Home business requires discipline

Running a home business has some great rewards, but it requires planning and discipline if it’s going to be successful.

If you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, or about bringing an established business into your home, here are a few things to consider.

Will you isolate yourself from your clients?

If your clients are used to visiting you, you’ll likely have to meet them somewhere else. A good local café is ideal, but talk to the owners about a table that’s quiet. You might have space available at home, but ensure it’s quiet, office-like and out-of-bounds of family. Make sure visitors have somewhere to park.

Can you separate business from home?

There are always distractions at home. There’s washing to go out, dishes to be done or a garden to tend. Stick to business during business hours. When children come home from school, can you still lock yourself away until the end of the working day? Will you feel obliged to deliver or collect children to or from school? Does the family understand you can’t be interrupted at certain times of the day? 

In the 21st century, there is more of an expectation of sharing household chores. If your partner is working outside the home, or a stay-at-home parent, will you feel you have to take your turn preparing the evening meal? Chores such as this will eat into your working day in a way which would not apply if you were working away from home.

Setting the guidelines around chores, family and “work” time is one of the most difficult things to do when you start working from home, but one of the most important.

Do you have the space?

If you’re crammed into a spare bedroom or garage, you won’t last. Set aside or create the right space for your business.

Can you walk past the office directly to bed? There’s always the distraction of checking work emails or finishing a piece of work before bed. Chances are you’ll be there much longer than you intended. Shut the office space door at the end of the day and leave it closed.

Can you walk past the fridge without opening it?

It’s a distraction that few home-based business workers consider. Many have put on weight because they can eat when they feel like it!

Do you have room to expand, with new staff or storage?

Think about the future. If you want to keep the business at home, how can you expand? It might be adding an extra room, or using one vacated by a child now leaving home.

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