Running a home business can be very rewarding but it is important to compartmentalise your daily roles correctly.
Although running a home business can be very rewarding, it’s important that your work and personal life don’t mesh into one. Home and business lives need to be kept separate, even when you work from home.
Running a home business means that you will be responsible for paying your own taxes, making your own super contributions, and managing cash flow. The first step for successful business cash management is to open a separate business account for your business income. This income should not be treated as spending money. Instead, you should take a wage out of the income on a monthly basis and leave an increasing pot of money within the business for future investment. Small business bookkeeping can be complicated but it is the most fundamental requirement for keeping your business on track with necessary payments and invoicing.
Regular Working Hours
When working from home it is far too easy to press the snooze button on your alarm for another hour and think that it just doesn’t matter. This couldn’t be further from the truth because this attitude will damage your ability to work effectively and efficiently. If you start work an hour later than you should then you will be behind from the start of the day. Working from home does not make every day like a weekend so be sure to set regular ‘office hours’ and stick to them diligently.
Separation of Responsibility
When working from home it is very easy to get distracted by other responsibilities. Grocery shopping and cleaning should not encroach on your working time because this will just be reducing the quality of the work that you are doing and give you less time in which to do it. Separate your house keeping responsibilities from your business responsibilities just as you would in an office environment.
Organisation is central to all successful business practices. It is very important to prioritise your workload so that you are able to meet all deadlines to a high level of quality.
Just because you are working from home doesn’t make it possible to carry out full-time childcare at the same time. Remember that you are being paid to offer a service to your clients, which needs to be completed professionally. It is not feasible to carry out full time care and run a business because the demands are too great. Take your children to childcare when working so that you can concentrate properly on the task at hand.
The contact details that you use say a lot about your business to potential clients. Using a private telephone number, a gmail account and a private address immediately tells potential customers that you will be working from home. A small amount of expense will provide you with a hosted email domain, a toll free or 1300 number (Australia) and a PO Box address. These three simple changes can be enough to make a huge amount of difference to your business.
At the end of each working day it is important to take an opportunity to unwind. Close the office for the evening and unwind as if you have just got back from a full-time job in the city. If you have been inside all day then take the opportunity to go outside and get some fresh air. Relaxation is as important after a day in a home office as it is after working elsewhere, so do not let yourself drift back to work in the evenings.
Managing a home based business has its challenges, but it also has many rewards. By following the tips we’ve listed above you should be able to run your business effectively and enjoy the freedom and autonomy that working from home supports.