According to an infographic by Vonage which looks at the growth of home businesses in the UK, 8million people run an online business from their home. Running a business from home can be the easiest option. You reduce the overheads of a traditional office space, you can use the home amenities and pay a % towards this from the business instead of full on rates. However along with the pro’s there are inevitably the cons.
Friends and family don’t always understand the concept of “working from home” and drop by for a cup of tea or ask you to fix their emails. You must be bored at home all-day while the children are at school. Why is your house a mess? You have been here all-day surely you could hoover?! It can also be hard to “shut the door” so to speak on your business when it’s in your home.
Here are 4 top tips to keeping your working day productive.
- Office Space – having somewhere where the business magic happens. That can be your dinning room table but believe me from experience. Sitting at a desk is far more productive that curled up on the sofa, laptop on knee and Bargain Hunt on the TV. My office space is under the stairs meaning I can walk away from the business at the end of the day and be just mum.
- A Working Day – Ensure you have a structure to your business hours. What time you start and finish. For work at home parents this might be disjointed but having specific business hours will increase productivity and stop procrastination. Also include breaks and lunch time. Moving away from the office for 15 minutes to make a cup of tea can make a huge difference especially if you spend a lot of time staring at the computer or making products.
- Tunnel Vision – a key skill you need to develop. It’s very easy when networking on and offline to be aware of what other small businesses are achieving and feel like you have been left behind. My main business goal from the start was to develop a viable business for me to work full time in when all the children are at school (still another 8 months away). I could have easily been put off these goals by seeing others developing major household brands and buying houses in Southern France. But my goals suit my family and my business and that’s the key. Remembering it’s your business.
- Organisation – when your working hours are limited it can be easy to get sucked into being a busy fool. Ensure you have a plan, not just a long list of jobs but have dates, times, prioritise and if need be delegate. AND don’t spend 4 hours trying to clear out your inbox and then realise the jobs that earn the money have not been achieved!
Working from home requires a shift in your mindset. Self employment is empowering and for many parents the best way to achieve a flexible working environment. However you need to still think like an employee.
What top tips do you have for building a productive work from home business?