If you’re one of those women who want more – more income and more productive use of your time – running a business from home is something more and more women are doing every day to quench their desire to be their own boss.
It’s rewarding to have a skill or perfected a craft where you stand out from the crowd. For many women, that’s more than enough – the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment shines brightly in their hearts and lives.
The principles of how to start and grow
a successful online business haven’t changed at all.
You can’t go wrong with the basics. –Entrepreneur 2017
Maybe you do have a small biz and make a little money on the side. The problem is you only sell a few products every month. With a few steps to take your business more seriously, you can take it to the next level.
Before you even think about making your next sale or launching a blog, you want to set yourself up for success.
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Get Dressed Like You Run a Successful Home Business!
You’ve fantasized about earning money from home in your pajamas, right? Well, that’s what it is, a fantasy. The most successful entrepreneurs get up, shower, get dressed, and start their day at home just as if they were working somewhere else.
“We produce more when we actually get ready for the day, even if you’re working from home.“
– Christy Wright, author of Business Boutique.
Working a 9 to 5 job has its benefits. You have a set routine and a specific time to be at the office. When you run a business from home, you can go to work in your pajamas whenever you get out of bed. While this is attractive to many would-be entrepreneurs, it will slow you down into becoming a successful businesswoman.
Even if you’re not planning to go anywhere that day, getting dressed psychs you up for a productive work day.
I confess I really need to work on this! I’m almost too excited to jump on the computer as soon as I have the house to myself every morning. There are days I forget to eat breakfast, let alone take off my pj’s!
Set up a dedicated work space to separate home and work
Running a business from home is tricky because you have to learn how to separate your family life from your work. This is especially true if you have young kids because they may not understand why mom can’t play. The best way to deal with this problem is to create your own workspace.
If you have an extra room in your home, turn it into an office. This will help shift your mindset from family and home life to business and work. If you don’t have an extra room in your home, you’ll need to create an area that does the same thing. You may need to put your office in your bedroom so that you can close the door. If that’s not an option, make sure your “office” is in a quiet area of your home away from traffic and TV to limit distractions.
It doesn’t matter where your “office” is located, make sure everyone in the family understands it’s your space. Your chair, your portion of the table or your desk, your laptop are off limits when you’re at work! The don’t touch rule may apply to your space 24/7. If your youngsters use your computer or cellphone for games, it may be time to get your own – or their own – electronic devices.
My two oldest girls are starting to use the computer more and more for their homework, but fortunately for me, I prefer to work on my laptop in the kitchen. I have a dedicated space in the corner of our farmhouse table (I keep my set-up of office items on a tray for portability), and my girls use the computer in the office nook downstairs to do their homework.
I put together an inspiration desk collection to help you get motivated (check it out here!). These are items I love, and I hope you love them too!
Schedule out your day
Today, one of the most important facets of our lives is time. No one seems to have enough of it! If you have friends and acquaintances who are making money running a business from home and managing an active family, do you wonder how they find the time?
The BIG secret here is organizing your time with a simple schedule to keep you on track. There are a million thoughts going through my mind, and it’s so easy to get distracted if I don’t organize my work day. Time management is so important, I’m planning to write a separate blog post about it soon.
Once you have your work hours set, use your time wisely. The main thing successful entrepreneurs have in common is they get the hardest, longest or most disliked task done first. This gives your day momentum, making you more productive and focused.
Also, tell your family and friends when you are working and interruptions won’t be tolerated. They wouldn’t disturb you at work and need to realize working from home is your job now. Interruptions should be limited to emergencies only.
Rescue Time is a browser app that helps you track your time online and lets you know the websites where you
waste spend most of your time. You can get two weeks of Rescue Time for free if you sign up here.
Another helpful tool is Wunderlist that allows you to set reminders, due dates, and to-do lists for whatever needs to get done. Best of all, it’s free!
I start my work day from the moment my kids are off to school and work until I have to pick them up at 2:00 pm. This “leisure time” is included in my schedule to adapt to my life. I don’t want my business to control me!
I break my work schedule into two, sneaking in a little bit of extra work time after my kids go to to bed at night. It may be a litle different for you, but it works for me. When I’m hanging out with them, I don’t think about something I forgot to do on my blog or try to answer an email because I know I’ll get back to it later that night.
Giving myself a schedule to follow has been a big stress relief!
Get to work
Set aside a specific amount of time every day and make that your “work” time. If you want to start working on your business from home at 9am, make sure you show up! If you’re late to your own business, you probably aren’t ready to take things seriously.
To develop a thriving business from home, you’ll also need to invest time learning more about your product and studying your competitors. If you think the internet has made technology a constantly changing entity, you’re right.
The more you learn about business basics, the more your small biz will see measurable success. Make learning a part of your work – the most successful entrepreneurs never stop reading and learning about their business niche.
Youtube can be a great help to learn about business basics, but two other mentionables that give some really good instruction include:
Lynda offers 30 days free if you sign up here. I’ve watched numerous presentations from well known instructors and continue to find new stuff. I highly recommend this website! You don’t need to get distracted by certificates they offer to complete a series of lessons – find what’s interesting for you and watch that course.
I’ve also used Skillshare.com even though its database is smaller, and you can get a month full of free courses if you sign up here. I found Skillshare because I was looking for a specific instructor, and the only place he has courses is on Skillshare. No matter how popular (or not) the website is, you can always find new information from a different teacher’s perspective .
You can also check out Udemy.com which has been useful for me in the past. You purchase each course individually which is different than the others which are subscription services. One tip is to sign up (it’s free) and save the courses you’re interested in until Udemy has a discount code. It’s usually $10 off, and they offer the promo frequently.
Remember, when you’re first getting started, you’re going to be doing things differently than you will be 3 months down the road. That’s OK, just go with the flow and you will evolve as you figure out what works best for you.
Prepare for Tomorrow
Organizing your desk area is always good idea to bring closure to your work day. It will also be more energizing to start tomorrow fresh with a work space than to be looking at a cluttered, discorganized one.
And before you close up shop for the day, make some notes about how your day went. A journal is a great tool to use because you can review it later to remember the ideas you had, identify what you want to do differently tomorrow, or keep a running log of what you accomplish. Refer back to it every morning to continue where you left off.
Running a business from home is no easy task, but it is not impossible. Successful entrepreneurs have several traits in common such as tenacity and perseverance, but what they have most in common are the basic, everyday strategies they use to run their business.
Share your tips for running a small business from home in the comments below!