For many of us, home is a place where we feel relaxed and calm. After a busy day, we can retreat to the tranquility and familiarity of home and recharge those batteries. That is, unless you run a business from home. With more and more people choosing to set up their own business, home-based companies are becoming more commonplace. If you run a business from home or you’re thinking about launching a venture, here are some tips to help you make it work for you.
Finding a suitable workspace
If your home has always been a sanctuary and a place to share quality time with family and friends, turning into a workspace may not be the easiest of tasks. You may think that you can run an empire from the kitchen or the sofa, but after a few days of typing on your knee and scattering papers over the dining table, you’ll soon realize that this is not a satisfactory setup. It’s important to gear your home up for work and to create a dedicated space where you can channel your creativity, focus on the task in hand and concentrate solely on the business. If you’ve got kids watching TV, pets interrupting you or you can’t get comfortable, your work is going to suffer.
There are lots of options when it comes to converting your home into a space that is more conducive to work. The first thing to think about is the type of work you do. What kind of space do you need? What will the average day involve? If you’re confident that you’ve got enough room and your home is well positioned for what you need to do, it may be as simple as turning a spare room into an office or sectioning off an area of the garage to use as a storeroom or a studio. If you’re not sure that your home is suitable for the type of business you run, for example, you’re out in the sticks and you plan to meet clients on a regular basis, it may be an option to consider looking at a new launch condo. If you can afford to buy a bolthole in the city center, for example, this will enable you to go about your daily business, and you’ll be investing in an asset that will appreciate in the future. If you’re thinking about buying a second home, which will also serve as your business base, do some research and think about what kind of location would suit you best.
If you’ve got space at home and you’re not considering buying a second property or hiring business premises, the next step is to create a space that works for you. When you’re in an office, you know that you’re there to work and the environment is set up accordingly. At home, make sure you have a room, a studio or a suite where you can focus, you can generate ideas, and you can do everything you need to do without any hassle or delays. Look at some office designs online and think about the kind of equipment, machinery or technology you need. If you can, try and opt for spaces with open views and plenty of natural light, as this should make you more productive.
If you don’t currently have enough space at home, there are alternatives to renting or buying a second property. If you’ve got room in the attic or basement, you could consider converting these areas into usable space. You could also look into adding an extension or think about investing in a garden room or an external building similar to a large shed or a log cabin, which could be used as an office, a workshop or a treatment room.
Establishing a routine
If you’re used to working 9 to 5, or you have had set shift patterns in the past, adapting to a new regime at home may take a little time. There’s an assumption that working from home is easy, but this is not the case. Just because you’re not required to sign in and out doesn’t mean that routine isn’t important and you can get up late and clock off early. In fact, running a business often requires many more hours of graft, and you may find that your days are much longer, especially at the beginning. It’s really beneficial to try and get into a routine when you’re working at home. This will help you to be more efficient and also give you a better chance of achieving a healthy work-life balance. Play to your strengths. If you’re a morning person, get up early, and start working through your to-do list. If you struggle to function before 9am, schedule important calls or meetings for later in the day. Use planners, programs or apps to keep track of daily activities and deadlines and don’t forget to take some time off.
Learning to switch off
When your office is a 1-minute commute from the living room, it’s tempting to do a bit more work when really, you should be winding down and focusing on your family, your hobbies or your social life. Yes, it’s important to work hard when you own a business, but nobody should work 24-hours a day. Get into a regime, and switch off when you log off and close the office door. You may think that working around the clock will benefit your business, but you’re not going to be any use if you’re exhausted all the time and you’re finding it hard to stay motivated or come up with fresh ideas.
Do you have aspirations to run a business from home? Are you thinking about setting up your own company? A growing number of people are giving being their own boss a shot. If you like the sound of running an empire from the comfort of your own home, be prepared for hard work and make sure your home works as a business base. If you haven’t got a ready-made workspace, don’t panic There are lots of options to consider. Once you have got a suitable place to work, focus on establishing a routine that works for you and don’t forget to schedule some downtime.