Before you opened your home-based business, you probably worked hard to anticipate all of the challenges that would come along. From choosing the best insurance for a home business to purchasing the highest quality accounting and tax preparation software, you had it all figured out – with the exception of the attitudes of your family, friends and peers. As you are now learning, there are several misconceptions that people have that can drive you crazy as a home-based entrepreneur.
You Don’t Have a Real Job
Even in today’s commercial environment where telecommuting is very popular, there are still countless workers who trek to their jobs on highways, buses and trains. They sit in confining offices all day, answer to higher authorities and, in many cases, are miserable. It’s no wonder that at least some of the people you know are jealous of your seemingly ideal lifestyle.
This can lead some to minimize your abilities, to the point that they might even go as far as to cast aspersions on the legitimacy of what you do. When you hear comments such as, “You have forgotten what the real work world is like” or if you get calls during your work day from people who seem to think you have nothing better to do than to chat, find a way to gently disengage them. Explain that you are at work and are under a deadline, and keep your promise to call them back at a more convenient time. If worse comes to worst and people fail to respect your boundaries, call screening can be your friend.
You Have a Home-Based Business Because You Can’t Cut it in the Work World
People who hold this belief are either sniping at you because they are envious of your self-motivation or they have no clue about the skill and fortitude involved in starting and maintaining your own home-based business.
As an entrepreneur serving clients from home, you need to continue to remain competitive with your office-bound rivals. At the same time, you must possess a level of discipline that commuters need not have. Knowing that countless domestic tasks – not to mention the comfort of your couch – are always there to distract you from your work, and continuing to stay on task all the same is a tremendous accomplishment in itself. When you do it right, you are successfully juggling an astounding number of balls, managing your household and growing your business simultaneously.
Your Prices are Always Lower
Have you ever encountered someone who expects that you will charge ridiculously low prices for your products or services simply because you work from home? The thinking is that because you have little or no overhead costs, you will be able to always significantly undercut your competition.
In reality, however, you should continue to remain on par with standard pricing. Low-balling can backfire, actually leading potential customers to wonder if you provide the same quality. Learn to walk a fine line between offering a small savings to customers and discounting things so low that no one respects you.
No matter how strictly you maintain your boundaries and how carefully you think about pricing, you will probably never totally avoid damaging misconceptions such as these. Part of succeeding as a home-based entrepreneur involves making your own way in a world where some will doubt your competence or your ability to succeed. The good news is that you are not alone, and with the right attitude and a solid skill set, you can go toe to toe with competitors both large and small.