Top 10 Challenges of Running a Home Business

Running a home business sounds fantastic. No commute, no expensive wardrobe, and no unrealistic long weekends at the office (unless you decide).

Yet, there are hurdles you should assess and fix before you dive into the solopreneur pool.

I wrote an article about the steps you should take to run a business from home.

I operate my solopreneur consulting and writing businesses from home, and I find it’s essential to solve these potential pitfalls.

After you explore and tackle these 10 challenges, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the benefits of operating a thriving business from your residence.

Top 10 Challenges of Running a Home Business

  • You provide your own office equipment

  • You have no IT department to fix technical issues

  • You may face daily distractions

  • You don’t have an assistant

  • You need to maintain positive motivation

  • You have to monitor a healthy work – life balance

  • You wear all the hats of different departments

  • You may face loneliness on difficult days

  • You need to craft your professional image

  • You are responsible for your business’s finances

You Provide Your Own Office Equipment

Your essential tools for running a home business include a PC or laptop, an internet connection, a printer and scanner, and perhaps noise-canceling headphones.

In a traditional office space, the company provides you with office supplies, equipment, and resources.

You can request equipment, and your company will most often provide it for you.

In your home business, you may have to purchase a desk, a computer, subscriptions, and tech tools.

Once you acquire new equipment, you also have to maintain it.

Square publishes a helpful site to review other equipment you may need.

For most home businesses, your PC, laptop, and internet connection will suffice. You still have to know how to troubleshoot these important components and tackle all the IT challenges.

You Become Your Own IT Department

Woman frustrated at home with laptop
Source: Pexels

Your internet connection, PC, laptops, and tech stack are the hub of running a home business.

You communicate with your prospects and clients online. You build your marketing campaign with emails.

You update your website to promote new products and provide social proof. When your IT systems crash in your home business, it’s up to you to find a solution.

The time you’ll use to contact your ISP or investigate the root cause is time away from other important tasks.

Fixing IT challenges is one of the many distractions you might have to address when you launch your home business.

You Face Multiple Distractions

Dog as a distraction and challenge for home business
Source: Pexels

You can set your ideal schedule for running a home business. You can arrange for meetings to suit your optimal work hours.

The day is yours to coordinate activities for your projects and activities.

This open schedule can be difficult to maintain.

If you have pets, loud neighbors, or city noises, it may be difficult to keep your focus on work.

You might also feel the temptation to cook, clean, or tackle other home projects during the daytime.

It will be essential to develop your ideal schedule and remove distractions to maintain your focus.

One way to help you accomplish more in a busy home environment is to collaborate with a virtual assistant.

You Don’t Have an Assistant

Virtual assistant
Source: Pexels

In the corporate world, you have access to a team that helps you accomplish tasks.

You can take on more projects since you have colleagues who can share the responsibility.

In the early months of running a home business, you may lack the resources to hire a part-time virtual assistant.

As such, you assume responsibility for all office projects.

When you hire a part-time virtual assistant (”VA”) your productivity should escalate. The VA can complete routine tasks like email correspondence and scheduling.

Many VAs have finance and computer skills that can help you tackle other projects that require your expertise.

You will have to allocate time and resources to identify, interview, recruit, and manage a virtual assistant. The benefits should outweigh the expense.

Managing a VA is an important task, and it can help you increase your motivation.

When you start to sell and revenue rolls into the business, consider working with a bookkeeper to help with your financial records. There are several resources you can consult to identify a VA candidate for your home business.

Boss Assistants are a good place to start.

You Have to Maintain High Motivation

Collaboration and effective team meetings in the corporate world generate energy and new ideas. Running a home business may drain your motivation on days when you lack drive.

When you have a slow day or a frustrating project in the corporate world, you can get coffee with an office mate.

In your home office, you will have to find helpful tricks and actions to elevate your motivation.

These might include a few minutes of deep breathing or a 10-minute walk outside.

If you have a frustrating client call or face a hard project deadline, you might want to keep handy a list of activities that help you keep the balance.

You Have to Create a Healthy Work-life Balance

In the corporate world, you have a routine and a schedule. This schedule helps you maintain boundaries between work and home.

When you are running a home business, these two worlds collide (yes, it’s a Seinfeld reference).

If your home office is in your living room or bedroom, you might get frustrated that there is no longer a healthy boundary between work and your personal space.

This is normal for a home business.

If you carve out a defined area that you use only for work projects, you’ll find it easier to manage your work and personal spaces.

When you are in your home office, you’ll be ready to make important decisions on all the projects.

You Wear All the Office Hats

Different titles for home business owner
Created by Author

In the corporate world, a company hires personnel to tackle diverse tasks.

Marketing, finance, and strategy fall into silos, and sharp colleagues tackle projects in their respective arenas.

When you operate a home business, you are the leader of every division.

Until you start to outsource responsibilities, you will be the key decision-maker.

If you are comfortable making all decisions for your business, you have an advantage.

If you are used to asking for assistance, you may be frustrated in the early days before you hire a virtual assistant.

You may face periods of loneliness when you launch your business, and it’s helpful to have a plan for these days.

You May Face Loneliness

Woman alone is a home business challenge
Source: Pexels

We all have tough days at work. If you have an officemate or cubicle friend you can talk to, the tough days are easier.

When you share the ups and downs of your day, you gain balance and have the energy to dive back into a challenge.

As the CEO of your home business, you will spend the majority of your time alone.

You may have occasional phone calls with clients or video calls with prospects.

These meetings are not the same as having fun, healthy conversations with an office colleague.

The home business world can be lonely at times.

Ask yourself if you enjoy time alone and if you can remain productive in a single office environment.

When you hire a VA you’ll have a colleague with whom you can share victories and challenges.

You can also coordinate with your VA as you develop and refine your professional image.

You Have to Demonstrate a Professional Image

Jean jacket to illustrate professional image of home business
Source: Pexels

Companies spend millions on their brand identity and corporate image.

Behind the scenes, a company might have chaos and challenges, yet they strive to present a professional image to the general public so they can generate trust amongst their customers.

You will create a business identity that illustrates your professionalism and specific brand.

These brand components might include your business name, website, logo, and social media marketing campaign.

You have options to create a brand that suits your mission and attracts your ideal customers.

You will have to allocate time and resources to make your home office look sharp for video calls.

You may also want to develop a website and business name that create a professional image for your customers.

You will need to allocate resources to create a professional image for your business.

Understand your finances before you launch your business and after you start operations.

You Manage Your Business Finances

Manage all finances for home business
Source: Pexels

When you operate your home business, you will need to track your income and expenses.

It’s a good idea to consult with your financial advisor or CPA before you start your business.

These professionals can evaluate options and give you suggestions to suit your business goals.

If finance and numbers are not your strong suits, you may want to enlist a part-time bookkeeper.

A professional bookkeeper can maintain your financial records and show you how money moves through your business.

In the corporate world, the finance and accounting divisions maintain all books and records.

When you operate your home business, you become the chief financial officer.

You may find this task daunting, and it can be helpful to collaborate with your accountant and bookkeeper.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the hardest part of running a home business?

The toughest part is developing a strategy. Most folks leap right to the plan.

Start with your strategy to solve 1 BIG problem, and then build your business plan.

Who is the first advisor you should contact when you’re ready to run a home business?

You should contact a CPA. Your accountant can help you set up the business entity and advise you on the appropriate business accounts and finance steps to follow.

Are there other professionals I should talk to before I launch a home business?

It’s a good idea to chat with a business attorney.

Let them ask you a few questions about your business and seek their advice on permits, licenses, and other legal issues.

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