Running your own business from the confines of your home may seem like a dream come true. With its flexibility, freedom, and unlimited earning potential – what else could you ask for?
But for those of you who haven’t navigated the uncharted waters of working from home, it can be bring about real challenges, that can make or break your business.
To help ensure the success of your home-based business follow these simple tips.
Live by a Schedule: Working at home presents itself with a wide array of distractions from family members and household chores, to more enticing activities like watching TV and playing hooky. But if you want to be successful home-based business owner, you’ll need to become disciplined and create regular office hours for your business. Doing this allows you to create a time slot for each of the day’s activities and it communicates to others when your work-time and play-time is.
Just Say No: Neighbors, family members, and friends will try and take advantage of your flexible schedule by asking you to do favors since you’re already at home. When this happens, you’ll need to be firm and stick to your scheduled office hours. By agreeing to do a favor once, it only opens the door for future and more frequent requests. Communicate to others what your dedicated work hours are and let them know that you’re unavailable during these times.
Make Time for Social Interaction: Working at home can be very socially isolating, especially if you’re a social butterfly. To help ease the pain of loneliness, make sure to schedule regular face-to-face time with other individuals. Attending trade conferences, joining interest related groups, and meeting up with friends and family are great ways to fulfill that need for socialization. While nothing beats good old face to face interaction, online socialization can be great filler for when you’re unable to meet in person.
Get Serious: If you’re not going to take your business seriously, who else will? While lounging around in your pajamas all day sounds good in theory, it actually makes it difficult for you to get in the proper business mindset. Pajamas convey an informal and careless appearance, making it difficult for others to see you as a real professional. Take the time and get ready for the day, just like you would if you were working outside of the home. As they say, “When you look good, you feel good”.
Learn to Effectively Communicate: Since you won’t have the physical and verbal cues that you would have with face-to-face interaction, you’ll need to make sure that you keep the lines of communication wide open. This means that you’ll need to convey your message clearly and accurately, you will also need to respond to email correspondence promptly. Arrange times where you will be available by phone, Skype, or in person, so that more detailed issues can be discussed in depth.
With the right mindset, dedication, and discipline running a business from home can be a dream come true.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the Founder and Publisher of The Work at Home Woman, an award winning website dedicated to helping women and moms fulfill their dreams of working from home or becoming self-employed.
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013