If you have decided to launch your own small business and run it from home, then you will find yourself in a sizeable and varied company. Did you know that small businesses make up a whopping 99.2% of the UK’s business population? Not only that, but they generate well over £1 trillion in turnover – making them the undisputed engine room of the British economy.
If you’re keen to join the ranks of these small but plucky enterprises, you are in for an exciting journey, marked by triumphs and challenges. As it’s important to know what to expect, let’s explore some of the most common obstacles you may face as you set up your home-based business, so you will know exactly how to cope with them if or when they crop up.
You Won’t Have A Lot Of Space
Unless your home-based business plan revolves around copywriting, drop shipping, or anything that can be done solely using a computer, you are going to need a fair amount of space. In other words, it won’t be enough simply to clear a corner of the kitchen table and manage your business from there.
Fortunately, even if your home is low on extra room, there are a few solutions you can try. For one thing, you can clear out the garage or conservatory, and set up your home office there. Even an outbuilding might do, so long as it is well-ventilated and insulated, and has electricity and an Internet connection.
Your Business May Not Appear Professional Enough
While most people shouldn’t have a problem with your business being based at home – particularly since the pandemic made remote working part of ‘the new normal’ – there may be some clients or other businesses who feel differently.
Of course, there is only so much you can do to challenge negative perceptions like this one, but if you’re concerned about your appearance of professionalism, you may want to try a few different tactics. For one thing, you can focus on making your business’s virtual shopfront as appealing as possible. This means investing in a sleek, attractive, and intuitive website that provides a high-quality user experience for customers.
While you can create your own site if you have the skills, but in general it may be best to leave this task to the professionals. e-innovative.co.uk is a web design company in Reigate that specialises in creating glossy, high-performing websites that are tailored to your requirements – and your budget. With their help, your website – and your business in general – is sure to wow even the sniffiest of detractors.
You Will Find Yourself Having To Wear Many Hats
Unfortunately, in this case, it doesn’t mean literally. As the owner of a small, home-based business, you will be responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day running of your enterprise. Some of the time-consuming and often challenging tasks you may find yourself having to take on could include accepting orders, preparing and shipping them, compiling invoices, doing your own tax returns, contacting suppliers, and, of course, promoting your venture to customers.
Fortunately, when it comes to the latter, there are plenty of low-cost or even free methods you can use to advertise your business and slowly but surely build up your customer base. For example, you can use social media accounts to start spreading the word about your business and the unique products it has to offer. There are so many ways to advertise your venture on your socials, from creating highly trendy short-form video content to posting images of your products on Facebook and perhaps even hosting a live tutorial or Q&A session with customers. The only limit is your imagination.
You may even want to start your own dedicated YouTube channel, or include a blog section on your website and make regular contributions. Speaking of blogging, another way to promote your business is by writing guest posts on other people’s blogs. Seek out bloggers who write about subjects related to your line of work and ask if you can make a contribution, with links leading back to your site or product pages.
Working From Home Can Be Lonely
While on the one hand, there are many benefits to having a home-based business – such as being able to spend more time with your family, not to mention having more freedom to do things that you enjoy – there are also significant downsides. Research conducted in 2020 revealed that a quarter of newly remote workers were struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness, and 30% found it hard to separate their work from their home life.
The truth is that, even if you have never struggled with mental health issues before, the psychological pressure of running your own business and working from home, rather than among colleagues, could prove more difficult than you expect.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with those difficult mental struggles, as there are techniques and resources you can use to beat the loneliness and find a healthier way of working from home. For example, you may want to find ways of spending at least one working day elsewhere, in a more crowded location, such as a library or a co-working space. You should also aim to get out more during the day; because you can arrange your own schedule, you should have no difficulty making time for meeting a friend for coffee, or even just taking the dog for a walk.
There’s no denying the fact that setting up and running your own home-based business can be a real challenge.
However, it could also be one of the best decisions you ever made, providing you with the opportunity to create a healthier work-life balance and manage things on your own terms. There may be bumps along the way, but hopefully, your business will soon get on its feet and join the ranks of those all-important millions helping to power the UK economy.