Running a successful home business can be difficult. There are a ton of different variables to keep in mind and plenty of unforeseeable obstacles and challenges as well. Getting started can be daunting, too—there are so many resources and outlets claiming to have industry secrets and insider information that it can be immensely challenging to find accurate, actionable tips regarding operating a successful home-based business.
Every business is different, and not all tips will work for everyone. Knowing which tips apply to your business model is the first thing to learn. With this knowledge, you can enhance, optimize, and grow your startup into something special in no time. Most of us start small, so finding tips
Without further delay, let’s jump into it.
1. Work Environment Considerations
Traditional offices use time-tested and heavily iterated techniques to craft workspaces that are comfortable and conducive to productivity. Since you’re operating out of your home, you don’t have the same luxury. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to replicate the work-centric environment found in traditional office spaces.
Ergonomics are crucial when crafting your home office. You want to ensure that your space is comfortable and geared towards productivity. Poor ergonomics can result in back pain, clutter accumulation, long-term health problems, and more.
Conversely, stellar ergonomics can yield the opposite effects. You likely have a friend or two who complains about their back. Typically, discomfort like this is blamed on the sedentary lifestyle that office work necessitates. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to counteract the negative effects of sitting. And since you’re working from home, you don’t need to concern yourself with approval from a manager or higher-up.
Standing desks are a popular, health-friendly way to enhance ergonomics. By using either a keyboard riser or a motorized desk, these devices allow you to work while standing upright. While standing, your spine is in its most natural position. Keeping this posture while working allows you to preserve your backs strength and vitality.
If you’re not a fan of standing, there are other methods you can use to keep your back in working order. Yoga chairs and office chairs with ergonomic designs can yield similarly positive outcomes, too. When creating your office space, you will want to keep these options in mind.
2. Choosing the Right Tools
Next, you should equip yourself with the right tools for the job. Since you’re working from home, your primary concern will be setting yourself up with intuitive and productivity-focused software and programs. There is no shortage of software packages that offer bevies of actionable and effective tools.
You shouldfocus on the basics before anything else. Microsoft Office, while tame, is an absolute must. Its suite of business-inclined features and capabilities can’t be matched on Windows operating systems. With Microsoft Office Suite, you will be able to access Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and of course, Microsoft Word, at your leisure.
Stamps.com is another winner for self-employed individuals. It enables you to print postage and shipping labels straight from your PC. The time it saves you by skipping trips to the Post Office will add up in the long-term.
Time management is something that self-employed people struggle with—it’s not something you think about when getting your business off the ground. But proper time distribution is key for keeping a business running smoothly. WorkTime is an excellent application in this regard. It lets you keep an eye on how much time you’re spending in each of your PC’s different programs.
Data-backup software may be the most crucial investment you can make as the head of a home-based business. Data is at the center of every modern trade, and you need to be certain that yours is safe and accessible should the unexpected occur. The risks of leaving your data unprotected are well-documented.
Lastly, publishing software is a necessity if you want to market your business effectively. Adobe InDesign is the most popular software package for publishing, but Microsoft Publisher is worth considering as well. Both of these options allow you to craft copy material, newsletters, and memos that can assist enormously in networking and communication.
3. Optimizing Your Work-Life Balance
The death knell for many small businesses is burnout. Entrepreneurs are inherently passionate about their trade. And while that passion is useful, it can be detrimental with breaks and rest. Use planning apps, like Google Calendar, to ensure that you’re getting ample sleep and taking breaks when you need them.
4. Building the Best Team
Working from home isn’t the same as working alone. You need to build a team, and there are some things to keep in mind before you get started. First, you should create clear, concise job descriptions. This step will help you find individuals who are well-suited for your business.
Likewise, you should try and find people who are committed to your company’s brand, message, and long-term goals. Lastly, try to make effective interviews—asking the right questions can assist in sorting the diamonds from the rough.
5. Investing In Security
Security is important. Multi-billion dollar corporations are still struggling with keeping bad actors at bay. And it’s especially vital if your business is one that intends on collecting and storing your client’s personal information. Before you start looking for ways to scale your business, consider how you can protect yourself and your customers effectively first.
Home-based businesses are thriving right now. While the competition is tight, there is plenty of room for your startup to thrive and grow, regardless of your industry. Implement these tips into your business and enjoy a smooth and fruitful startup phase.
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon