Starting your own home business can be exciting, exhilarating and full of hope. But what happens if the enthusiasm starts to wane when the money does not come rolling in as expected?
All too often, women who start their own home business find them under stress from not knowing when the money is going to start coming in and finding they are having to scrabble around to find funds to pay the household bills. On top of this comes the added pressure from spouses or partners who may start to ask when you are going to get a proper job and start to contribute to the household expenses.
The initial passion and enthusiasm has been lost and you spend many sleepless nights worrying about the future.
Sound familiar? If this is happening to you, then I truly am sorry. I wish I could tell you to hang on in there and not give up but at some point, you will ultimately have to find a way to earn some immediate cash if customers are just not coming forward as expected.
I see this all too often and the pressure starts to build causing excess strain both on your mind-set for the future running of your business and also on that of your personal relationships.
So is it time to call it a day, or is there an alternative?
Firstly, a bit of soul searching may be required. Do you remember why you started your own business? Do you still have the underlying passion for it and believe in it long-term, or has it become an all too heavy burden that you are seriously regretting having started?
If you think you can regain the passion and truly believe (and have done the research to prove it) that long term the business can be a success, maybe it is just time to have a rethink. Is there any way of generating immediate income by offering a complementary product or service alongside your existing business? Do you need to adapt your offering in some way?
Offer complementary services
Perhaps if you offer one to one services you could adapt these to group sessions whereby it becomes more affordable to your clients but you still earn an income. A make-up artist or beautician could offer classes in how to apply makeup or look after their skin. A photographer could offer group session on how to use a smartphone camera to best effect. If you sell handmade soft furnishings, how about running a basic sewing class?
Find other ways to generate income
Do you have things that you could sell on Ebay or do you know of someone who is looking for a cleaner or ironing service? Is there a local business that is looking for some ad hoc help whilst they have staff on holiday or off sick? These are things that can easily be run alongside a home business and can create some much needed income in the short term.
Take part time work
Or if necessary, could you continue to run the business on a part-time basis whilst taking part-time employed work?
There is nothing wrong about taking on other work whilst you continue to build your business in the background. It will take longer than you may have hoped but the extra income will help take the pressure off and may just give you renewed vigour to keep going.
One thing that I hear when I present this option to women I work with is that they will lose face and be seen to be failing at their business. They worry so much as to what others will think of them. But there is a saying:
“If you’re worried about what people will think, you’ll be surprised at how little they care”
It is far better to face up to reality that things are not working as you expected and take action than to try and save face and end up losing both your business and possibly your relationship.
If you feel you are between a rock and a hard place at the moment and are struggling to know if it is time to give or not, take 24 hours out. Go talk to a friend you trust and throw some ideas around. Think long and hard about whether you want to, and should, continue with your business, or whether there is a work around in the short term.
And if the decision is made to close your business, just remember, you haven’t failed. You have just learnt a valuable lesson for the future in what not to do.