Challenges faced running a business from home

Running your business out of your home offers a number of great benefits. But there are some challenges. Before going online to order new furniture, before converting the storage room into your new work space, you should consider what some of the downsides are and if you can handle them.

What follows is a list of challenges frequently faced when running a business out of your home.

Not taken seriously
Businesses ran out of a home for some people lack the aura of a serious business, but that is easily overcome by your professional demeanor. Indeed, with most business now done online, your workplace location is increasingly unimportant for those seeking your services.

Lack of natural boundaries for family
Younger children won’t understand that you’re “working” and will make noise as well as interrupt you. You have to set up a work area away from distractions and be politely firm with those who intrude when you are working.

Personal life mixes with business life
One moment you receive a phone call from your mom, the next moment you’re working, then you’ve got to get up to move clothes from the washer to the dryer, then the next you’re working. You have to refrain from doing chores and personal business during your work hours.

Family/neighbors expect business favors
For some reason, if you work at home, family and neighbors feel that for them you’ll provide your services for free or receive a steep discount. Of course, you don’t want to alienate them, but if you give up your hours for free, you’ll soon be out of business. Simply set a policy that you don’t do work for family or neighbors.

Noisy neighbors
Never mind that your kids are noisy – what about the neighbors? If it isn’t the teen next door blaring his radio then it’s the dog across the street barking nonstop or the motorhead revving his car two driveways down. Learning how to tune out such distractions will be vital.

Temptation to take a personal day
When the weather is awesome, when you favorite band is in town for a concert, when you’re just tired of working and want to go shopping, you may be tempted to take a day off. That’s okay, even healthy – once in a while. But if you’re taking a couple of personal days a week in addition to enjoying the weekend off, you may fall behind on projects or greatly limit your income level.

Workaholicism
If you’re a workaholic, running your business out of your home can lead you to do nothing but work at the expense of your family and social life. You should set work hours for yourself, just as if you had a boss who set hours for you at a day job, and keep to them.

Isolation
When working at home, there are no talks with colleagues at the water coolers and invites to Saturday barbeques suddenly dry up. You must make a concerted effort to get out and stay active in your community. This can be done by joining and participating in professional groups, your local business community, or taking classes related to your occupation, as well as becoming active in your church or kids’ school and volunteering.

While the challenges you’ll face when working at home are plenty, they’re hardly insurmountable. Being aware of them can help you plan in advance for how you’ll cope with them, making the work from home experience all that more rewarding.

Running your business out of your home offers a number of great benefits. But there are some challenges. Before going online to order new furniture, before converting the storage room into your new work space, you should consider what some of the downsides are and if you can handle them.

What follows is a list of challenges frequently faced when running a business out of your home.

Not taken seriously
Businesses ran out of a home for some people lack the aura of a serious business, but that is easily overcome by your professional demeanor. Indeed, with most business now done online, your workplace location is increasingly unimportant for those seeking your services.

Lack of natural boundaries for family
Younger children won’t understand that you’re “working” and will make noise as well as interrupt you. You have to set up a work area away from distractions and be politely firm with those who intrude when you are working.

Personal life mixes with business life
One moment you receive a phone call from your mom, the next moment you’re working, then you’ve got to get up to move clothes from the washer to the dryer, then the next you’re working. You have to refrain from doing chores and personal business during your work hours.

Family/neighbors expect business favors
For some reason, if you work at home, family and neighbors feel that for them you’ll provide your services for free or receive a steep discount. Of course, you don’t want to alienate them, but if you give up your hours for free, you’ll soon be out of business. Simply set a policy that you don’t do work for family or neighbors.

Noisy neighbors
Never mind that your kids are noisy – what about the neighbors? If it isn’t the teen next door blaring his radio then it’s the dog across the street barking nonstop or the motorhead revving his car two driveways down. Learning how to tune out such distractions will be vital.

Temptation to take a personal day
When the weather is awesome, when you favorite band is in town for a concert, when you’re just tired of working and want to go shopping, you may be tempted to take a day off. That’s okay, even healthy – once in a while. But if you’re taking a couple of personal days a week in addition to enjoying the weekend off, you may fall behind on projects or greatly limit your income level.

Workaholicism
If you’re a workaholic, running your business out of your home can lead you to do nothing but work at the expense of your family and social life. You should set work hours for yourself, just as if you had a boss who set hours for you at a day job, and keep to them.

Isolation
When working at home, there are no talks with colleagues at the water coolers and invites to Saturday barbeques suddenly dry up. You must make a concerted effort to get out and stay active in your community. This can be done by joining and participating in professional groups, your local business community, or taking classes related to your occupation, as well as becoming active in your church or kids’ school and volunteering.

While the challenges you’ll face when working at home are plenty, they’re hardly insurmountable. Being aware of them can help you plan in advance for how you’ll cope with them, making the work from home experience all that more rewarding.