Being your own boss is the dream for most professionals. Working from home has many advantages, including freedom, flexibility, and low overhead costs. However, it does have some challenges, as well. While on paper, a home-based business sounds easy, relaxed, and comfortable, the reality is different. When it’s just you, planning everything from top to bottom, a home-based business seems like a daunting task.
I run a professional baking business from home, and let me tell you it’s extremely challenging, especially in the beginning. Even though I have worked out the kinks and got my business running smoothly, I still have to invest in maintaining business operations, so everything keeps running like a well-oiled machine.
I am writing this article to share the tips I have gathered over the years to help fellow entrepreneurs run their businesses smoothly.
1. Stay Connected
Home-based business owners are not always at home. You need to travel for multiple things, meet some clients in person, and manage things with the suppliers. For that, you need better connectivity. It will sound so unprofessional if the client asks a query, and you won’t be able to answer because all your data is on the laptop.
Try using a good phone that enables better connectivity. Consider an iPhone or Blackberry. Similarly, use tools like Slack, G-suite, Dropbox, Zoom, etc. Many entrepreneurs also use Airpods, especially those who need to attend multiple calls in a day. Apart from it, keeping the data at a virtual exchange server is mandatory. It lets you get access anywhere, anytime.
2. Organize Home Responsibilities
Many moms go for a home-based business because it’s more flexible and allows them to work on their own time and terms. However, if you want to earn a handsome income, you need to give at least 5-6 hours to your work. This becomes difficult when you have kids too. You can still manage your work along with other duties with a few tips:
- Make a schedule and let other family members know about it
- Hire a babysitter to look after your toddler
- Prepare food in advance and refrigerate
- Take a break from work when other family members are also free
- Plan everything beforehand and do the extra chores at the weekend
- If there is some urgency, skip one working day and replace it with the weekend
3. Arm Yourself with Motivation
When there are no performance appraisals and progress reports, staying motivated becomes a big question. However, you can still boost your motivational level with a few strategies:
- Set goals daily. Similarly, set weekly and even monthly goals. This will tell you where you stand.
- Look at the competitors and notice their business tactics
- Make the aim of increasing your income every three months
- Plan in advance where you want to spend your hard-earned money. This will give you enough motivation to work hard.
4. Get Time for Relaxation
Time flexibility is one great benefit of a home-based business. You have the liberty of working even at odd timings. But do not treat yourself as a machine. You can never boost productivity when the mind is tired. Give yourself some relaxation to work even better. Take a small break after every hour. During this time, you can call a friend, have some exercise, enjoy your favorite snack, have a steam bath, or even take a nap.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many home-based businesses suffered a lot, just like other small businesses. For getting the business back on its normal pace, every other entrepreneur is working day and night. Undoubtedly, the situation is disappointing but pressurizing our mind will give us nothing. Relaxation tactics can ease our stress, making us think positively and productively. You can practice a relaxation method of your choice. It can be anything of your choice, like watching a movie, having a refreshing drink, or spending time with the kids.
5. Become A Jack of All Trades
Always remember that you are doing a home-based business. You cannot leave the technical work to the technical experts, ask the secretary to make appointments, or hire various experts for other skills. You need to learn all these skills. Do not worry; you don’t need to get a certified degree for each skill. All you need to learn are the basics. For instance, if you are using any machinery, learn the basic things regarding it like how to repair a minor fault, how to increase its life, and how to achieve efficiency. Similarly, learn some basic social media management skills and check the latest tools used in it. In this way, you can save a lot of your expenses and run your business easily.
Do not get isolated in your home. Stay in connection with other home-based business owners. You will discover some useful tips and insights into a small business. Join Facebook groups, connect via LinkedIn, and stay active on Twitter.
7. Never Stop Learning
Always take out some time to learn new things related to your field. This will help you keep abreast of the latest industry trends. Like if you have a home-based baking business, learn the new fondant cake styles, try out the new tools, and get some knowledge on the new baking ovens available in the market.
Similarly, if you have a home-based cleaning business, you may want to keep abreast of the most effective mops, eco-friendly cleaning products and cleaning techniques to offer your clients the best service. A survey conducted by carpet cleaning London revealed that businesses that keep abreast of industry trends are 15% more likely to succeed than those who don’t.
8. Consider Outsourcing When Needed
You should have a knowledge of everything going on in your business, but you can definitely outsource if you can’t manage everything yourself. For instance, for my baking business, I had to eventually hire a social media marketer to manage promotions. In this way, you will be able to focus on your core skills and generate good revenues.
In short, you need to have a daily dose of motivation, prime attention, knowledge, socialization skills, and good know-how of the virtual world for keeping your small home-based business working at a good pace. Try the aforementioned tips and tricks, but remember to show consistency in your efforts. You cannot use a magic stick to make things easier in a jiffy. Everything requires time, effort, and utmost dedication.