The Potential Pitfalls of Working At Home

Working at home can bear a number of rewards that make the venture extremely worthwhile. From finances to your own fears of isolation, working at home all the time is not necessarily rainbows and sunshine every day. You’ll have good days and bad days. You’ll even face roadblocks that stand in your way of even getting started. Mothers can thrive under these circumstances because the situation does give them the best of both worlds.

As fantastic as working at home can be, there are some potential pitfalls. Understanding what they are can prepare you to face them head-on and win. While not everyone will experience the same cons working at home, some of the more common issues that could crop up include such things as:

  • Failure to Balance

    Some work at home moms has a little trouble getting into the swing of balancing career and personal life issues. Whether they spend too much time working or not enough, failing to strike a balance can have the potential to lead to disappointment in one arena, the other, or both.

  • Isolation

    As was discussed earlier, some at home careers can be a bit lonely in the grand scheme of things.

  • Guilt

    While the whole idea of working at home very often involves having more time for the family, work needs to be on the priority list, too. This means there will be times moms just have to say no or go about their business even when a three-year-old is pitching a tantrum. The long and the short of this reality is that sometimes moms will feel guilt for not being there even when they are there.

  • Lack of Professionalism

    In some areas of work, background noises found in a home can be a little embarrassing and may even come off as unprofessional. Talking on the phone to a client while a child has a fit or a dog barks loudly in the background just doesn’t “sound” as professional as many would like.

  • Overdoing

    The danger of working at home often lies in not being able to “leave” work at the end of the day. With this in mind, many work-at-home moms tend to overdo to their detriment. While this might be great for the business, burning out can happen if anyone works around the clock and fails to unwind, relax, and breathe once in a while.

  • Letting oneself go

    While it is certainly nice to be able to roll out of bed in the morning and “report” to the office, this can be a double-edged sword. It’s all too easy to still be sitting in that bathrobe at 6 p.m. on an ordinary Tuesday. This can have a negative impact on self-esteem.

While the pitfalls are very real, there are ways to face them down and win. No matter the challenge, having a good plan in place for coping can make a difference.

The Potential Pitfalls of Working At Home - Family Resistance

Family Resistance

Family resistance can also be an issue when you’re considering the idea of becoming a work at home mom. As I stated in the first chapter, family support is crucial. If you don’t have their full support, you could be in trouble.

Here are some tips for overcoming the issues that may arise:

  • Highlight The Benefits

    Make sure your partner fully understands what you working at home can mean for your family. While you will have duties to tend with, you will, ultimately, be more available to your family.

  • Talk Up The Potential Savings

    Point out how much you will be saving in gas, lunches out, fast- food dinners, and childcare. These expenses can add up very fast and even may offset any losses you’d face from leaving your present job if that’s your intent. Many moms discover they spend just about as much as they make at work on these expenses  that can be eliminated from a budget sheet if you work at home.

  • Highlight The Possible Earnings

    Make sure your family knows you’ve done your homework on your business idea. Show them the earnings protections, the potential clients, and so on. If you have clients signed on already, this can be a quick mind-changer for certain.

  • Give It A Trial Run

    If your partner just isn’t sure you can pull it off, prove it. Start your business on a part-time basis and grow it with care. Once it’s off the ground, transitioning and not jeopardizing the family’s income will be possible. Keep in mind, your partner likely supports your decision 100 percent, but might fear the “what ifs.” This is okay. Just prove to your partner and yourself that it can be done.

Family resistance is generally very easy to overcome. If you’ve done your homework, you should be able to sell your plan pretty well.

If you’re like most people, however, the hardest sell job will be with yourself. You have to believe you can do it to make a successful go at being a work at home mom. One of the biggest obstacles you’ll face on this front is deal with isolation.

The Potential Pitfalls of Working At Home - Financial Roadblocks

Financial Roadblocks

Perhaps the biggest obstacle that will stand in the way of opening a home-based business is the money issue. This might not apply if you’re going to become a telecommuter for your existing company or another one. Should you be starting from scratch, however, it can be a huge roadblock to overcome.

To give yourself the best footing to start on, do look at that budget closely as suggested before. If you find you fall short, these tips can help you come up with the seed cash you need to make a serious go at your dream:

  • The Savings Plan

    This can take longer than other options for overcoming cash flow problems, but it can put you on better financial footing over the long haul. Rather than borrow money, this obstacle buster simply requires that you start building your business nest egg on your own. You can do this by remaining in your regular job and saving money from your checks. You can also consider launching your business part-time at night to build up cash, contacts, and income. The latter option keeps your day job money coming in and can add to it with the part-time venture. Overall, this is a pretty prudent way to overcome money issues.

  • Loans

    Small business loans, mortgage refinances, second mortgages, and other lending options might be available to you to seed your business. This route can jumpstart your dream and give you cash in the bank to live off for a time, too. The danger here is that you will have to make repayments. Essentially, funding a business with loans involves starting out with the books in the red. Still, if your business idea is good enough and your skills are high enough, it can be a great way to go.

  • Grants

    It is sometimes possible to obtain grants to open a small business. This will depend a lot on what you plan on doing. If you are eligible for grants, they are well worth applying for. The fact is granted can give you the money you need without involving repayments. Government and foundation grants may both be available. Do look into the option, but plan on a big application process. If you are successful in getting grants, make sure the money goes exactly where you said it would, too. Doing otherwise can get you into a lot of hot water!

  • Investors

    Family, friends, or other acquaintances might want to get in on your business on the ground floor. While this is probably the least recommended option, it can fuel your business dreams rather quickly. Do count on having to pay back these loans or offering up a piece of your business to these “partners.”

  • Money issues can always be overcome if you have the determination to make it so. Consider your options and move forward with the choice or choices that work best in your case.

    Images courtesy of:
    Foundry Co, Free-Photos, Paul Brennan, Pixabay

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    The Potential Pitfalls of Working At Home

    Part 3 of Work at Home Mom Series
    Pam Byc
    Latest posts by Pam Byc (see all)
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