Tips for running a business from home
Many of us dream of getting out of the rat race and working from home. But any decision to leave the security of a regular wage and dive into the unknowns of self-employment is a big one.
Are you ready? Do you have the necessary personal discipline to be your own boss and not your own downfall? Tough question, but running a business from the comfort of your own home comes with all manner of temptations and tribulations. It’s not for the faint-hearted or easily distracted. And it’s not a good lifestyle choice if you’ve simply decided “you want to be your own boss.”
To successfully run a home based business, you need to carry over many of the reasons you left your 9 to 5 in the first place. So let’s delve into running a home-based business and see if it’s still a good idea for you.
Dress like you’re heading to work
One thing’s for sure, if you flop around all day in your pyjamas, you will behave like someone in pyjamas and find any excuse to binge on Game of Thrones back episodes with a bucket of ice cream in your lap.
Same with working in your underpants; it just doesn’t get your head operating in a serious, professional manner and taking yourself seriously.
And no, this doesn’t mean donning a suit or other formal attire if that’s what you wore in your fulltime working days. It merely means dressing in a way that says you mean business.
In other words, don’t let your appearance and professionalism lapse. Simply go through the same regime you’d go through if heading to an office work environment.
Create a schedule
Yes, you can spend more time with your family, but you still need an office-like routine your family respects and adheres to. Set it and stick to it as much as you can or watch your work days dwindle away with little to show in the long term.
Create a home office
And no, it’s not the kitchen table. Find a dedicated space, ideally with a door. When you’re in there, you’re working; when you come out, you’re not. This also helps to create a boundary for family members as they understand that this space belongs to the business, not them.
Create a business plan
Be it one month forward or one year forward, you need to know where you want to be both financially and emotionally. Map it out based on realistic, thoroughly researched and achievable expectations. Stick those goals on the wall above your desk and look at them daily. Look at what your business requirements are for the future and evaluate if this will require more resources for the business. Read our previous article to learn more about the process and any tips.
Create a strong presence online
You can read more about building your brand online with our Advice when starting your online business article. Building your brand online is essential to your success in this digital age. Keep an eye on business trends, so you understand how your competitors are using their online presence to gain market share as well.
Make sure you get positive online reviews
Without wanting to put a too finer point on it, a single bad review can kill your home based business before it’s even had a chance to flourish. Most people are pretty internet savvy these days and they’ll want to see how other paying customers have felt about your products, service and delivery before they pay you anything themselves.
Yes, they’ll be impressed if your website is clean, uncluttered and persuasive with a professional layout and quality images. But that’s not enough these days in a world where any middle-aged man can look a million bucks online even if he is working from the edge of a bed in his track pants.
Can you run a home business if you rent?
Of course! These days most home businesses are online – or they should be for maximum returns – so you could run a successful business from a rented home, café or even your local free-wifi McDonald’s for a while if you wanted.
Remember, if you have a decent and regularly updated business page on Facebook, you could be anywhere. And no one cares whether you own, rent or squat as long as you’re honest and offer a product or service in demand at a price that stands up to competitive scrutiny.