Starting a home-based business can be a very rewarding experience. However, there are some unique challenges that you should be aware of as well. Here are just a few.
Challenge #1 â€“ Growing Too Fast and Not Being Prepared
I hear this all the time, â€œOh, I wish I had that problem.â€� But honestly, you donâ€™t. It can affect your entire business if you get too busy too soon and havenâ€™t prepared adequately for it. Or even those already established in business, if they suddenly get a rush of work or orders and donâ€™t have a back-up system in place. It can be devastating not only for your business, but for you as well. You need to be prepared for this.
Challenge #2 – Bookkeeping
So many want to run a business, yet they donâ€™t want to do the business and bookkeeping aspect of it. They enjoy the selling or the working part of their business, but donâ€™t enjoy the business nuts and bolts part. This can be a challenge in your business, but itâ€™s crucial to do and once you get things set up, can be done easily. Start from day one and regularly keep everything going.
Challenge #3â€“ Out of Town Guests
I live in Florida and this has truly been one of my biggest challenges over the past 23 years. I absolutely love having company in town and getting the opportunity to see relatives. However, it can be draining on my business and me, especially if they stay with you during their visit. It can upset your entire schedule of work and family, and also a lot of times they are here for fun and donâ€™t understand that you still have a business to run. Itâ€™s hard for them to realize that you are working. When you are out of the home at an office, you arenâ€™t physically there. However, when you are in the other room, itâ€™s a different story.
When I wrote my first book, Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business. I had just had a season (winter months in Florida) full of company. It had been extremely difficult. In my book, on the chapter on Obstacles in Running a Business, I wrote the following: One of the greatest obstacles of running a home-based business is out of town guests. I then provided solutions for making it work. Naturally, the next time my step mom came to town I proudly presented my new book. As you can guess, faith would have it and she opened right up to that page about the greatest obstacle of running a business. She wasnâ€™t too happy being one of the greatest obstacles. Naturally, I changed that in the next printing of the book.
Here are some tips for making it work:
In starting your business research and read as much as you can on starting a business before you begin. Write out a complete plan of how to not only set up your business, but how to market it and keep it running on a daily basis, etc. This includes what to do if you get too busy. This doesnâ€™t need to be anything technical, but it does need to be done. This helps you prepare for many of the unknowns that come your way.
Plan and organize your business from the beginning. Set up your bookkeeping in QuickBooks or have someone handle that for you. Get an expandable file (A-Z) so you can divide and keep all your receipts as they come in.
When I started my business, I offered all clients 24-hour turnaround on transcription. That was perfect when I had one or two clients. But then I grew quickly and it wasnâ€™t long before I had six or seven clients, each one dropping off work one day and expecting it back the next. I can remember one evening when I had an entire desk full of files that needed transcribed. I knew I had to implement a change when one day a client came to drop off work and he told me, â€œYou look like a truck ran you over.â€� I had prided myself in always looking professional and this was extremely eye opening. I changed the next week to 48-hour-turnaround and longer depending on the work and rarely did the truck hit me again.
For out-of-town guests, if at all possible have a separate office with a door that you can close. My office is the back family room. It’s a great office, but it’s open with no door. Therefore, when I have company in town, it’s hard to turn it off. Be firm. Most guests wouldn’t think of visiting you at an office if you were still working out of the home. So why do they think they can come to your office at noon and want to stay and talk. I used to try to do it. Now, I simply say, I should be done at 4:00. Let’s go out to dinner then.
You know the unique circumstances of your business. Plan ahead for those challenges and youâ€™ll be so much ahead of the game.
Diana Ennen has been a leader in the work-at-home industry since opening her business in 1985. Sheâ€™s the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and Accompanying Workbook, Word Perfect Virtual Assistant Solution Pack and Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business. Contact her today for free information on starting your business and to get more information on her coaching and books, https://virtualwordpublishing.com, firstname.lastname@example.org