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Challenges to running your own business from home

Taking the decision to run your own business can be very empowering but it isn’t without challenges. When you work as an employee for someone else you can easily take for granted the facilities, rules and environment that is provided for you. As a business owner, these factors all need to be considered when you are setting up a business from your home.

Separating work and personal life

The most obvious challenge must be the lack of physical distance between work and home. Without clear boundaries between your workspace and home life it is all too easy for work to spill over into your personal life. Try to create a distinct workspace area separate from your personal space which you can shut away when you finish your working day.  This gives the impression that your two lives can be separated and provide a healthier work/life balance.

This is even more important if you employ people within your business who need to be based at your home.  Create a separate work area and set boundaries for the working environment so that your employees are clear which areas of your home they can access to avoid your family from feeling unnecessarily uncomfortable.

Coping with a lack of space

Generally, most home businesses when starting off will be run from a spare room, a kitchen, conservatory or even a garden room so lack of space can become an issue.  Depending on the type of the business there could be stock that needs to be stored whilst it is waiting to be despatched, or filing, archiving or order processing documents that need extra space. Garages and sheds are often used for storage but trying to share a garage with the usual bicycles, tools and general household items can prove difficult. It could be helpful to consider external secure storage at a self-storage facility to help to de-clutter the home from any non-essential paperwork and stock.

Managing distribution

When you are running your own business you often need to meet clients and depending on your home office set-up this may not be the most appropriate place for customer meetings. Think about where you would do this and what impression this would give of the business, what would look the most professional? If you do need to attend external meetings, then one thing you would need to consider is how you would manage courier collections and deliveries? Depending on the type of your business you may regularly send out packages to customers and receive stock deliveries into the business. If you aren’t at home to sign for them then maybe you could consider a self-storage facility where deliveries and collections can be accepted on your behalf and held until you are ready to deal with them.

Arranging insurance

If as a business you are holding a lot of stock, aside from the space that it can take up it can also have an implication on your insurance. When running a business from a residential address, you are required to take out specific business insurance and this can be costly if you are holding a lot of stock within the home. A lack of security in the home can also increase premiums. Why not think about storing the stock in a self-storage centre where there are security systems such as CCTV, alarm systems and staff present, already set-up. Insurance can also be taken out separately with the self-storage provider which can reduce overall costs.

Don’t forget to network

One of the biggest reasons that a new business can fail is that the business owner suffers from feelings of isolation and lack of self-discipline to really push the business forward.  It is so important to stay focused on your business plan and manage your time effectively. Keep networking and promoting your business with other local companies to gain new business. Networking is great not just for gaining new work by word-of-mouth but also for improving mental well-being.

How can we at H2H help you with these challenges?

Our newly built H2H Self-Storage centre in Weston on the Green, Bicester, offers safe and secure storage rooms for business customers.  We offer a range of units and flexible leases saving you the high costs of rental premises, rates and the need to move to larger premises. These units suit any requirement from storing business stock, archive filing and order processing documents. Free up space by storing ‘dead filing’ that you are required to keep by law or maybe you need a space for the equipment you only use every now and again, such as display or exhibition items.

We will accept your deliveries & keep them in our holding unit until you’re available to move them into your own unit. Similarly, we can also arrange collections with couriers so you can run your business from here without the need for you to hang around waiting for your delivery driver.

Insurance is available for business stock if required, allowing you to keep this separate from your home insurance policy which can reduce overall premiums.

On site we have full colour CCTV, an alarm system, access control to all external doors and a regularly checked fire safety system ensuring that your goods are safe and secure.  We are open 7 days a week and our staff are on site to help with any queries you may have. Rooms can be booked for a minimum of 7 days with discounts available for long-term storage bookings.

Go for it!

Try to consider all these factors when you are writing your first business and marketing plan and you will be well on your way to setting up a successful and fulfilling business for yourself for the future.

Good luck and don’t forget fortune favours the brave!