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Have you decided to quit your job and go it alone? Have you decided to take a left turn on your career path and try something different? Have you finally plucked up the courage to try and make a profit from your passions? If you’re running a business from home, there’s a lot to think about. Far from being easy, working from home can actually present multiple challenges. Hopefully, this guide will help you to overcome hurdles and make your home business a success.
For most of us, home is where we relax at the end of a busy day at work and spend time with family and friends. However, for a growing number of people, home has also become a place of work. More and more people are choosing to work from home, as it offers greater flexibility. Whether you have a job that enables you to work remotely or you run a business from home, it’s essential to ensure that your home is set up appropriately. There’s a common perception that working from home involves slouching around on the couch in comfy clothes or balancing a laptop on your knee while you work in bed, but in reality, you’re not going to get very far if this is how you work. You need a designated space where you can enjoy peace and quiet and get firmly into work mode.
If you have a spare room, a loft room or a garage that is spacious enough to house an office, it should be relatively easy to create a workspace. All you need is some furniture and equipment, and you’re good to go. You may need to do some painting and decluttering before you start moving desks and chairs in, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money getting your home office ready. If you’re looking for simple, affordable ideas, there are some great options online on sites like Pinterest. If you keep the walls plain, you can add accessories like potted plants, colored storage boxes, and rugs to add interest.
Before you go in all guns blazing, make sure you have everything you need to hand. Think about what you would have access to in an office, and work out if you need anything that you don’t already have at home. Have you got all the software you need? Are you able to use your current phone to video call or join online conferences or webinars? Have you got a chair that will provide you with support and a desk that’s big enough? Do you need a printer? Have you got all the stationery you need? Have you got filing cabinets or trays that will help you stay organized? Write a list, and work your way through it. It’s best to identify any missing items before you begin than to realize you haven’t got what you need in the middle of a client meeting or when you’re trying to process an order.
When you work in an office, on a construction site or at a factory, hospital or school, it’s highly likely that you’ll have set hours, which dictate your daily regime. If you work from home, your hours may not be set in stone, but it’s so beneficial to get into a pattern. Scheduling helps you to manage your time more effectively, and it can also enable you to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Play to your strengths when you’re working out your daily schedule. Many people feel more alert in the mornings, and they’re more productive at this time of day. If you’re a morning person, book meetings and calls early in the day, and get the majority of your tasks done and dusted. If you’re not a morning person, and it takes you a while to get going, leave your priority jobs until slightly later in the day.
When you run a business, you have to be diligent when it comes to timekeeping. Keep track of what’s going on each day using a diary or a wall planner, and make sure you’re aware of what needs doing when. Set aside some time for each of your main tasks. If you run an online shop, for example, make sure you have enough time to go through orders, update your site, dispatch products, and do your accounts.
As a business person, first impressions are everything, so make sure you look the part even when you’re not in a face to face meeting. You should appear professional and reliable at all times, whether you’re making calls, responding to inquiries on your website or sending out samples to potential buyers. Branding is very important, and there are so many ways you can make sure you make the right impression in addition to being an excellent communicator or presenter. If you’re organizing a call with an important client, make sure you’re focused, the room is silent, and you have everything you need to hand. If you’re sending out correspondence, use headed paper or design a custom stamp from a site like Rubber Stamps GSA. If you’re due to make a video call, dress smartly, and make sure the room is tidy. You don’t want the other person to be greeted with a view of shelves packed with clutter or boxes piled high in the background.
When you work from home, it can be more difficult to maintain contact with the outside world. However, if you run a business, there’s no reason why you can’t be sociable, even when you’re based at home. The Internet enables us to chat to people who live thousands of miles away in an instant so make use of its incredible powers. Interact with customers, make calls, respond to emails, and use the influence of social media to grow your business. If your online store is up and running, you can promote and advertise it using sites like Facebook and Instagram, run competitions to get people interested and provide more information about you do and what you sell on a blog. You can also answer questions from clients online, and enable them to speak to you if they’d like to leave feedback. The Internet is also a great place to network if you’re looking to work with new suppliers or buyers or you’re thinking about novel ways to promote your company. If you’ve got a hot product, for example, why not get in touch with some bloggers or social media stars and see if they’d be happy to feature your business and include a link to your website on their profile?
If you run a business from home, it’s not as easy as getting out of bed, sitting at your desk in your pajamas and finishing whenever you fancy. Managing a company is hard work, and it takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and discipline to make a home business a success. If you’ve recently decided to flex your entrepreneurial skills, hopefully, this guide will prove useful. Make sure you have a dedicated workspace, and you have everything you need before you begin. Stay connected with your clients, followers, contacts, and colleagues, and use the Internet to market and promote your business. Focus on giving off a professional vibe at all times, even if you’re just making phone calls or sending out promotional flyers. First impressions are really important.
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