The beauty of running an online business from home is that your customers don’t have to know. By managing your time and resources effectively, you can give the impression that you’re a major player with a full-blown staff at your beck and call. Here are some of the best ways to manage your home-based online business.
Remember, Your Time is Valuable
The hardest part of running any business is time management, but this task is even harder when you work from home. Most people want to keep a flexible schedule, but don’t let that turn into procrastination or spending more time running errands for the neighbors than running your own business. Plan on working at least as many hours as you would if you were working for someone else.
Use the Latest Tools to Reduce the Tech Burden
Face it; you’re not Superman – or Superwoman – and you can’t do it all. Instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades in the technical field, use the latest tools, like cloud computing, to take care of it for you. Your time is worth more than the small fee that third-party companies charge to manage your electronic resources.
You, Too, Can Have a Staff
Even if you can’t afford to hire a single employee on a full-time basis, you can appear to have a staff. Just like third-party companies can help with your computing needs, you can take your customer service to the next level by creating an automated response system or using another third-party to answer calls when you’re unavailable – or actually getting a little sleep.
What’s your best tip for managing an online business from home?
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Keeping your people working together effectively can be a serious challenge. Sometimes, it almost feels like you can not allow anyone to leave the office if you want to be sure they all stay on the same page. However, through the use of technology, you can get your people to work together reliably. You can even make it tax deductible for yourself, and offer your people the perk of doing some work from home.
When people communicate well they do better business together. By using a system such as a Cricket Android that you supply, every member of your team can be in contact. There won’t be issues of incompatible phones or issues with payment, because you’ll be taking care of this. This is especially nice because you’ll be able to deduct the costs of the phones you issue your team from your taxes.
The best part of all about issuing your people some high-end phones is that you can pick up apps and distribute them easily. This way you can ensure that everybody has the same kind of functions available to them. So when you send a particular kind of file out in a mass email, you won’t have to worry about everyone being able use it.
Of course, your team will love how this will allow them to telecommute. One of the best perks in the corporate world is being able to work from anywhere. Never underestimate the effect this has on morale.
Working from has the created the image waking up late, working in pajamas, working while lying on the bed and other such misconceptions that when followed make work boring. There are rules to be followed while working from home too. It is important to avoid various downfalls while working from home to make work more professional. Maintaining quality of the work from home is the hardest part with constant deadlines and frequent distractions.
It is a rule that you start work everyday on time, even at home. Shower on time and dress yourself like you would when you go to office. Hygiene should not be replaced at any cost while working form home. Take good care of yourself and this will show in the work that you do. Getting into the work psychology from the home environment by be done by making sure you begin work everyday on time and take preset breaks every two hours or more. Never fail to treat you job as a full time occupation. Even thought the work says part time, you will still have to work as much as that the ones in office work. It is just that you save a lot of money and time on traveling.
Make a schedule, it will be easier to follow and have a strict rule against any distractions such as television, kids and neighbors. If you let distractions like television shows, hughes net satellite browsing or even just simple noise distract you, then you will not be giving your full potential to work. Breaks are important for any kind of work, from home or office. You need not scrap breaks just because you are working from home. Take a quick break to play bingo games or watch the latest YouTube videos.
When working at home you need a designated place from where you can work form. It has to be distractions free and comfortable enough that you can easily work. Keep a designated area from where your children and wife are not allowed at office hours. This will keep office and personal lives separate.
In the world of multi-tasking and increased demands on time, working at home is an excellent option if you can find it.
Some of the advantages are financial, including not having to pay for commuting or gas costs, not to mention saving on the wear and tear of your car.
Perhaps the two biggest plusses to working at home are the flexibility and time savings. Many people have long commutes, whether they are taking public transportation or driving. Working at home eliminates all of the time spent in the car or on a bus or train. Inclement weather often adds even more time to commuting and in essence, becomes wasted time.
The advantage of flexibility, particularly for a working parent, is immeasurable. If your work-at-home job is based on getting your work done rather than sitting at your desk or by a phone for a set period of time, you also have the opportunity to run errands whenever you need to and choose a convenient time for you instead of being forced to do them when most people working in offices are doing their errands.
For parents, it prevents you from having to take time off or vacation or sick days when your child has a day off from school not related to a holiday, comes home sick from school or is too sick to attend school. Although it may be a little more challenging, you still have the chance to complete your work for the day and attend to your child and not have to hire a babysitter or take time off from your job.
Many people live in climates where weather may cancel school, but you still have work requirements. By working from home, you are already there and do not need to make last-minute adjustments to your work schedule to be home for your child.
Working at home allows you to have a flexible schedule for your family and other aspects of your life, while still providing the satisfaction and pay of working.
A major challenge that working parents must address is how to balance both time and relationships within the family.
In this multi-tasking era, it is an ever-increasing struggle to give all the necessary time to work, family, extracurricular activities, and simply spending time with one another.
