I first signed up to start working at home four years ago. It was in the wake of recession when my income was not as steady and my tenant had hiked the office space rent to mind-boggling amounts. In the beginning, I thought it could be all fun, checking mail and calling suppliers in the comfort of my pajamas. Well, after the first few months of low profits I had to sit down and reevaluate. I made a complete turn-around.
Owning a successful business is a combination of many efforts. To be effective as a home-based entrepreneur with no boss breathing fire under your neck, high levels of discipline are required. Whether it’s making orders, book-keeping or acquiring a payday loan for your business, a work-at-home arrangement means that you’ve got to be in full control:
- Create a work environment
Your bed is a no-no when it’s a matter of the ideal workspace for your business. Although your home may lack the formality of an office, it should offer a serious area where work can be done efficiently. Pick a place not prone to distractions. Also consider acquiring office equipment such as a laptop, printer, and furniture.
- Schedule your day
Working at home means that you can have a more flexible schedule compared to the 8 to 5 type of person. In this case, prepare a to-do list for every day so that all the activities are taken care of in order of priority. If it becomes too hectic, use software like Outlook to serve as a reminder or Hootsuite that reminds you of when to post stuff on social media.
- Plan time for family
It would be imprudent to work at home yet neglect the family that you stay with there. Make a clear slot for spending time away from work and with your husband and/or children. If the work is too much, you may employ the services of a babysitter.
- Make progress reports
At home, there is no human resource manager to ask for boring work reviews and progress reports at the end of the month. However, for the purposes of planning keep track of all activities, noting dates and the general outcome of your inputs into the business
- Be good at multitasking
You will have to learn a variety of basic skills to help you get along. These could be secretarial skills, IT skills or simply how to use a copier. Other roles you’ll play include being your own CEO, Board of governors and customer-care provider all in one. Brace yourself!
- Outsource some duties
In case the workload grows with time, feel free to include a helper to help you meet your business goals. The most appropriate would be a virtual assistant who handles your work mail, making reservations and such other tasks. The fact that he/she is virtual means you don’t have to worry about creating office space.
- Stay connected to the outside
Maintain sustainable relationships with like-minded business people that you know. Keep in touch with your suppliers and customers just like you would in a formal work setting. Your network will most likely translate to your net worth.