by Kolyanne Russ
There are many pitfalls to building a career from home, though it sounds great to many but not all are born to work from home.
Many home-based entrepreneurs find that they miss the buzz that comes from an office environment. Without any watching over your shoulder, you need to become your own boss. And there is no shortage of distractions in a home environment.
Run your business at home the right way and you can build a business that is lucrative, fulfilling and doesn’t take over your life.
1. Organize Your Day
When you work from home, it is very easy for your work life to slip into your personal time, and vice versa.
Rather the self-discipline that having a schedule creates actually gives you greater freedom. Knowing when you are clocking into work, and equally importantly clocking out, stops your work from taking over your personal life. It also helps you to be more productive during the hours that you are working.
Creating a schedule keeps you honest and on track. It removes the need for willpower because once it’s created you know exactly what you need to do at any given point during the day.
2. Creating an Ideal Workspace
We are all different, each with our unique work styles. Some like the buzz of working in a coffee shop, others need total isolation to work, some fall in between and prefer co-working spaces.
But, what is important is that you identify a specific space or spaces where you will do your work. Just as a schedule delineates between personal time and work time, a workspace separates your personal environment from your work environment.
When you sit down in your work environment, crack open your laptop or fire up your PC, it tells your brain that it is now time to get some work done.
3. Work on Your Business Not in Your Business
In Michael Gruber’s famed business, the E-Myth he identifies that the single biggest problem that entrepreneurs face is that they spend far more time working in their business, than on their business.
This means that they devote their time to providing the products and services that they offer. What they don’t do is spend time developing the systems that let that business operate without them. Creating business systems is the only way to grow your business without it taking over your life.
4. Get Out of The House
Feeling isolated is one of the most commonly experienced problems when working from home. Even those of us who love our personal space, still need the company of others at least some of the time. Spending time with others isn’t just an excuse for socializing – although this is a real benefit too. Firstly, organizing time to meet with your peers can be an excellent way of getting help with your problems and identifying ways to better manage and grow your business.
Networking with potential clients is one of the best ways of securing new business. People buy from people that they know, like and trust. Even in our digital world, the experience of meeting someone face to face, can’t truly be replaced.
5. Don’t Forget to Market
Having a steady pipeline, of high-value customers, is a recipe for a successful business. As a business coach and writer Brian Tracy once observed that almost any business problem can be cured fixed through sales. In order to create that pipeline, you need to actively market your business.
As noted earlier that means allowing time each week for you to market business. It also means that you need to have a marketing plan. This plan should identify who your ideal customer is and how you can reach them. If you aren’t sure who your ideal customer is, take a look at your existing customer base. Which of your customers takes the least amount of your time, produces the great profit and is the best to work with. If you look carefully at these customers you will notice that they tend to have commonalities.
One mistake that many home business makes is that they have a full roster of clients or sales coming in, and they stop devoting time to marketing. Eventually, you will lose a client or sales will start to ebb downwards. Consistent marketing is the only way to make sure that clients and sales continue to grow.
The only limit to your success with a home-based business career is you, so invest in yourself wisely. Organize your time and space, work on your business, and market relentlessly and you have a formula for both personal and financial freedom.
Kolyanne Russ is a founder of Pinch of Attitude blog. It focuses on attitude-building, self-improvement, and lifestyle design to help people draw the right action plan and achieve a desirable balance between success and happiness. She also works as a Finance Manager for one of the biggest commercial real estate companies in North America specializing in consulting various clients.