Building a thriving home business is tough, even more so when you are going about the task solo. We asked our experts to share their tips on developing habits and goals that will make you a successful work at home entrepreneur. From taking care of yourself to keeping your home business running, these ideas will help you reach your goals.
Dr Kate Dow
1) Pick a Home Business that accurately reflects your interests and available time.
2) Make sure you can create a time schedule and daily structure that does not overwhelm you or ask too much for managing family and work needs.
3) Include self care in your day daily to be able to have the energy, focus and attention capability to balance both worlds.
1) Never stop networking: Networking is key to building your work at home business before you start it, and it should really never end. If you’re not out meeting new people, you may not have a steady flow of clients. My network continues to build, and it’s the number one way I get business.
2) Be present on social media: I have profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook that I post to regularly. If you post consistently and engage with others, that can be another way to find clients. Facebook and LinkedIn
groups and Twitter chats can also be a way to engage with others.
3) Hire an accountant: I do a lot of things myself for my business, but I did find and hire an accountant early on to do my taxes. Why? Because when you’re self-employed, you may need to pay quarterly taxes–and of course, when you do your annual income taxes, a professional can help you determine the right deductions and so forth. It’s very worth it to have an accountant who knows how to work with SOHO (self-employed/home office) types. They can help you plan to put aside enough money for quarterlies. It can save you from paying penalties in the long run.
1 ) Set a Regular Working Schedule. One of the biggest challenges for many self employed people working from home involves the distractions of life. I’ve found the best way to avoid this is to give myself a schedule of working hours and to approach it like any other job. I start and stop work at the same time every day, and so it becomes a habit pretty quickly. Of course, there is still flexibility to change that schedule when needed, which is definitely one of the perks of working from home. But try to minimize the situations where you break from your normal working hours.
2 ) Take Breaks, and Get Outside. When you work from home it’s easy to find that you rarely leave the house. I like to take a quick 10-minute break to go for a walk around the block and get some fresh air. It gives me a much-needed break from my work and helps me to be able to focus and work more productively once I get back to my desk.
3) Set Boundaries. If you have family or roommates who are in the house while you’re working, it’s important to set boundaries. Ideally, your office will be located in a private, quiet spot in the house, but that’s not always possible. If you have kids in the home explain that you need to be working during certain hours and that you shouldn’t be interrupted. I find it helpful to take a few minutes and play with my kids at lunch. They like the attention, and it gives me a chance to enjoy one of the perks of working from home.
1) Break your activity down into bite sizes. How many calls, social posts, or events do you want to tackle each week? Focus on each activity one-by-one, and you will make progress and the results will come.
2) Find a friend or partner to join you. It’s more fun and creates some accountability — and healthy competition if you’d like. Plus, it provides a ready-made support system to celebrate successes with.
3) Always remember that owning a business (and working at home) is like a roller coaster — with ups and downs, so hold on tight, have fun, and never give up. Work can be fun and quite flexible, but remember it still takes work and a self-driven mindset. You own your day and how you spend it.
1 ) Stay on a schedule – It’s so easy for work and not work to bleed into each other.
2) Go outside – Sounds simple but make sure you spend a little time outdoors each day. Clearing your head makes better use of your time and has been proven to give you energy.
3) Ration your social media use – When you work from home, social media helps keep you connected to the outside world. This is great, but putting a time limit on social media or limiting use to your off work hours will ensure you don’t lose valuable working time. Those small pockets of 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there throughout the day can add up to an hour of more, eating into your productivity.
Note from Leslie:
This week’s experts have wonderful ideas. I hope you’ll save this page and refer back to it. Here are few of my tips for building a thriving home business:
- Focus on money tasks firsts. It’s easy to get bogged down in busy-work that doesn’t actually make money. Prioritize your tasks so that you’re doing things that make money first, and all the other stuff, second.
- Use systems and automation. Time is money when you’re working by yourself in a home business. Maximize your time to using systems and automation where possible.
- Outsource tasks you don’t like or aren’t good at. Again, you’ll waste time trying to force yourself to something you don’t like or don’t know. You’re time is better spent on making money.
- Market every day. Once you do your money-making work, do something to promote your home business.
- Keep learning. Listen to podcasts, attend seminars, read blogs and books…keep learning about how to run a home business and market, as well as stay on top of your market. If not, you’ll be left behind.
- Network with others. Networking can lead to new business, but also, having a network means you’re not alone. Working by yourself can be lonely, but your network can be a source of encouragement, support, and help.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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