Convincing someone that working from home is possible, let alone potentially successful, was quite hard some time back. Fast-forward to now, and you can see numerous small business and other huge corporations operating from home, thanks to the connectivity and flexibility offered by the internet.
However, not everyone gets it right owing to the entirely different setting – working from home can be confusing – and most people do not reap the full potential of their home business. Those that do, however, will tell you it takes a well-planned strategy on how to go about your business. This entails, among other things, working principles, schedules, boundaries, and an ideal working setting.
Here are 8 smart and effective tips for making the best out of your home business.
1. Have an exclusive working area
As mentioned earlier, the home setting can be very confusing; hindering your work and causing you lose valuable time and credibility with clients. An office setting, on the other hand, helps you focus on working, as it is neat, orderly, quiet, and generally free of distractions.
As such, it is highly recommended to set out an exclusive area in your house, which can serve as your office. This should be a secluded room, away from the living and dining rooms, as this is where family members tend to traffic the most. Additionally, the room should not simply be a room that is quiet and cozy – it should represent an office in virtually every aspect, with a desk, good lighting for visibility, air conditioning to keep your fresh and alert, and perhaps a coffee maker to keep you alert and focused.
2. Establish a working schedule
Slacking off from work is easy, especially when you are running a home business since you are your own business and no one is there to supervise you. Many people figure that they can always catch up later, but the truth is time waster cannot be recovered, and this ineffective working schedule can spill over into your family life too, as you may have to compensate for lost daytime with hours that should be ideally spent with the family.
This is why it is important to establish a working schedule, as is the case with every on-site business. Wake up, prepare as you would, and then telecommute to your office about 15 seconds or so – and get down to work until it is time to take a break or close shop.
Make sure you stick to your work and do not be tempted to run other small errands that are financially unproductive – there is time for that too. This will help you get some business discipline and allow you to utilize your time fully to exploit your home business’ full potential.
However, the schedule does not have to be rigid as to cover the daytime only. Rather, it should fit in well with your family’s needs – you can set the morning aside for interacting with family and get to work from noon and perhaps include an extra shift from when the kids go to sleep. This will allow you to accomplish two crucial tasks.
3. Set boundaries
If you have kids and say your spouse also spends most of his/her time at home, you will have to deal with some constant interruptions from the playful kids and your hubby, albeit all a show of love. This can distract you from your work, making you lose track of your business and losing valuable time.
As such, it is wise to set boundaries to ensure this does not happen or else your efforts of establishing a successful home business will be thwarted. To do this, you need to have a serious talk with the family as a whole and explain to the kids why you have to get some excluded space and why it is a no go zone – your hubby should emphasize this too. Additionally, let your friends and other relatives know that you are working from home to take away the idea that you are always free and available.
This will ensure you have some peace of mind during your working hours to get the work done smoothly and perfectly, making you reliable and credible to your clients for long-term business relationships.
4. Have a helping hand
Kids, especially playful ones, may not understand why you have to stay excluded and may insist on being with you, or else you will have to deal with a lot of screaming and crying. If this is the case for you, ensure you get a helping hand to take care of the kids and possibly run other small errands such as feeding them.You can hire a daytime nanny or have a local neighbor do it for a worthy salary. It will give your kids something to be occupied with and will take away the concerns of how your kids are and what they are doing, effectively allowing you to concentrate on your job.
5. Dress the part
Picture yourself getting down to work dressed in your pajamas and some cozy slippers – it would not take long before something distracts you since your psychological setting is not right. This casual dressing will make the home office and the work seem casual, causing you to ignore some tasks that may seem too demanding.
Take the effort to dress the part and though you do not have to go all with the tie and tight leather shoes, ensure your clothes are comfortable, fitting, and plain for optimal body flexibility. This will register in your subconscious mind and prepare your brain for concentrating on work.
As such, do everything you would when telecommuting to an onsite business – take a bath, groom and dress well, get some power breakfast, and head to your office for the day.
6. Take some time to relax and catch up
You may find yourself addicted to your work once it starts making some good revenue or achieving the purpose you envisioned it for, in which case you will be tempted to work more than slack off. This may be productive, but it may be harmful to your health and mental well being – everyone needs some time to relax, socialize, and catch up.
As such, set some time off to relax, and not just in the house but also out in socializing places such as restaurants. Try catching up with old friends or work colleagues once in a while to keep up-to-date with your social life and balance your work in general.
This will help ease your mind and give you more energy and mental focus to achieve even more without becoming a workaholic
7. Change venues once in a while
The workplace may be monotonous especially now when it is at home – that is why most people cannot wait to get home after work for a change of setting. This can make your work seem boring, making it feel like a burden and diminishing your will to work.
To avoid this, try changing venues once in a while to refresh your mind. You can take an hour or two to get some work done from your local restaurant while taking some coffee, drive to the park, or generally anywhere you can get an internet connection and some space to sit and get some tasks done. This will make you feel refreshed when getting back home, allowing you to withstand some more time in the office without feeling closed in.
8. Have all the proper paperwork in place
Just because you work from home does not exempt you from the necessary business legislation such as tax and insurance. As such, it is important to fulfill all the legal requirements for your particular niche of work by filling all the paperwork.
Most importantly, ensure that you always pay your taxes on time to avoid running into trouble with the government in the future – this may come at a time when your home business is peaking, curtailing your progress and making you incur heavy costs and possible jail time.
Ensure that your business meets all the standards of a conventional business to make it professional and legit, giving it an equal right in participating in the market without limits to growth.
Working from home can be enjoyable but also very distracting if you let the home setting overshadow your work. as such, take these simple but effective steps to help you run a successful home business and hopefully build a gigantic enterprise.