Running a home based business is not as easy as one would make it seem. There is plenty of hard work and perseverance involved, but a lot of sacrifices must be made on the part of your family. Most home business owners fail in their first year because they are poor planners or just don't know how to keep their personal lives separate from that of their business.
When does the work end? Most business owners forget to draw a fine line between work and personal life. If you are guilty of answering the phone during a family dinner or letting your toddler interrupt your working hours, your business could end up suffering. You may not realize this, but a failure to plan ahead and produce a decent schedule is something that can affect your performance.
It doesn't matter where your office is, but you need to be able to get work done while you are there. The best office you can have is one that's separate from high traffic areas of your home. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having a separate home office, in which case you should use a bookshelf or partition to separate your office from the rest of the home.
You need to show your family and friends that you mean business when you sit down to work. Discuss it with them that when they see your curtains drawn or door closed, you are busy. Just because you don't go to work and clock-in doesn't mean that you aren't busy or you don't need the peace and quiet of a working environment.
The best way to help your family understand this is by creating a work hour schedule. It is easy to get lost in your business, but you need to be headed in an organized direction. Make it clear to your customers, friends and family what your working hours are, and don't answer questions or concerns any time after.
It is hard to stick to a working schedule when you get easily suckered into social media. Let's face it, it's fun and it helps your business succeed. Many business owners fail to realize that by bending the rules just a little bit they are ready to throw all caution to the wind. Your working hours should involve marketing, packaging, selling and whatever else your business requires you to do.
If you have deadlines for your work, make sure you create visual cues that let your family members know. Your toddler or teenager will need to know that you are busy, especially when you have a big project due soon.
Consider creating a faux commute each morning to help family members recognize these boundaries. For example, every morning at the start of your schedule, drive to the coffee shop or take your dog for a walk. This is a transition that gives you some alone time and lets you prepare for work.
Working from home can be a fun time, but only if you can separate your personal and business life. It is important that your family is onboard and there to support your business endeavors!
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