When you start running a business from home it can be difficult at first to get in the right frame of mind, so knowing a few tips and tricks can be very useful.
If you are already running a home based business and you feel you need a fresh approach, then these tips could help you, too.
Maybe you are doing good in your business but want to do better!
Improving your productivity is always a good idea. After all, we can always do with freshening things up a little every once in a while.
With that said here are my top five tips that may help you on your way.
1. Set Manageable Goals
It helps in every area of life to have precise written out goals that we are aiming to achieve. So it makes complete sense to have goals for your business too, this will give you a reason to work every day and a clear image of where you want to be.
As a start set yourself a definite financial goal (For example $1000 a month, was my original goal)
After that set out the steps you need to take to reach that goal. Don’t be over ambitious at the start but at the same time don’t make it too easy either.
The trick is to set a goal that you will have to work at to achieve, so that when you do get there you know you have put the work in to do so. Once you reach that goal then re-evaluate the situation and set new goals so that you are moving forward all the time.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable
Once you have your goals in place, you need to be disciplined enough to ensure you are making every effort to work towards achieving them, if you are finding this hard to start with it can sometimes help to ask someone to check up on you (weekly or monthly) to see the progress you are making towards those goals.
If you are moving from a full time job to work at home it can sometimes be difficult to motivate yourself.
You are going from a structured environment where everyone knows who they are accountable to and what they need to be doing on a daily basis, to having no one to answer to but yourself.
I know that may sound great, but remember:-
The success or failure of this business is down to you,
The progress you make is down to you,
How much time and effort you put in is down to you,
In short you are now accountable for every aspect of your business, there is no hiding from the fact that the book now stops with you.
3. Remember it’s Still a Real Business
Sometimes, when working from home it can be hard to get yourself into the right mindset. When your home is your office and there is no daily commute it can be easy to become lazy and lack discipline.
To stop this from happening, you might want to try the following:-
Set aside an area of your home that is your work space. If at all possible, this should be a room where you work and work only. It does not have to be a big room or an elaborate space but it does have to be a good working environment…
My first home office was a small 7′ x 5′ room with a desk, a bookcase and a small filing cabinet. I had a whiteboard and a calendar on the wall and a few old jars with my pens in on the window sill, shelves above my head housed files and a printer and stacks of blank paper.
The point being once I was in that room and closed the door, I was at work, it felt like a work environment and I treated it as such, it got me into my ‘work mode’
When you are in your ‘home office’ Set yourself business hours and stick to them. Treat it like a real work environment, so non-business emails, personal phone calls and social networking, should not take place during ‘work time’.
Don’t get tempted to check your Facebook page or search Google for what’s on TV tonight because these things can easily eat up an hour or more of your time, time that could have best been used more productively.
Having a dedicated work space and definite working hours gives you a structure and will certainly help you be more effective for your business.
4. Dress accordingly
I’m not saying you have to put on your business suit… unless that works for you of course, but please don’t spend the day working in your pyjamas, mentally it does not get you in the right frame of mind no matter what you may think.
Dress as you would in a normal working environment, it is great for getting you into ‘work mode’ and It makes you feel like you mean business. Besides if you have an unexpected Skype call you don’t have to worry about your appearance in front of that potential client or JV partner.
5. Plan Ahead
Believe me when I first started out I would waste days starting one thing getting side tracked by something else before moving on to yet another task and ending the day no better off than when I started six or seven hours earlier.
There is nothing worse than starting your day not knowing where you are going or what jobs you need to do.
Without a plan for your day it is easy to flit from one thing to another until before you realise it, half of your day has gone and you have got nowhere.
Nowadays I usually spend the last half hour writing down the things I need to do the following morning, that way when I sit down at my desk, I have a list of jobs in front of me and I can prioritise each one and then work through them ticking off each task as it is completed.
I find this helps me get a lot more done and if something urgent does come up, I can prioritise what needs doing and come back to my list without losing my way, anything not finished can be added on to the following days list.