4 Ways to Stay Focused when Running a Home Based Business
Many entrepreneurs find their home is a perfect environment for managing their business, and apart from the more obvious comforts of staying at home, they are able to eliminate commuting costs, paying for commercial real estate, and purchasing office necessities such as furniture and shared appliances. Many businesses that eventually grow into larger companies start out as home based businesses, and savvy entrepreneurs will realize that there is nothing to scoff at if an entrepreneur chooses to forgo choosing a separate business location. One of the foibles of a home based strategy, however, is the fact that business owners can very easily become distracted from what they need to do, being tempted to take breaks that turn into hours of lost productivity. If you are going to be successful as a stay at home business owner, you need to learn some techniques that can help you keep your eye on the ball and allow you to manage your time between work and domestic activities.
Create a space that is for work only. When you are in your house, all of your favorite things will be right in front of you. This is both amazing and awful since it means that the potential for you to become distracted is much higher than it would be in a corporate environment. The solution for this problem is to create a space in your home that is distinctly removed from the realm of the domestic. The more you are able to keep these spheres physically distinct, the better you will be able to slip into a working frame of mind when you enter your home office, which leads to higher productivity. Don’t keep home related objects in your office, and conversely, try your best to do your work related tasks there. Think of it this way; you sleep in your bedroom, and when you lie down in your bed, you fall asleep quickly knowing this. Your home office should be for work only, and when you step into it, your business mind should instinctively activate.
Keep your tech up to an office standard. If something is good enough for home use, that does not always mean that it’s up to the standards of a business. You should always strive to keep your technology and equipment at least on par with the industry standard. Since you will be saving a lot of costs by working at home, you can most likely afford to re-allocate some costs to getting yourself the tools you need to be effective.
Keep a business line that is separate from your home line. Getting personal call ins the middle of the day in the center of an office would most likely not be acceptable, so why should you use the same line as your home and personal line as well as your office line? In fact, you should probably have an alternate business email and computer as well. Mixing your business with your domestic life through shared devices only invites trouble, especially for cyber security purposes.
Have face time with your employees. While you may be managing a remote team, there still should be time during the week that you have some “face time” to keep things on the same page and keep everyone accountable. Try skype as an alternative to being able to meet in person. You will not be the only one struggling to remain focused at times.
Photo Credit to zoetnet on Flickr