living room sofa in their underwear with a laptop on their lap. The truth is that this is not really how these things work. The layout of the traditional office is made in order to boost and encourage productivity, which is why people working from home usually prefer to make a home office. Having a work-specific room also makes it easier for you to get the deduction we mentioned in the introduction. So, pick the right room, assign it the function, and look for adequate office furniture online!
4. Underestimating your overhead
The expenses of running a home-based business are substantially lower than those of running a traditional business, yet, they are not inexistent. The cost of developing a website, digital marketing, and paying licenses for necessary tools are just some of the expenses on this list. Put together, they may end up being a serious amount. This means that you have a break-even point. Before meeting it, you will be operating at a loss. Sure, chances of this are substantially lower than with a traditional business but it’s still a bad idea to underestimate your overhead.
5. Forgetting to work on your brand
Just because you’re a home-based business or even a one-person startup, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work on your brand. Your business still needs to have a mission, a vision, a voice, and a personality. This is why you need to engage in a digital marketing campaign, start blogging and become more active on social networks. Sure, you already have enough work as it is, which is why you might want to think about outsourcing some of these tasks. You really don’t have to handle this on your own.
The last thing you should consider is your goals in the long run. Do you plan to remain a home-based business forever or is there an expansion plan somewhere in the making? This alone may make a difference in your future course of action. Either way, the above-listed five mistakes are to be avoided at all costs.