3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Home Based Business

Uros Polajzer

Starting your home based business is exciting, and it’s great if you want to jump in and start now, but being to hasty puts you at risk for making mistakes. A lot of planning and careful consideration should go into starting a home based busines before you start.

Ask yourself the following questions; why am I starting this business? Is it because this is my passion, or is it because I don’t like my your current job and looking for a way out? Then, consider how you are going to make money and how much you will need to bring in to pay your bills. You should think about who your ideal client is, and how you prefer to work as well as the boundaries and business values are important to you. There is a lot to consider before you start!

We love encouraging people to pursue their dreams and are big advocates of entrepreneurial life. However, without putting in the work beforehand, you may find running a home based business isn’t as great as you hoped. We have learned a lot by doing it ourselves and want to share 3 mistakes to avoid when starting your home based business and hope this will put you on the path to success!

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Not Providing the Service Your Enjoy

As the saying goes, do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. It sounds cliché, but it is true, and it can greatly affect your business's success. When you start a home based business, it should be something you enjoy doing; otherwise, you may feel like you are missing out on life and be less likely to put in the work. Working from home and being your own boss requires a great deal of self-discipline. Sitting in your office or on your computer while your friends and family are having fun can be difficult when you aren’t enjoying it. In these cases, you are more likely to leave or find any excuse not to put the work in.

When you enjoy what you do, you’ll be more inclined to learn the ins and outs of the industry, perfect your skills, and grow with your business. This will result in greater success. Every business has its share of trials and tribulations, and when you enjoy what you do, it can make it a lot easier to weather the storms. Lastly, your customers and clients can feel the difference. Let’s say you are a food blogger that offers private cooking lessons, but you don’t enjoy cooking. Potential clients will be able to tell and are going to go with your competition, someone who loves cooking. You spend so much of your life working, so when starting your home based business you should do something you enjoy!

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Not Having a Plan

A business plan can be described as a road map; it’s possible to travel without one, but you're likely to get lost along the way and may not get to your desired destination. Another way to think of it is like the blueprint for a new house. A contractor doesn’t just walk onto the land and start nailing pieces of wood together; there’s a plan! A solid business plan will allow you to get clear on your business goals and track your growth. This should be the first thing you do before starting a business. There are several reasons why a plan is so important, but here are the top 5:

  • Help you make important financial decisions
  • Prevent costly mistakes
  • Provide clarity for the people you work with
  • Increase the likeliness of your business surviving
  • Help secure financing

There are several free resources and templates online that will help you write a business plan. You will need to summarise your business effectively, its purpose, and whom you are serving, meaning who will be your customers or clients. You will need to define the industry and how you will make money. You should be able to outline exactly how much money you will be making and from where. For example, when you price your products, how many products do you have to sell each week in order to pay your bills? When writing your business plan, keep it simple and to the point. It’s a great idea to have your plan looked over by something who has experience running their own business. If you don’t know anyone, there may be a local business organization that could be willing to look it over.

When your business is home based, there are additional considerations to make, like your workspace, internet, computer, and various resources you may need to work effectively. Do you have the space for it? You should consider all of these things to set yourself up for success.

Find Clients, Not Jobs

When you first start your own business, you may be inclined to take on any work or clients and be reluctant to turn people away, even when the fit doesn’t seem right. This is a mistake you want to avoid! You don’t need to wait until you are making a certain about of money or have a specific number of clients before becoming selective with your clientele. From day one, you should be selective and only work with people who respect your rates, time, and work. Difficult clients can end up costing more time and effort, the type of relationship that takes up 80% of your time while only bringing in 20% of your income. This can be detrimental to your business and cause your positive client relationships to suffer as a result. Develop a clear client profile; who is the type of person you want to work with? How will they interact with you? What are their values? As a part of your business plan, get very clear on who your ideal clients are. Once you have established this, you should consider what values and boundaries are important to you. No matter the job, you should be firm with these and protect yourself and your business from unproductive relationships that cause more harm than good. 

Starting a home based business involves a lot of trial and error. Trust your gut, reach out to those who have gone through it, and pass along some of the lessons they have learned.

Have you started your own home based business? What advice would you pass on to someone just starting out?

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