Starting a home business is a liberating move, but it can come with its own unique set of obstacles. Without a supervisor to keep you in check or the professional environment an office provides, it's easy to forget that you're actually running a business. Keep these 5 things in mind if you intend to run a home business smoothly and effectively:

 

Start your business for the right reasons

It can be tempting to start your business for profit rather than passion. However, successful entrepreneurs like Singapore-based Technopreneur Justin Fulcher makes the case for a passion projects. He explains why his real estate technology company venture did not become a smashing success:

"I was building it for all the wrong reasons, motivated just to try to earn some money. I wasn't passionate about it. No one else involved was passionate too. We decided to stop pursuing it because we didn't really care about the problem that we were solving."

When your main motivation is money instead of passion, you run the risk of cutting corners instead of focusing on producing quality products or services that you're proud of.

 

Invest in the right tools

A home office doesn't mean cutting back on the quality of equipment and software. While it is important for a burgeoning business to cut costs, it is also vital to identify tools that are worth investing in. For example, the Microsoft Office 365 suite is the best productivity tool in the market, and shelling out for less than the best can negatively affect your productivity.

Other tools you can look for include Canva to create eye-catching visual social media content, DrumUp to manage your social media presence and Wave to track your receipts and invoices.

Build a network

Networking is still a must even if you're a solo entrepreneur. it gives you the opportunity to talk to like-minded people in the industry, gain new insight and ideas, and could open new doors in your career.

Networking consultant Patti DeNucci advises "It's importnat to remember you are a business owner, not a starving artists...You need to stay in touch with your friends and colleagues, meet new people, learn new things, and create your own rich environment for learning, growing, getting inspired, and getting connected."[i]

When networking, you don't have to worry about maintaining a professional image from home with SmartUC Mobile. The Unified Communications solutions lets you handle calls with your mobile, even when clients and partners call your business landline.

Optimise your layout

From a spot that gives the best natural lighting to the most ergonomic chair, make sure your home office is equipped for work first, not just comfort. Also consider setting up base in a room you barely use. "One important consideration is ensuring you can switch off when you're not working. For this reason, it's advisable you can shut the door on your office and "leave" work."[ii]

Here are a few things to consider when setting up your workspace:

  • What type of work will you be doing?
  • Will clients be visiting your space?
  • Will partners visit for collaborative work?
  • What type of equipment is required for daily operations?
  • Will you be video conferencing and if so, does your workspace project the image you want it to?

If you need ideas on arranging your office to make it fresh and inspiring, you can speak to the consultants at RenoTalk and discuss how to optimise your space.

 

Take breaks

Being a workaholic can put a dent in your productivity. Although it's important to keep distractions to a minimal, try still keeping them within reaching distance, so you can refresh your mind with the occasional break.

If this doesn't work for you, Inc.com recommends following the 20-20-20 rule: "Every twenty minutes, stop looking at your screen. Stare at something 20 [meters] away and hold it for 20 seconds."[iii]

 

With the right tools, infrastructure and workspace in place, you're free to enjoy the perks of a home office—you're the boss!

 

[i] http://www.asianentrepreneur.org/twelve-tips-for-solo-enterpeneurs/
[ii] http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/tips-home-office/#W4FSqP6pZEq1
[iii] https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/9-tips-to-increase-productivity-in-your-home-office.html