It’s easy to see why for many people, running a business from home is the ultimate life goal.
Being your own boss and setting your own work schedule around your family life.
Or rolling out of bed whenever you like, to hit your desk moments later in your pyjamas. It really is the ultimate commute.
These are just a few of the countless reasons why so many of us dream of quitting the 9 to 5 for the freedom of a home based business.
I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of my professional life working from home. Both as an employee and now running my own business.
So I know the reality is a lot less dreamy…but by no means less enjoyable! So don’t be put off!
For example, as I write this blog post I’m not sat propped up in bed with a fresh cup of coffee - like my feature image may suggest!
Instead, I’m sat at my corner desk with my 5 week old daughter shuffling restlessly beside (or on) me. I’m taking regular breaks for feeds, nappy changes and to keep her entertained.
It’s taken me 3 days to write, I’ve typed much of it one handed and I’ve got milk stains on my shoulder.
But the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
So, whilst working from home may not be as glamorous as we think, it’s completely worth it for the freedom it gives to build a life where work fits around family, friends and the things we enjoy.
The reality is that working from home takes balance, hard work and some discipline.
But ultimately it’s rewarding and, if done right, can allow you to live life on your own terms.
So, if you are thinking of taking the plunge to ‘go it alone’, let me share with you 7 ways how to set your home business up for success:
1. Set A Routine
Setting a routine is a great way to separate your home life from your work life and create dedicated time to focus on your business.
Routine brings structure to your day so that you can plan effectively and create balance with the things you enjoy.
Include regular breaks, exercise, treats and a dedicated time to stop working for the day (to avoid work taking over completely).
Without a routine, it’s impossible to plan effectively and you’re forced to try and motivate yourself every day (even every hour), which itself can be tough.
2. Create A Dedicated Workspace
Just like your bedroom should trigger your brain to think ‘rest’, your workspace should prompt you to be focused and productive.
It can be a dedicated office or a desk in a corner, but wherever possible it should be away from family areas and other distractions - like the TV.
Remember to set boundaries with family members so that they know not to disturb you when you are in your workspace.
And, importantly, when you’re NOT at your workspace - be present. Wherever you are and whoever you’re with.
After all, a home business is about creating freedom and balance for you to work around your life, not to live around your work!
3. Dress For Work
Personally, I’ve never liked wearing a suit and I hate wearing ties. So, I spent a lot of my professional life feeling uncomfortable.
But that doesn’t mean I now sit at my desk in my pyjamas. Well, not all of the time anyway!
It’s important to create distinction between time to relax and time to focus. So wear clothes, real clothes.
Something comfortable that you’d happily leave the house in, but wouldn’t sit around at home in is ideal.
And at the end of the day, change back into your relaxing clothes.
4. Get Out And About
One of the best things about being your own boss is that you control what you do during working hours.
So, use this flexibility to your advantage and schedule working from different places.
Remember, working at home can be lonely, so include places with people!
A coffee shop, bookshop, hotel lobby, shared workspace or even the local park are great places to set up your temporary workspace and can inspire real productivity.
Getting out is also a great way to get some much needed exercise, which leads us nicely to…
5. Make Time For Exercise
It can be tempting to roll out of bed in the morning and head straight to your desk, breakfast in hand.
Before you know it, you’ve missed lunch, it’s dark and time to head for the sofa.
Running your own business can cause feelings of guilt. A need to work long hours at your desk to prove you’re doing everything you can to succeed.
This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can have a negative impact on your health.
So it’s important to include exercise in your routine, like taking regular breaks to get moving.
Statistics show that we should move every 90 minutes to boost our energy levels, and studies show that working out keeps our brain in shape too.
I have a watch that buzzes every hour and actually tells me to ‘move’ and then when I’ve moved enough! So that’s one less excuse!
Although it can be tempting to ‘ease yourself into your day slowly’, exercising in the morning can give you a real energy boost for the day ahead, so is the best time to exercise.
6. Reward Yourself
When you work at home, there’s often no-one around to celebrate your wins or give you a pat on the back for work well done.
So, these are things you have to do yourself.
Ticking items off your ‘to do’ list can give you a real sense of accomplishment, but it’s important to reward yourself for achieving key goals.
It can be as simple as a piece of your favourite cake, a long lunch with family or a friend or finally buying your dream car (although I’d suggest saving the car for a BIG goal).
Try writing your reward into your goal. For example, “when I complete this task, I will reward myself with a large glass of wine”.
7. Play Truant!
Freedom and quality of life are likely to be a pig part of why you want to run a home business.
So, don’t deny yourself the ability to do the things you enjoy.
If you’ve crossed off enough items on your ‘to do’ list and it’s only lunchtime, take the afternoon to do something fun.
I find that this gives me a greater sense of focus when I get back to it the next day.
In these situations, always remember that it’s OK.
Progress, however small, is further forward than you where you were yesterday. Take small steps when you need to and be happy with them. It’s all progress.
If you’re ready to start your own home business, then click here to discover two simple business models that you can start from home (or anywhere) immediately (without any previous experience or technical skills required)!
I’d love to hear what kind of home business you’re going to start, so leave a comment below or contact me directly with any questions.
If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it!
For more, check out my website at liveyourultimateself.com.