Advances in technology have made it easier and more affordable than ever to start a home based business. But that doesn’t mean starting a business is without risks or challenges. Success rates in small business suggest that failure is the most common result. However, success in home business is achievable with proper research, planning and execution. Here are five common challenges you’ll likely face in starting a home business and how to overcome them.
This may be the number one reason people stay with their jobs instead of starting a home business. There’s no doubt that there is a lot to be concerned about. Will you make enough money? How will you pay for health insurance? What will your friends and family think? In the case of physical injury, fear is a stop sign, but when it comes to pursuing a goal, fear should simply identify areas you need to address. If you’re worried about making enough money, then you need to create a business plan that outlines what you need to do to make the money you need. Fight fear by gaining knowledge and taking action.
2. Lack of Knowledge
There is a great deal that goes into starting a home business: getting a license, submitting a fictitious name statement, crafting business and marketing plans, branding, website building, etc. Even with a list of tasks that need to be done, it can be a challenge to know which to do first. But like the proverbial journey of a thousand miles, starting a home business is done one step at a time. Start with research that will give you information you need to know and tasks you need to complete. You can find a ton of information here at WAHM.com and other resources online. Find a local or online course that will give you deeper knowledge about your business idea and the steps you need to take to get started. Finally, consider getting a mentor who can significantly shorten your learning curve and help you get up and in the black faster than on your own.
3. Lack of Time
Yes, time is short. You have a family, a job and other obligations. But so did all the other moms who started a home business. There are two truths about time. The first is that the less of it you have, the better you’ll manage it. People with too much time waste it. The second truth is that you can’t wait for time to come available. Instead, you have to make time. If you’re busy, get creative in making time. I’ve known moms who worked outside the home who started their business by working early in the morning, during lunch hours, at soccer practice and after the kids were in bed. Still don’t think you have time? Keep a time journal and track everything you do all day to find pockets of time you can better utilize. Are you watching reality TV? Can your husband do the laundry to give you time to work on your business? Are you willing to give up a hobby in the short run to achieve home business success and ultimately more time in the long run?
4. Lack of Focus and Discipline
Starting a home business involves adding new activities into an already busy life. Many of these activities may be new to you, so you haven’t developed a habit of doing them. As a result, it can be difficult to develop the focus and discipline needed to start and build a home business. Other times, new business owners are very busy, but aren’t achieving any meaningful results because they’re not doing the right activities. This is where planning and schedule can help. The minute you sit down to work on your business, you should know exactly what you need to work on and have the resources ready. Don’t wait until you’re at your computer to decide what needs to be done or you might waste it watching videos or pinning recipes.
5. Ineffective Marketing
Many home business owner wannabes don’t bother with marketing until the end of the startup. After all, until your business is up and running, you don’t have anything to market, right? Wrong. Marketing is the most important work you’ll do along with providing a quality product or service. Unfortunately, many people jump into marketing by building a website and sending a few “buy now” Tweets, and then wonder why no one is buying. There is a science to marketing and it’s best to learn and plan it during the start-up. Marketing done right brings lots of targeted customers for little money. It starts by knowing who are the best buyers for your product or service and how your product or service will solve a problem from them. Next, you need to create marketing materials that communicate your product or service’s solution to your buyers. Finally, you need to put that message in front of the buyers, which means you need to know where they hang out. Marketing isn’t all about “buy now” either. Today, consumers are looking for solutions from trusted businesses, so your marketing should show your expertise and build rapport with your target buyers.
There is no secret behind home business success. Building a profitable home business involves research and planning, overcoming a fearful mindset and the constraints of time, and taking care of all the tasks that make money.