Almost 70% of US entrepreneurs start their businesses at home. If you’re the owner of one of the 38 million home-based businesses in the United States – kudos to you! There’s no shame in starting small. In fact, many of the world’s most successful companies started off as aspiring garage projects. Steve Jobs did it. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, too. But besides being a convenient and cost-effective solution for newly rising startups, home-based businesses also have their challenges.
Boosting Productivity In a Home-Based Work Environment
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of the newly established businesses survive the first five years. That’s a pretty good rate, keeping in mind that there’s a new home-based business starting every 12 seconds. But what defines the success of startups is hardly pure luck. The true key to getting your home-based business off the ground is called productivity.
If you’re transferring from a part-time freelancer to a full-time business owner, having the whole day for yourself means you can double, even triple your workload. In reality, however, you might find yourself cutting down on orders due to the lack of time.
Don’t let personal tasks intersect with your business errands.
A friend stopping by for a coffee, a viral video popping up on your social feed, loud television from the other room preventing you from finishing your business proposal in time – there are millions of possible distractions at home that can interfere with business management. As a home business owner, you need to know how to manage potential stressful situations and learn to say “no” to temptations.
Create a dedicated workspace at home.
The first step to doing so is dedicating a workspace in your home that’s reserved for working only. Setting up a home office will help you focus more on your work and avoid unnecessary distractions. If your family is at home the same time you are, make sure to set clear boundaries and let your close ones know that being at home doesn’t mean you’re available all the time. You can even lock the door of the room and have this as a reminder to your family that you’re currently busy.
Step up your game with a challenging, yet manageable work plan.
Setting a clear work plan will also aid you in managing your time correctly. But, before you go on and fill up your schedule, make sure that you have a manageable to-do list. As much as you may be an overachiever, you might have to readjust your task list a few times before you get to the happy medium. Failing to finish your tasks on time might take a hit on your motivation and drop your productivity even more. On the other hand, a well-measured challenge can never hurt.
Be prepared for a flexible work environment.
Becoming your own boss provides you with the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want. This means you may often find yourself managing your business from a remote location. To keep your productivity on the positive side, make sure you’ve prepared all the necessary tools to ensure a stable and secure connection on your business trip. Getting a reliable VPN service that’ll allow you private, remote access to your business systems will ensure your peace of mind while working away from your home office.
Prioritize your communication.
A large part of your daily communication is going to happen by e-mail. The best way to guarantee your inbox won’t get cluttered with unwanted mail is to set up filters and unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t need. Same goes for your phone. If your mobile device gets you too distracted, don’t hesitate to filter calls and stop your social media notifications. The difference between filtering and blocking numbers is that instead of completely disabling your connection with a certain number, you just set up an automatic response or redirect calls during the time when you’re unavailable. But don’t worry, if a number calls too many times, your phone will let you know so you won’t miss emergency calls.
Connect with other work-at-home business owners.
Working from the comfort of your own home can be as convenient as it may be monotonous. If you’re craving some communication with the outside world, consider hiring a desk at a co-working space or connecting with other small business owners who run their companies from home.