Six Disadvantages of A Home-Based Food Business

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After fifteen years of supporting my family with home-based food businesses, I know all the disadvantages of home-based businesses. To be clear, I wouldn’t choose another way to support my family because I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. { Click here for my list of advantages of a home-based business. >>> )

However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have an honest discussion about the disadvantages. Let’s dive in.

List Of The Disadvantages Of A Home Based Food Business

My wife and I have both worked full time from home in food-related businesses for over fifteen years.

Our main income comes from a prepared meal delivery business that we run out of a state-licensed kitchen in our home. We also have a couple of food related websites that we run from our home office, and do a little food photography on the side.

Neither of us has had a regular paycheck from someone else in fifteen years. I’m telling you all this so you know that really do know a thing or two about the disadvantages of running a food-related business from home.

I’ve listed the six biggest disadvantages below, and I also wrote an article about the benefits of working from home in a food-based business if you’d like to read that too.

List of Disadvantages of Working From Home In A Food Related Business

#1 – Little Social Life

I used to work in offices (I have an engineering degree), and most of the people that I hung out with worked with me. Whither it was lunch with the guys, or a beer after work, that was my social life away from the family.

Now that’s basically gone. I eat lunch at home and getting together with the guys takes a special trip to town instead of stopping on the way home.

When working at home, maintaining a social life takes direct and dedicated effort.

#2 – No Reason To Bath Or Wear Clean Cloths

To be fair, we have an advantage in our house because we’re both working from home full time, which means we do have a reason to bath…each other.

But if you’re really working all alone, you will find that taking a shower, shaving, putting on makeup, all become less important except for those days that you are going to be actually interacting with cutomers.

If you decide to work at home all alone, put basic personal hygiene on your to-do list. You don’t want to gross out the UPS man.

#3 – Easy to Overwork

When you don’t leave work to head home, you are always at work. If you’re a workaholic, this could be an advantage.

However, for most people it can be a real challenge.

I encourage you to start your work-from-home business with an open mind about what your workday will look like. With that open mind, you’ll be able to adjust your workday as needed for sanity.

#4 – No Hard Line Between Work & Family Time

When working in an office, the hard line between work and family time is the commute between the two. When your are running a business from home, that hard line vanishes.

If your workspace is in the other room, it’s always easy to wander away from your family and back to your work. From personal experience, I know that a task that you promise will take just a few minutes often drifts into hours of work.

You will need to figure out how to create that hard line to preserve time with your family.

Most importantly, listen to your family and if they are feeling ignored, fix that quickly. As exciting as a new business is, you can only achieve total success if your family life is solid too.

#5 – Inspectors In Your Home

Depending on what kind of home-based food business { Click here to see our list of home-based food business ideas. >>> } you might need to have licensed space in your home.

A licensed space will certainly have some kind of fee associated with it, and may well require periodic inspections from someone tasked with assuring compliance to local, state, or federal regulations.

For example, we have a state licensed kitchen in the walkout basement of our home in the country. In the state of Kansas, we get that license from the Kansas Department of Agriculture just like every restaurant in Kansas. We pay a fee of several hundred dollars annually, and we are visited by a food safety inspector at least once a year.

It’s not really a big deal, but something you need to be aware of before you start a new food business from home.

We also have other licenses, but no others require an inspection.

#6 – More Distractions

Our home based business our plagued with distractions that sometimes makes getting all the work done harder than it needs to be.

Sure, working in an office away from home can have distractions too, but they are different distractions at home.

The dog wants out, the kids are fighting, I can have a TV on in the kitchen, the dog wants in, the kids split the milk in the upstairs kitchen, etc, etc, etc…

The distractions just go on-and-on and can be a huge disadvantage to working from home. But with practice, you can get better at pushing the distractions away when it’s really time to get your work done.

Conclusion About The Disadvantages of Working From Home

The disadvantages that I shared here are real and can make your work life harder, but as I said in my article about the benefits of a home-based food business, I love supporting my family with my foodie passions from the comfort of my own home.

Every disadvantage listed above are just challenges, not business killers.

Before you start your new food business from home, make a commitment to keeping these disadvantages at the forefront of your thoughts as you design your workdays.

If you design your workday to circumvent these disadvantages from day-one, you’ll not be faced with later trying to break your own bad habits that are making reaching your business goals harder than it has to be.

Your family will also thank you for your foresight because they will benefit from you avoiding some of the pitfalls, and won’t have to deal with you trying to break some of their habits that are making your workdays harder.

You got this and I can’t wait to help you start your food business and grow it into something amazing.



With over 15 years of experience starting, running, and growing home-based food businesses, Stacey is the #1 home-based food business coach in America. Stacey is the author of the Advantage Meals: By The Numbers Book.

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