Estimated reading time: 5 mins
You have many options when you run a business. You can do it all yourself, or you can employ people to help you, for example. You’ll also need to think about exactly how you are going to market your products and services. Money is another priority; in business, spending in the wrong places and using your budget in the wrong way could spell disaster, which is why it is important to think carefully about all the costs involved in running your own particular business.
You might feel that having an office space is important – it’s a logical step when you want to have a business. Or is it? In the past, it was something that every business owner would look for, but in today’s technologically advanced world, having business premises isn’t always necessary – you can run a successful business from home. Here is how it can be done.
No matter where you work, you need to be comfortable. If you’re not, you won’t be as productive as you could be, and you might even damage yourself if you are sitting at a desk that doesn’t suit you or on a chair that doesn’t give support. Therefore, comfort needs to be a priority when you are working from home.
It can be tempting to simply use a sofa and coffee table (or your lap), your bed, or perhaps a dining chair and table to conduct your work, but this is not how a successful business should be run. Even if you can’t take a room to yourself, at least make a space for yourself that has the right equipment in it including ergonomically designed furniture. You will get a lot more done if your back and shoulders aren’t aching.
Don’t Hide The Fact
Some people choose to hide the fact that they are working from home, as though it diminishes their business in some way and make them look unprofessional. In fact, as long as you have a productive space to work in, working from home can be a distinct advantage; it cuts down on many of your overheads. Therefore, letting people know about this and ensuring they understand the reasons for your low costings (low pricing can look suspicious if people don’t know how you are able to keep your prices low) can help you and make you stand out.
Of course, you won’t want people to necessarily come to your home for meetings, but when you need to see clients, you can look at these offices and hire a meeting space that is comfortable and professional. Hiring a space on an ad hoc basis will save you money and help to show how professional you are.
Have A Strong Brand
One disadvantage of working from home is that you won’t have an office building where you can hang a sign so that people can become aware of you and what you do. Therefore, you will need to work hard on getting your brand right. The better your brand and the more you can push it all over social media, for example, the more people will come to know it and your business.
This way, even if you are working from home and won’t have as much opportunity to show what you do in ‘the real world,’ you can still get your brand out there and become more successful. Often, once you have your first few customers or clients, word of mouth will spread, and you can grow quickly from there.
Organization is crucial when you run a business; you don’t want to spend most of your time searching for important files and missing out in vital opportunities. Working from home can mean that you are less organized than you would be if you were working from an office. There is a lot more to get lost, and more people around (assuming you live with other people) who might try to help by tidying up, but will actually lose things by mistake.
This is partly why having your own space is so important. However, you must also be organized in other ways. Have a diary that you can constantly refer to so that you know what you are supposed to be doing and when (if you are working flexible or part-time hours, you can include your personal appointments in here too, so that nothing is ever missed), and try color-coding your files so that you can find everything easily.
It is also important to tidy up at the end of the day so that you can have a neat and tidy workspace to come back to. This will put you in a more productive frame of mind from the start, and help you to get more done.
You might love the idea of working from home, and you might set everything up to work in this way. For some, it is ideal. For others, however, it just doesn’t work, and if this is you, then you need to be honest with yourself and those around you and decide on your next course of action.
It might be that you need other people around you, or that your home is just not suited to being used as a workspace. You might live with lots of other people, or in a noisy neighborhood, for example. Whatever the reason that working from home isn’t working, take note of it and determine who you can get over the problem. Perhaps you do need an office after all, or maybe you can work from a friend’s house or in a café somewhere. As long as you are honest and don’t try to force yourself to work somewhere that isn’t working; you can overcome any problems.
Although working from home will clearly save you a lot of money, it will also keep you more isolated than if you worked with other people. Without having anyone to bounce ideas off, you might have trouble making business decisions, and you might not enjoy your work so much.
Therefore, why not join online groups that can help you? There are hundreds of forums where lone workers and home workers can come together to discuss business ideas and ask questions.
You should also ensure you make time to see friends and family when you can so that you have some real human interaction.