Essential Tips For Running A Successful
At Home Business
For many women, running a successful business from home is a dream come true, but it requires careful planning.
The dream of not having someone looking over your shoulder, and being able to spend quality time with your family is becoming a reality for many women.
Often armed with nothing more than a laptop, a cell phone and the desire to go it alone, women are shedding their corporate wardrobe, rush hour traffic and all the other demands of working women to set up a work from home business.
So what are the important things to consider when planning such a huge transition?
1. Getting Started
The first step to consider is where you intend setting up your work space. Ideally, you should have a separate office, but if that's not possible, you need to set aside an area exclusively for running your business.
According to Alexandra Miller, an LA based business coach, "Assigning a messy corner of your bedroom will eventually drive you mad. You need to differentiate between areas for work and areas for family activities." Designate a room or area that has good lighting and feels comfortable.
Setting up a business from home requires some initial purchases, depending on how big you intend to grow. A laptop gives you the flexibility to work anywhere and a cell phone means you can have a dedicated line to your business. Invest in a good quality, comfortable chair and a desk big enough to keep yourself organized. "Many women don't make a success of their home-based business because they treat it like a hobby. If you're serious about your business, you're going to spend more time in that space than any other area of your home," says Alexandra.
2. Making Connections
It takes a certain personality and attitude to handle the solitude of working from home. Many women who choose to do it love the privacy and focus, but there are times when the isolation can be overwhelming.
Alexandra suggests connecting with a "buddy group" of like-minded women to bounce ideas around and support and encourage each other. "When you recognize the feelings of loneliness, take yourself off to a library, grab a coffee at your local cafe or meet up with friends. This ensures you stay part of the community."
When the only person glancing over your shoulder is you and the only deadlines you have to meet are the ones you've set yourself, staying motivated in a home office requires a level of enthusiasm you don't often encounter in an office situation.
Everyone has different motivational triggers. For me, getting up and going for a daily walk before I start my business day helps energize me, clears my head and helps me focus and prioritize my tasks for the day ahead.
Without the distraction of talkative colleagues, office politics or constant phone calls, it's much easier to focus on what has to be done. And one of the biggest motivators for most people in home-based businesses is the realization that you are responsible for generating your income.
4. Keeping It Separate
When work and family exist under the same roof, keeping them apart takes discipline. Alexandra suggests "If you want to have family time within your business, just factor it in."
Every afternoon I take an hour off when my son Sam comes homes from school, to spend time with him discussing his day and anything else we feel like talking about. Then he goes off to do his homework and I go back to work, having had a nice break from "the office".
Alexandra also suggests, "When your work day is over, it's over. Close the door, turn off the phone and get on with the rest of your life." While getting a new business established can mean a lot of additional hours, it's important to eventually call it quits and not let your work life dramatically affect the quality of your family life.
5. Enjoy The Changes
There's something very rewarding about being your own boss, setting your own timetable and generating your own income. You don't have to commute, clock in or negotiate time off. You are in control and the 9 to 5 routine no longer exists if that's the way you want it.
I'm now available for Sam when he comes home from school, I can volunteer at his school when necessary and go out for coffee with my gal pals. I still have deadlines to meet, but I can choose whether I want to work throughout the day or sit up till 1am. I can work as much or as little as I want, but the best part is I get to say when, where and what for.
If you would like to find out more about starting a successful work from home business, read Live Your Passion!