Many people dream about working from home but those of us who are doing it are discovering that there are a lot of challenges that you probably could not have anticipated.
The idea sure sounds good – especially if you are stuck in a day job that has very little fulfilment. Working from home beats a day job any day of the week but unless you set some clear rules for yourself and your family it can turn ugly.
One of the reasons for working from home is to take control of your financial future and to break free from the grips of a salary job.
The other, and probably the biggest reason, is to have more time and more freedom to spend time with your family.
With that in mind, here are 3 practical tips that can help you immensely.
1. Create an Office in the House
Its important that you create a space that is dedicated to work. Even if you convert a spare store room or block of a part of a space. You need to have a space where you feel that you can concentrate and work. Its also important that everybody knows that this is your workplace – especially the kids.
Its not a play room and its out of bounds for kids. It will help you to have that ‘separation’ that can be incredibly tough when work and life is blended into one.
If you ship products yourself or create the products at home you really need to make it a priority to find an office or warehouse space as soon as you can afford it. When you physical space is limited it often limits your “mental space” and often limits your ability to grow your online business.
2. Create Work Hours
One of the real challenges with working from home is that you work all the time. Because its so easy to just go and sit down to start working, the trouble is that you work too much. Interruptions during the day is yet another problem.
If you are “there” then it means your family can interrupt you.
You need to set very definite working hours and make sure your family understands this. Even if its just 5 hours a day, but you need a set amount of time daily where no one interrupts you.
3. Set Yourself Goals
When you are working for someone then there is often very little incentive to set your own goals. Your business goals are pre-determined by the company. When you work for yourself then you need to set your own goals.
You need to set yourself financial targets that can help to keep you focused and help to keep you driven and motivated. Because you don’t have that work environment around you, it can be all too easy to fall into a groove of just getting by.
Motivation is one of the most important aspects of being successful when you work for yourself.
4. Plan for Downtime
You need to find ways to get out of the house. Spending 24 hours a day in the same space is not good for you. Getting out helps you relax and “get away” from work.
Set aside one fixed hour every day where you can get out for a coffee, lunch, the gym or anything that makes you forget about your online store.
5. Network with other Online Store Owners
Being a lone wolf entrepreneur can get very lonely. Finding and networking with other business owners can really help you in many ways. Bouncing ideas off other store owners or marketers can be priceless.
That social interaction can also help you unwind and give you a fresh perspective.
It can also help to drive and motivate you and is crucial for your eCommerce success.