Starting a business from home is never easy. You need to think about zoning, advertising, and even insurance. If this is something that you have never done before, there are plenty of things you can do to get started on the right foot.
Here’s a look at seven tips to help you eliminate the guesswork.
1. Set office hours
The allure of working from the comfort of your own home can be powerful. The problem is that distractions abound. You may be tempted to take a nap in the middle of the day or spend more time with your family and friends. This is understandable, but if you want your business to be a success, then you have to set office hours and stick to them. You need to discipline yourself. This will help you make the most out of your day, increase productivity, and run your business more efficiently.
2. Create a dedicated office space
You can’t hope to run your business from the comfort of your kitchen table, or even your sofa, forever. If you want to give your business the best chance of success, then you need to create a home office that is fully equipped with the necessities.
This could involve using an extra bedroom, partitioning off space in your living room, or even a converted garage. Make the most out of the situation you have, and it will also give you space where you can really concentrate. If you don’t have space at spare, consider joining a local coworking space.
3. Take out insurance
If you haven’t looked into taking out insurance yet then you are already making a huge mistake. You have to make sure that you take out a quality policy because if you don’t then you could be putting everything that you are working for at risk. If you just don’t know where to start then you should note that renters insurance can help reimburse theft.
When you do take out renter’s insurance, you will soon find that you will be covered if your laptop is stolen or anything else of the sort. Having something like this happen would really impact your business and it would also make it much harder for you to recover.
4. Be professional
When you work from home, you have the option of working in any attire you desire. You don’t have to get up and get changed until you want to (or need to), and this may sound like a bonus. However, it helps if you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed 24/7. Make the effort to get dressed as if you were leaving the house. Working from your pajamas can be demotivating after some time.
Also, professionally answer your business line at all times during office hours. If you’re unavailable during certain times of the day, consider using an answering service. For a few dollars a month, a virtual phone agent can automatically answer calls while you’re out walking the dog or picking up your kids from school.
5. Don’t overlook marketing
If you build it, people won’t magically come. If you want your business to succeed, then you have to make people aware of your business. Marketing and advertising don’t need to be expensive. Consider online and offline marketing strategies that reach your ideal customers. Build smart marketing campaigns, measure your success, and optimize to double-down on what works.
6. Check your local zoning laws
Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, a home-based enterprise may be illegal or come with complex regulations. Check with your local zoning commission to ensure conducting business from your home is legal and adheres to regulations enforced in your zone. Zoning laws can quickly put an end to your home-based business dreams before you even begin.
7. Regularly consult your business plan
It’s been said that “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Review your business plan (or perhaps it’s time to create one). Where do you see your business in the next 30, 60, and 90 days? In the next year?
Many business owners choose not to create a business plan because they don’t feel as though their business is big enough. This is a major mistake. Take the time to consider your goals and business objectives, so you can prepare for best-and-worst case scenarios. It takes time, but the results are worthwhile.
Jayce Redford is a content marketer and a project manager at Ocere, a digital marketing company based in the UK. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Ateneo de Davao University. He has been with Ocere for 8 years and counting.
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