The rise of the digital age has continued to give a lot of people the opportunity to work remotely and run businesses from the comfort of their own homes. Working at home has a lot of advantages no doubt. You no longer have to commute, and you have more autonomy. However, it also comes with unique challenges.
It does not take much to start a work from home business; in fact, practically anyone can run a business from home; but it takes the right mindset to become successful and reach your goals. Your attitude and motivating factors go a long way to determine how much your business will thrive. Therefore, you need to develop the right mindset for your business to grow. Here are some tips on how to equip yourself to effectively run a work from home business:
- Decide on a set schedule: People tend to be too flexible with their time once they start a work at home business. From unnecessary food breaks to cleaning breaks; the tendency to get distracted is very high. This is why as a budding entrepreneur, you have to set a schedule for yourself as though you were in an office away from home. Do all you can to avoid all of the things you would not have been able to do in an office. Whether it is running errands, or attending to guests, be sure to set boundaries against anything that tends to distract while you are working. Some tips to help you limit distractions include:
Ask your friends, politely, not to drop by unannounced especially on a workday.
Decide on a set schedule to get your kids from school
Run all personal errands before you get to work when possible
Ensure you do not stop working to perform errands like cleaning the house. Instead, set a task and finish it, then you can go clean up the house
Also, avoid long calls and chats that are not business related. This is something you would not do in an office, why do it because you work at home?
- Prepare and dress up for work: A lot of people assume that working from home involves getting up from bed and walking to your desk in your PJs to start work. However, this routine may not be such a productive way to run a stay at home business. Studies have shown that what you wear has a way of affecting your frame of mind. Therefore, it is best that you follow a standard routine, like you were indeed going to an office. This gives you the right frame of mind and prepares you for the day’s work. So, instead of just working in your PJs, try this routine instead:
Set a regular time you would like to get up each day and set your alarm, waking up at a regular time fosters discipline
Prepare and have breakfast to keep you energized for the day and to prevent always taking quick food breaks while you are working.
Shower and clean up. You are getting ready for work, you need not be reminded how important it is to clean up. Also, looking sloppy has a way of affecting your productivity.
Finally, dress up. You do not have to put on a suit, because that might be a little too much, but please do not work in your PJs. Wear something at least casual, so that you can always leave the house, when the need arises.
- Establish a workspace: Apart from your appearance, your environment is another factor that affects productivity. Having a designated workspace gives you a work mindset. This space could be a little-underused corner around the house. Set it up, get a comfortable desk and office chair and get to work. Apart from making you more productive, having a specific workspace at home, grants you tax benefits. Home-office deductions can be claimed on areas in your home that are used for work alone. So, by setting up an office space, you get to work more, earn more and save more.
- Set a target as home business owner: It is always best to highlight everything you would like to achieve for the day before you even get started. This not only helps you maintain focus but structures your mind on the task at hand. Setting a target helps you plan and organize your day properly. Example being you can improve customer goals for the month and strike each day’s achievements off the list.
- Mind the internet: As much as the internet is a great tool for business, it is also a great tool for distraction. Set up your computer in a way that restricts you from certain websites that will only distract you. Depending on the business, one way to successfully separate work from personal distractions is to create two accounts on your computer. One will be strictly for work and will contain only websites and apps which you need to get work done like Dropbox, Evernote and other cloud services. The only account, you can give yourself access to all the other apps you like to surf and use.
Another option is to get a Google Extension that can enable you to set aside all social media apps and limit the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites. An example of such extension is Stay Focused.
One other crucial factor when it comes to working at home is to determine how your children will come into the mix if you have children. Depending on your budget and your children’s age bracket, you can get a nanny to assist you in watching them. You can also drop them off with your relatives if they are available. Another option is to schedule your work hours to be such that you get to work only when the children are either off to school or asleep.
Having the right mindset to work at home has the following benefits:
- Increased productivity
- Faster goal attainment
- Reduced procrastination
- Clearer goals and objectives
- Improved work life
The prominent cons when it comes to developing the right mindset to work at home are:
- Your work life might take over your family time. However, by having a set schedule, you can overcome this
- There is a tendency for you to overwork yourself. This can be resolved by having set goals each day.
- You might feel lonely or isolated. You can solve this by changing scenery once in a while. Go to a coffee shop, a café or a pub for a while.
Finally, successfully running a business whether offline or online, home-based or office-based requires a lot of effort and determination. It is not enough to only acquire the right mindset; you should have the drive to succeed. As much as you can, avoid procrastination and be passionate about your work. This makes it easier for you to attain the right mindset, despite any discomfort you face each day.