Ideally, families should eat dinner together with each person getting the opportunity to share information about their day and anything else on their mind. Even if nothing particularly significant is said, it gives each family member a mindset that there is a set time where everyone will be together and thoughts can be shared.
For many families with hectic schedules, both for the parents and the children, even having a meal together is not feasible, but there should be a set period where the family is together to share. It may make everyone feel more comfortable to have it wrapped within another activity, whether it is dessert or a board game or some other activity that family members enjoy doing together.
One relationship that often gets overlooked in the midst of busy schedules and child-rearing is the married couple or partners. It is imperative that no one in the family lose their individuality or their connection to each other member of the family. One simple way to ensure the couple of quality time together is a “date night” or even just a dinner out together without the children. Whatever the cost of hiring a babysitter, it is well worth it to continue to foster the relationship of the parents.
Work and activities outside the home will always take up a great deal of time in a family, but it is critical for everyone’s well-being to continue to nurture each relationship within the family and as a whole.
Telecommuting may be an option worth looking into, whether as your only position or as a combination of working at home and working at the office with your current employer.
For those who are trying to work out a flexible schedule in your current job, the key is to assure your boss that not only can you get as much work done, but can be even more productive from home on that day or those days you telecommute. Your reasons may be numerous, ranging from saving a day of commuting or for child-care reasons.
You may offer to attempt working one day a week from home on a trial basis. If you are given this opportunity, you can open the door to future telecommuting days, planned or unplanned (based on a need that arises in your personal life), by producing an increased quantity over what you or a typical employee does on a typical workday in the office.
For those seeking to work completely at home, there are several web sites available offering specific work opportunities. Many of these are part-time or on a freelancing basis, but this is a great chance to enhance your resume and build for future opportunities.
If you have done any work at home from any job or any freelancing, make sure to highlight that fact on your resume, stressing that you worked successfully off-site or via telecommunication. As with any type of job, a potential employer wants to see experience, which in this case is not limited to what you have done, but also includes where you have done it.
Working at home offers an incredible amount of benefits and freedom. Unfortunately, most people get intimidated by that sense of freedom and never pursue a work-at-home career. They distrust an outside-the-box system that doesn’t involve a commute or an office. However, working at home is nothing to be scared of. It’s no secret that working at home is not for everyone: it requires an incredible amount of self-discipline and doesn’t include a lot of social interaction. However, the benefits are outstanding. Here are a list of benefits from working at home.
- Freedom. Work in your pajamas. Forgo the high heels or neckties. Settle in with some comfy clothes and some home-brewed coffee and get to work in your home office. Yes, your home office: you’ll need a space to call your own, somewhere you can go to and shut the door and get to work. Work when you want to, work how you want to. However, you may find that without a schedule, you start doing other things when you want to, such as watching a movie or taking a nap. Naps are fine as long as you get your other work done! Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. However, that schedule can include mornings and nights instead of a straight 9 to 5 schedule.
- More time for your family. You feel better connected when you have the freedom to pick up your kids from school or make them an afternoon snack. You’ll have a much easier time going to mid-day appointments or school events. You’ll never miss a school play performance again!
- Be your own boss. Yes, you’ll still have clients, and those clients will be incredibly demanding. Yet you can take vacation whenever you choose, and you won’t have to navigate around others’ schedules. You will have to enforce your own deadlines, but you won’t have to sit through board meetings.
Are you thinking of becoming a freelance writer? It’s a wonderfully rewarding career–but you have to be realistic in your expectations. It’s not all lounging around in your pajamas, writing interesting and thought-provoking pieces. Here are some tips for aspiring freelancers.
- Get writing clips.
They don’t have to be fancy. Did you write for a local newspaper or church bulletin? Did you do any writing in college? Find something that you wrote (preferably with your name clearly stated within the writing). Without writing samples, no one will hire you.
- Redo your resumé.
For each of your previous jobs, look closely at the description of what your job requirements were. Did you have to write or edit anything? Even if you wrote daily emails, it can still count. Edit your job descriptions to focus as much on writing as possible. Managing deadlines are another excellent point to hit on your resumé; clients are always looking for someone who is reliable and will meet their deadlines.
- Be wary of freelance writing sites’ job postings.
Freelance writing sites are an amazing place to find advice about the profession. However, they are widely read and watched. For every job posting, hundreds of freelance writers are scouring those posting and applying to the jobs listed. If you must utilize these sites, be sure to apply as soon as possible–no more than one day after the initial posting. Many employers will stop reading applications and queries after a certain amount because they get overwhelmed (and who wouldn’t?). You’ll have much better luck looking on your own. Look on Craigslist and your local classifieds. Check out businesses in your area. Query businesses to see if they have any need for your services. Search for companies hiring writers outside of the ones posting on these freelance writing sites. You’ll have a much better shot of getting hired, especially if you’re a new writer.