Want a home business? Watch out for these home business startup mistakes.
We all make mistakes. This goes double when we venture out into the blue to take a few risks. Starting a home business can be one of those risks. I’m not a big risk-taker, but I do have a home business as a blogger, and I’ve made some mistakes along the way.
If you plan to make money from home, here are five home business startup mistakes to avoid:
1. Working all the time
It’s true that a home business requires that you work hard, and that you discipline yourself. It’s part of the dark side of being self-employed. However, it’s a mistake to work?all?the time when you have a home business.
There are lots of good reasons to start a home business: flexibility, ability to earn more money over time, and more chances to enjoy time with your family. However, when you work all the time, these bonuses disappear, and you run the risk of burnout.
One of the biggest home business startup mistakes is failure to take time off. In order to combat burnout and continue loving what I do, my big goal for this year is to work less. So far, my home business has benefitted from this effort and my personal life has improved as well.
Find that balance between work and “real” life early on, and you’ll have a better home business.
2. Lack of a dedicated workspace
It’s true that sometimes my “office” is a comfy seat on my couch upstairs. Additionally, there are times that I have to work while I travel. One of the benefits of a home business is that I can work anytime, and from anywhere.
However, if you really want to do your best work, it helps to have a dedicated workspace. I do most of my work in my home office; I’m more productive from my home office, and I get much more done.
While it’s tempting to just sort of work from wherever, you might find that things go better with your home business when you have a dedicated workspace. Not only does a home office put you in a “working” frame of mind, but it also provides delineation that your family can see, and it can help you manage your time while working from home.
3. Failure to maintain professionalism
One of the hardest things to do as a home business owner is to come across as professional. Home business startup mistakes come in many forms, but one of the pitfalls you want to avoid especially is coming off as unprofessional. Instead, make an effort to appear professional when you can.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up working in your pajamas. It means, though, that you need to try to be professional in your communication with others. If you have a video meeting, you need to get dressed and look professional. If you meet in person, you either need a very professional home office, or you need to meet offsite, at a restaurant or in a coworking space that offers a conference room.
No matter your home business, it’s vital that you make an effort to appear professional so that you build a level of credibility and trust with your clients and business partners.
4. Spending too much time at home
The point of a home business is that you get to work from home, right? But there is such a thing as spending too much time at home. Even though I have a husband and son to provide me with some social interaction, that’s not really the same thing as having a social life. And, while I have good friends online, the reality is that sometimes I just need to get out of the house.
If you spend too much time isolated as a solopreneur, your ability to network can suffer, and your dream of a home business can turn into a lonely nightmare. Get out of the house sometimes, and interact with others. Attend conferences related to your home business. This can provide you with great ideas and insights, and bolster your connections.
One of my home business startup mistakes was just getting out when it was related to my business. You also need to have non-business interactions if you want to be a well-rounded person with a satisfied life. Recently, I’ve become more involved in my community, joining the PTA board at my son’s school and getting involved in local politics. Sometimes I even go to lunch with someone in my neighborhood. These experiences refresh you and translate to better work with your home business, allowing you to avoid burnout, no matter your home business.
5. Letting employees have too much freedom in your home
My home business doesn’t need employees to be successful, so I don’t have to worry about issues of privacy and security. However, if you have a home business that does require that you employ outsiders, it’s important to set up rules and expectations ahead of time. Keep the situation professional, and try to keep your home business activities confined so that employees don’t have free access to all areas of your house.
Even if you outsource instead of invite employees in your home, it’s a good idea to set up expectations as early as possible so that you don’t run into problems later. Come up with a plan for managing employees effectively and professionally as quickly as you can so that you avoid the home business startup mistakes that revolve around your hires.
Have you made home business startup mistakes? What did you learn from them?