So, you’ve decided to work from home for your employer or start a home based business. Congratulations! and welcome to the ever-changing landscape of remote work. While there is a lot to learn, your effort will be worth it. The thrill of growing professionally, the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours, and the possibilities of expanding secondary personal and financial rewards are all wonderful reasons to start remote work.
These seven tips will help you launch your work-form home career or take it to the next level if you have been working remotely for some time now.
1) Work Space
Set up a separate working space or a working station in your home. It doesn’t matter if this is a small bedroom, one part of the garage, or a corner of the living room. The important thing is to have some space that you can designate as your working area and preferably it should be the quiet section of the house or apartment. This will give you the space and room you need to craft your dream and make an impact.
2) Office Supply
Stock your working space with materials. This sounds basic, perhaps, but one underlying element of success is that you have easy access to the tools, materials, and other resources you need. Gathering everything close by also keeps you from wasting time searching for it, so this step can be considered a time management strategy, too.
3) Plan Your Hours
Speaking of time management, your third step is to define the parameters of your business. What days and hours will you work? When will you market? When will you provide services or products to clients? How will you keep all of this straight?
4) Prioritize and Stay Focused
Balance action with planning. One of the most common pitfalls to working remotely is getting too caught up in action without enough planning. Stated another way, this means that you confuse “being busy” with “working on important projects.” The best approach is to plan your next couple of goals and then work backwards to create step by step action plans to reach them. Once you have the plan, then it’s time to take the action.
5) Network, Network and Network
Network like crazy. One of the fastest ways to grow any business is to make connections with other people. Be sure to share your passion and enthusiasm with others at every opportunity. Let people know who you are and what you offer. Remember, people can’t buy if they don’t know you’re selling.
6) Go an Extra Mile for Professionalism
Present a professional image. If you want to be treated professionally, present a professional image. Install a separate phone and fax line for your work. Set up a separate bank account if it’s your business. Create professional marketing materials for your customers and clients. Be courteous and pleasant in all your customer facing interactions. Basically, be someone people want to do business with.
7) Automate Repetitive Tasks
Automate your repetitive tasks as much as possible. Granted, you are just one person (right now) and might have a lot of extra time to take care of all the details and answer all the call and reply every singel email. This might work for now, but won’t work into the future as you get busier and busier. It’s best to set up automatic systems and processes right from the start to free up your time to concentrate on the most profitable activities. Use tools and programs that can help your automate things as your focus on other important work.
These seven tips will get your home business started (and growing) in the right direction.