Although working from home may seem the answer to your prayers, don’t be so quick to assume this is always the case. Sure, it leaves you free to pop the kids in the car and drop them to school functions, or pick up tonight’s groceries for dinner. And, who would know (or care) if you’re working in your jimmy jams? Well actually, you should.
Be the Job
Let’s face it, when you transport yourself every day to a company office that someone else owns, there is a start and end to your day, as well as rules and deadlines you need to meet. And there’s probably a dress code of some kind. After all, you want to be taken seriously, and you’re going to exude much more confidence if you look and feel the part.
Time is Money
Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused on your business. Home-based entrepreneurs need to know there’s a line of demarcation to be drawn if they truly want to be successful. Whether it’s your own line of handmade clothing or a pop-up dining experience that is supplied from your own kitchen – work is work. And everything else – is the rest of your life. Don’t confuse the two if you’re looking for a real career with substance and financial security.
If you’ve started selling something (from bookkeeping to biscuits) and are deriving income or value in kind, guest what? You’re in business. There are several things to take care of in order to protect yourself and your family’s assets. Get your ducks in order and take the time to speak with a small business solicitor.
You might think it’s ok not to invest too much time into establishing a real business name as you’re just working from home, but it’s best to choose a business structure that works for you from the start. Better sooner than later, because your credibility is on the line – not to mention that you could lose more than your shirt.
Life vs. Work
Sure, a good work-life balance is vital (so much so that without it, chances are you’re going to fail). Just separate life and career with a good planner and a backup plan. If the kids are home sick, of course that’s going to affect your working time slot. Think about having a nanny-on-call who can fill in when this happens. You’re still close at hand, but you can keep up with your obligations.
Room to Work
Some people can practically run a country from their ‘smart’ phone. Whether you have a converted separate garage space or a just cosy kitchen alcove – it’s not so much about the size as it is what you personally need to thrive. Think about what makes you tick, and how you best accomplish things. Having a dedicated space with a white-board wall, good lighting and no distractions can work wonders for your creativity and focus.
You’re working from home and of course your spouse and children are watching. Chances are they have some good points to make – after all, who knows you better? Set a meeting time with them weekly to let them know what your current tasks look like, and ask for their opinions.
Include them as you can (put them to work early on), and keep in mind that many highly successful company owners were raised in entrepreneurial households – where new ideas and strong work ethics were the order of the day.
Piles of Paperwork
Keeping your personal accounts in balance can be a challenge at times, but with a business it’s not just important – it’s absolutely critical. If you’re too busy ‘doing’ and not paying attention to details like knowing what you’re making and spending, then you’re going to fail. It’s just a matter of time.
Stop throwing your receipts in a shoebox. Slow down, break out a columnar tablet or utilise one of many online services (search for one that makes sense to you), and make your entries daily. The beauty of putting it online is that you can access it everywhere, and the calculations are instant. When you need a Profit and Loss (P&L) statement it’s just a click away, and you can easily analyse what’s working and what’s not!