Working from home in your own small business home office offers
tremendous advantages including actually being able to be employed
when time, mobility, and/or resources are limited.
However, it is very
important to the work at home small business owner to set up
routines and avoid the pitfalls that many other small business
owners have come across.
When Working From Home...
by: Christoph Puetz
A home-based business has a lot
of advantages over the traditional 9-5 office system, and most web
hosting businesses seem to be run out of an home office. However,
working from home could mean that you might lose the structure and
schedule of a normal office environment. We collected a few tips
and tricks to keep you on track.
Kick Start Your Day
How you start off will determine
how you end up! Begin your day with some positive thinking, do
some workout (running, ride your bike) to get your head cleared
out, have a healthy breakfast of reasonable size (too much food
makes you tired again), take a shower, and then get started on
your work day.
Develop A Work Schedule
Working at home will come with it
a lot of flexibility and freedom. However, you need to be careful
that you don't misuse it. You are now your own boss, so act as if
you ARE the boss! Work out strict time schedules -and stick to it.
Plan out all the all the tasks you would like to get accomplished
in your day, and make sure that you achieve your target. If you
are not disciplined enough it will come back and haunt you.
Love Your Work
Make sure that the work you do is
something you really enjoy doing. To be successful in this
business, you need to be really passionate about your work. Don't
fall into the trap of thinking that because you have a background
in web hosting and the experience in this field, that this will be
a breeze. Learn to recognize what will motivate you, what will
excite you - and build your business based on that spirit.
are afraid to check the status of your servers and email every
morning and it is giving you a weird feeling in your stomach you
should eventually consider a different career.
One sure sign of
knowing that you really love your work is to get that motivating
and relaxed feeling when you wake up every morning. Of course,
you're going to have your good days and your bad days at the
office - but a strong enthusiasm for your work ensures that you'll
end up having more good days than bad days at the office.
Have a Real Home Office
Running your business from your
bedroom is really not the best idea. You should have a separate
area to work from. This could be a second bedroom in your
apartment or a finished basement in your house. If that is not
possible (e.g. you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you will have
to work around it - especially if you do not live alone. A Spanish
wall and a real desk will eventually give you a little 'room'.
Make sure you keep an office a priority when moving one day. If
you already have enough space and a separate office, furnish it
accordingly. I personally use a kitchen countertop board as my
desk. It goes from wall to wall across the room. It is deeper than
a regular desk and I have plenty of space for everything. Having
space can be a key. It is easier to find tools, manuals, or
documentation. I can reach the printer and the cable router easily
and the fax is also just 'around the corner'.
Establish that "you are at
Imagine you are at work in your
home office and your wife or kids come into the room every 5
minutes. As nice as it is to have them around - often you need to
make sure that they understand that you are working. You cannot
just run down to the grocery store to buy diapers or milk real
quick. You are at work. Or did your boss at your old place of
employment did let you go to the grocery store 'real quick'?
You might feel like munching
while you work, and that's one of the benefits of not working in a
conservative corporate environment, right? However, be sure that
you do not have to leave your office for everything. A journey
through the house in search of food might lead to a detour or two
to check up on what the kids are doing. 5 minutes here and there
can add up really fast. Remember - you want to be productive.
Family Time Out
one might seem a very difficult initially - but keep your work
time separate from your family time. Of course, one of the prime
reasons of you opening your home-based business was probably to
spend time with family. However, your business is serious
business, and needs some serious time too!
The great thing is -
you can often work around family things. Seeing your son playing
soccer in the afternoon can be rewarding and it makes the work at
night easier to handle. Most parents will miss a lot of their kids
activities because they have to work in an office downtown.