12 Lessons Learned from Home Business
Starting a home business is done for many reasons. You can start one because you need the money, because you want to be home more with your family, because you’ve always dreamed of owning your own business, and so on.
No matter what your reasons were for starting out, you learn a lot from running a home business.
1. You can do more than you thought possible.
Any business is hard work. A home business adds in the challenge of balancing your home life with working. Often this means dealing with your children while you work.
Yet somehow you learn to manage it all. The demands of your business and the demands of your lifestyle. Sometimes you even balance it well, while other times it all feels like chaos. But when you look back, you’re accomplished a lot.
2. Surprising things work.
You can’t always predict what’s going to work out well. The little project you start on a whim turns into a big success. A $1 toy turns out to be the perfect distraction for the kids when you need to get something done. And the business idea everyone told you was crazy turns out to be crazy all right… crazy successful.
You just can’t predict these things.
3. You can’t win every time, no matter how hard you try.
Then there’s the idea you had that sounded perfect. High demand, something you were familiar with, and you put tons of effort into the project. And it flopped.
4. Just because it worked once doesn’t mean it will work twice.
You got things going great on one project. Everything flowed smoothly, it was a success and you think you’ve got the routine down.
Then it fails when you try the same steps on another project. It just goes to show that there’s no one solution that works for every project, no matter how similar they seem to be.
5. Owning a home business isn’t as easy as others think it is.
You probably get a lot of people saying they envy you the home business lifestyle. Clearly they have little idea of what they’re talking about, or they’d know about the long hours, late nights, early mornings, and the struggle to maintain a normal life away from your business.
On the other hand, would you trade it?
6. The surest path to failure is to never start.
If you don’t try, you can’t succeed. That’s true in your business. It’s true in your marketing. It’s true with anything you should be doing in your day to day life.
You might fail even if you do try, but if you don’t start, you’ll never know.
7. Be willing to promote yourself and your business.
This is a particularly hard lesson for those of us who aren’t used to talking about themselves. You have to be willing to promote your business, however. That random person you get talking to might just be a great customer. Those people who read your blog might also become loyal customers. If you don’t promote yourself in your expertise and your business, no one will ever know what you can do for them.
8. Don’t let your dreams keep you from seeing reality.
Dreams are good when you’re starting a home business. They’re a major part of the foundation. You have dreams of the success your business may bring and the satisfaction of owning your own business.
Don’t let those dreams hide reality from you. Succeeding with a business is difficult. If things aren’t going right, you can’t let your dreams keep you from seeing that. You also can’t let your dreams hide alternatives from you. Dream away, but pay more attention to your reality.
9. Your product needs to solve a problem for others.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a product or a service, if what you’re offering doesn’t solve a problem for others, they won’t be interested.
It doesn’t have to be a major problem. It can be a simple as “which kind of food should I feed my dog?” Whatever your niche, make sure you know why people are looking at what you have to offer.
10. Keep a positive attitude.
Your overall attitude about your business should be positive. You’re allowed to have bad days, you’re allowed to get frustrated, but if your overall attitude becomes negative it will show, and it will have an impact on your business, not to mention the rest of your life.
11. Remember your health.
Having a home business is wonderful. Don’t let it ruin your health.
Spending hours sitting in front of the computer is a great way to put on weight and lose muscle tone. While I’m no advocate of stressing over one’s weight (I don’t even own a scale), you should try to be generally healthy.
Take little exercise breaks during your day. Go for a walk around the block. Get up from your office chair and stretch.
Eat right. If you don’t keep a lot of junk food around the house, it won’t be so tempting for snacks during the day. Make healthy food the most readily available and you’re more likely to choose it.
12. Make time for family and friends.
A home business will take up as much time as you let it, and often it will try to take more. Don’t let it get in the way of having a normal life with your family and friends.
Play with your kids. Make time for your spouse. Go out with friends. Have fun.