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Sunday, 24 March 2013

More and more people are starting home-based businesses these days.  Did you know that it is expected that there will be more than 20 million home-based business in the United States by the end of 2013? 

I have been in business almost nine years.  I have found that there are some great advantages:

  • I can create a flexible work schedule.  
  • I can control my work environment.
  • I can deduct a portion of my home expenses on my income tax return.
  • I have created a great sense of independence by being my own boss.
  • I focus on doing what I enjoy the most - helping others get organized
  • I find it easier to balance work and personal responsibilities.
  • I have an overall greater level of fulfillment and satisfaction in my life.

However, there are some disadvantages that you need to learn to overcome:

  • It can be difficult to turn work "off" when your workspace and personal space are intertwined.
  • Working from home can be very isolating. 
  • Home-based businesses can cause stress on the family.
  • It can be difficult to grow your business working as a solo-preneur.
  • Depending on the type of business you have, you need to consider if there are zoning regulations you need to explore.

The key to running a successful home-based business is organization, commitment and accountability. 

CREATE A SEPARATE WORKSPACE.  It is critical that you have a separate workspace in your home away from your personal space.  You can use a bedroom, a section in your basement or even change a formal living room into a home office.  Find a location where your work will not interfere with your family life.  At the end of the day, you want to be able to walk away from it.   

YOU MUST GET ORGANIZED!  It can be overwhelming but it is the key to your success.  Create a space where you have everything you need close by to run a successful business.  It is important to know where everything is located at all times.  By doing so, you will stop wasting time.  Adding up all the times throughout the day that you cannot locate something and having to try to find it will make you realize how much time you are wasting.  Being organized with reduce stress.  By doing so, you will enable yourself to think more clearly and make decisions faster. 

SET A SCHEDULE.  One of the biggest transformations that occurs when you start your home-based business is the difficulty in determining your work schedule.  When you work from home, you are not necessarily working 9-5 like you might have in the past.  Your day might be divided into chunks, especially if you have children.  You might work in the morning and then when the children come home from school, you take four or five hours to be a parent.  You will probably need to return to your "office" later that evening and work some more.  If you are in direct sales, you might be doing in-home parties at nights and on weekends.  You might need to attend networking events several nights a week.  You should determine a schedule that best fits your needs for your business and your personal life.

UNPLUG.  Besides closing the door to your office space, you need to unplug.  It is helpful to end your work day by clearing up your desk and writing a "to do" list for the next day.  Otherwise, your mind will race alll through the night with thoughts of what you need or want to do.  You will feel overwhelmed and exhausted.  If you don't take some "me time" at the end of the day, you willl burn out fast.  That will take a toll on your body and in the end, will cost you money.

GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER.  Find someone you can account to on a weekly basis.  Decide what you want to accomplish.  Let them know what you intend to do and the following week you can detail what you did in the past week.  If you get stuck, you can bounce ideas off of them to get your past your obstacle so you can keep moving forward.  Accountability is a powerful tool in growing your business.

When I work with people who have home-based businesses, I focus on paper management, time management and putting in customized systems to maximize potential. 

If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized when it comes to your home-based business, contact me.  I can help.  I can provide you with a system made just for you and be an accountability partner so you can maximize the potential for growth in your business. 

In the meantime, have a great week!

 

 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
This is so necessary for people to read and really think about before they decide to jump in. I did a lot backwards and and just now two years later setting my business foundation. I wonder how it might have benefited me if I had done that first? :)
Posted by Autumn Leopold on 04/25/2015 - 11:22 AM
Of the challenges you mention, I find the first one to be the biggest. When work is at home, you're always at work! And it's hard to just unplug if you want to stay in touch with friends and family by email or Facebook during non-work hours.
Posted by Janet Barclay on 04/25/2015 - 12:00 PM
I needed this post! I definitely need to work on unplugging! Some great tips, Audrey!
Posted by Sarah Soboleski on 04/25/2015 - 03:03 PM
Thanks Sarah! So glad you found it helpful. Unplugging is so vital to our success.
Posted by Audrey on 04/25/2015 - 03:19 PM
There's a lot more to it than first meets the eye, that is for sure!
Posted by Audrey on 04/25/2015 - 03:47 PM
Janet - A big part of transitioning into a work at home mode is discipline. I coach my clients all the time about setting hours for work so that clients know your availability and can respect your boundaries. This also provides you, as a business owner, with boundaries so that you can segment out your time for personal or home-related responsibilities and leisure time. Being your own boss requires your own accountability at times, which can be challenging when first getting used to it.
Posted by Audrey on 04/25/2015 - 03:51 PM

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