You run a small business from your home. Your commute is short and simple -- turn left at the coffee maker, bypass small children and big dogs, and veer to your right where your office kitty is warming your chair. Your dress code? Office pajamas.
The fact that you've made the courageous decision to run your small business from the comfort -- and cost-effectiveness -- of your home, doesn't mean you're not serious about your business, or the results you produce for your clients. Yet, from the reaction of others, one would think that a home-based business entrepreneur is the Rodney Dangerfield of SOHO (small office/home office).
Although Rodney Dangerfield's signature line was "I get no respect", his Grammy award-winning comedic career professed something very different -- just like yours!
I've run a successful business from my home since 1978. Given my lengthy, fruitful career, interactions with our local chamber director were always quite memorable. As she dutifully asked about the state of my "home-based business", she wrinkled her nose and pointed it ever-so-slightly upward. It was as if to say, "I'm sorry you work from home." And, when the SOHO community gets to talkin', I'm not the only recipient of such responses.
These are the most common irrational assumptions that others have about a home-based business. Can you relate?
- Home-based business owners are limited in their skills.
As if the "corner office" location determines skill acuity, some would assume that those who work from home aren't as qualified. Nothing is further from the truth! A home-office location is by choice, not limitation.
The good news for those who hire a SOHO supplier, cost is less. Minus the massive overhead of an ocean-view office, a home-based business owner can carve out a nice financial living without having to gouge the client.
- Home-based business owners aren't very productive.
Apparently a concern exists that SOHO entrepreneurs are easily distracted by the latest episode of Judge Judy. This poor time-management concept leads to unfounded suppositions of unnecessary delays, cost overruns, and poor customer service.
Are you ready for the truth? (Can you handle the truth?) The SOHO entrepreneur avoids the continual interruption of colleagues dropping by to discuss last night's episode of NCIS. With no water-cooler conversations, those who work from their home office accomplish more in 6 hours than their counterparts accomplish in 10 hours.
- Home-based business owners can take time off whenever they want.
After all, you don't have a "real" job when you work from home -- or so some think. This is the notion that gets under the skin of most home-based business owners. Why? It's demeaning and disrespectful.
Because one works from home, doesn't mean they're available during business hours to pick you up at the airport, spend "your" vacation chauffeuring you throughout the city, or prepare gourmet meals.
Granted, there is flexibility when working from home but it does come at a price. The cost is time, treasure, and opportunity.
Running a business from home requires incredible courage and disciple. The next time you meet a SOHO business owner, grab their hand and give it a hardy shake. Congratulate them for undertaking something you may never have the audacity to do -- run a business from home.