A lot of the world’s biggest companies first started out from a home office or - in the case of Steve Jobs and Apple - a garage. And the idea makes total sense, when you consider the costs of renting or buying an office tend to be far too high for a business that isn’t turning a profit yet. That said, home-based businesses do have some significant downsides, which you need to be aware of before you get started on your business. Here are some of the problems you might face, and some essential guidelines to follow.
Be Inspired - but not too inspired!
First of all, when you are checking out Pinterest or online small business magazines, you’ll see lots of photos of some incredible home offices. But be aware that while offices in design magazines do indeed look impressive, it doesn’t make them a good fit for your particular purpose. In many cases, too much visual stimulation can be incredibly distracting, and the funky office gear you see in some magazines aren’t really suited to comfort and productivity. Always design your office or workshop with functionality first in your mind, with good looks and attractiveness afterwards.
Watch out for interruptions.
When you don’t have an employer peering over your shoulder every five minutes, it’s easy to let distractions start to impact your productivity. A phone call here, some time with your kids there - it all adds up and don't i know it, lol! To combat these disruptions, it’s essential to set up your office or workshop away from distractions as much as possible. Use a room that’s as far away from everyone else in the house as possible - and consider using your garden, too. IF you can afford it or live in a an environment that where it's possible, you might benefit from looking around for steel building manufacturers or garden pod builders to create a custom built office in your backyard. If space is at a premium, it’s important to be incredibly disciplined, and also remind family members that you can only get involved with urgent requests.
I can't tell you how many times I have told my help, daughter or even hubby to give me space, lol!
Too much time on the job
All new business owners suffer from spending their entire days working on their new project. But it’s even worse when you are starting your business from home. You will find that there are no disconnects at all, and your work and home life tend to meld into one. I can type a mail, feed my daughter and instruct the janitor all in the space of 60 seconds! It’s important to be disciplined with taking time out as well as working, or burnout is likely. Similarly, working from home, alone all the time, can be an isolating experience. Make sure you are taking time out from work in your office to go out and meet people - both for business and socially.
When you’re spending all your time creating a business, it’s easy to let little things like organization start to slip. However, the reality is that if you aren’t keeping your files and papers in good order, it’s a recipe for disaster - and the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Good storage solutions are just about the best investment you will make at this stage, and make everything easy to find and access. But it’s your mindset that is most important - dedicate some time every day to clearing up properly. At my 9-5, I was forced to get my filing in order because of the system but on my own , I need to remember to use even 3my file and stop letting receipts fall over the place while trying to get to my next task.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when starting a business from home. However, following these guidelines should help you make a good start - good luck!