Saying goodbye to corporate America to run a home-based business sounds ideal – and why wouldn’t it? The thought of no longer having a boss breathing down your neck, no redundant meetings to attend, and not spending at extra hour or more a day commuting is quite appealing.
Working from home is often a rewarding experience, but you have to ensure you remember the rules of running a business when it’s just you and your computer – and the distractions of your home. Like anything in life, it takes time and discipline to learn how to do something new, whether you are trying to learn how to dominate your home poker game or master the art of ceramics.
To stay on track as you run your home-based business, follow these 4 tips.
Structure Each Day
One problem many home-based business owners encounter is that they don’t have a boss who expects them to get their work accomplished, or a tangible start and end to the workday. It is easy to get distracted and do some laundry or run an errand and neglect tasks that need accomplished to ensure your business runs smoothly.
Create structure that mirrors what your day was like when you worked in corporate America. Set a specific start and end time to each day and make a plan of what your day will look like. If you haven’t yet, make sure you follow the steps to creating a successful business plan – it’s a must.
Consider carrying an organizer around – a day planner works but a high-tech gadget may be better for you. Invest in something that will help you keep track of everything you need to remember and that you can access easily while on the go. As you know, just because you own a home-based business doesn’t mean you stay at home all day every day.
Sit down and define some goals for yourself and your business. Even though you don’t have the worry of quarterly reviews, it’s very important that you pay attention to the progress your business is making. If you aren’t taking in as much money as you were at your former job, a great goal may be to match that salary. Slowly raise the bar to increase your income and as you reach goals, reward yourself.
Set Aside Time for Working Hard
It’s easy to catch yourself working 60 or more hour weeks. The good news is if you want to sneak out one day – after your work is complete – you can let yourself. No one will be there to tell you not to go. That’s a perk of running a home-based business: You have the flexibility and freedom as a business owner to do what you want when you want to. While it may be tempting to work nonstop once you see how successful your business is, it’s crucial to take some time to relax and reward yourself so you don’t wind up burned out.
Running a home-based business has countless pros, but you have to make sure you have the discipline it takes to not get sucked in by all the distractions. If you just started your business or have been running a business from home for years, it’s always good to reflect on ways you can help your business run at its maximum potential.