Lots of people talk about the great things about running a home based business. And don’t get me wrong, it is mostly great for me. But it has its downsides too.
1. Long hours
Yes, long hours for most people who have home businesses. Sure there are some people who manage to keep really short hours, the whole four hour work week kind of deal. But that’s not the typical experience.
Most home business owners, especially in the beginning, work long hours. They get up early in the morning or stay up after everyone else is in bed. They work weekends, holidays, whenever they can get a moment.
It’s incredibly difficult for most people to completely put aside their business when they love it. Even on vacation you’re likely to want to check your email or make sure your sites aren’t down. If you want to get completely away you’re probably going to have to hire a virtual assistant to take care of things for you.
On the plus side, it’s time you’re managing. If you need to be there for your family, you can do it. If you need a break, you’re the only one you have to convince to take it. That’s not always easy, as you may find yourself to be a harsher taskmaster than any boss you’ve ever had. But do go easy on yourself sometimes, okay?
2. Uncertain income
There’s nothing so wonderful as earning an income you can live off from home. But when you have a home business, you have no guarantees that your income will be steady at any level.
Some ways that’s a good thing. Your income can go from “ouch!” to “wow!” very quickly sometimes. But it can go the other way too.
This makes it vital that you keep savings available for those times that your income just isn’t where you need it to be. You have to prepare for the bad times and enjoy the good.
When you own a home business, you pay for everything. Your training. The costs of operating your business, such as hosting and advertising.
Depending on your business model, these can add up quickly or be pretty easy on your budget. But they’re all yours!
4. Feelings of isolation
This one gets a lot of people in the early days. You’re at home, with no immediate co-workers, unless you count any children around. You can easily miss adult interaction.
There are many ways to get virtual interaction during the day. You can join appropriate forums and make friends. Use Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Just don’t overdo it or you will find that you lack time to get real work done.
Be sure you get out with friends you can see in person too. Virtual friends are great, they can be wonderfully helpful and give you great input, even be there for you in a crisis, but time out with people in person is good for you too.
5. Lack of health benefits
This can be a big one. If you don’t have a spouse with health benefits, you have to find a plan on your own. These can be expensive.
6. Always with the kids
This is one of the big reasons why many parents choose to start a home business, but kids are one of the challenges as well. Sometimes you need to get something done for your business, and the kids just aren’t cooperating. They need you, they start fighting, they get sick, they do something or other that makes it more challenging when you’re really trying to get a project done.
Good thing you love them so much, right?
They’re a positive also. You’re there when they need you. If you want to do something with them, you get to.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re running a home business is that you can turn many negatives into positives. The same things that make working from home so hard are also what make it wonderful and great. Don’t let frustration stop you.
7. Hard to get sick days
Sure, you can take a sick day any day you want when you work at home. The question is, will you?
Just as with the tendency to work long hours, many work at home business owners will keep working even when they’re sick. It’s a home office, it’s right there!
On the plus side, even if you do work when you’re sick, you have more control over the pace of things. You might be fighting to beat a deadline, but you can figure out how much work you are up for without a boss breathing down your neck or talking to clients face to face.
When you have a home business, it’s important to realize that while you have more freedom, you also have more responsibilities. This can lead to overworking, missing out on fun with your family and other problems. Even though it’s difficult, make sure you’re taking time off as necessary.