Beginning a home business can be very complicated and challenging, presenting you with obstacles you may not know how to overcome. Learn what the possible pitfalls are before you launch your company and vastly increase your chances of succeeding with your home business.
1. Failure to plan. Not knowing what you will do with profits or losses, running out of inventory or failing to allocate funds to unforeseen areas of operations are just a couple of ways a business can quickly find itself in hot water. Avoiding such dangers can be accomplished with a solid business plan, forged with the help of a professional consultant or someone who has experience building a business themselves. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable!
2. Taking it all too lightly. Some would-be home business owners treat the company like a hobby or otherwise don’t dedicate a serious effort to it. This is not a temporary flight of fancy we’re talking about here: it’s your career and future that is on the line! Nearly every person who succeeds in building their own company eats, sleeps and breathes the business for the first few years and even beyond. Bill Gates unofficially mandated that all employees adhere to a 12-hour turn around when Microsoft was up and coming, meaning that if you left work at 6 pm one day, you had to be back in the office by 6 am the next day!
3. Not maintaining professionalism. Yes, it’s very comfortable to romp around in pajamas all day and let yourself go somewhat, but that’s not going to earn you the respect of clients or garner you new customers. Unless you are marketing fuzzy sleep-wear with feet, dress well and keep up appearances. Don’t opt for a 5 o’clock shadow at a lunch time meeting and avoid falling into the trap of looking like a work at home person lacking in skills and poise.
4. Misdirected marketing efforts. Every business or product requires marketing and marketing is not a skill that is easily mastered. You’ve got to know who will pay for your goods or services, how much they are worth on an open market and how to get the word out about them. Much easier said than done; study this aspect of your business thoroughly or consider hiring a marketing firm. You could have an amazing product or service and offer it at an incredible price, however; if people don’t know you exist you aren’t selling anything.
5. Inadequate record keeping. Unless you can afford to hire an accountant right from the start, make sure you keep impeccable records. Self-employed people can become targets of scrupulous, over-eager IRS agents and if you’ve got a single zero missing or present where it doesn’t belong, you could have big problems. You also need accurate records to measure your performance and improve upon your efforts as well.
6. Never asking for outside help. Pride is all well and good if you’re a prized Pomeranian in a blue-ribbon contest, but in business you’ve got to roll with the punches. If things are not looking good and you need help of any kind, actively seek it out. Maybe you need a small business loan, help from your cousin manning the phones or just a day off to recuperate from the strain and stress of putting all your energy into the business. Whatever it is you need, go out and get it; sacrificing a little pride is well worth keeping your business alive.
Of course, your intentions are good with your home business ideas, however; the challenges you face can be overwhelming and sometimes there’s no limit to what we will do to protect our interests. Get a good education beforehand and be prepared for anything and success should eventually follow!