Many people have taken the plunge and started working from home. It could be a telecommute situation or a business which does not require being in an office. The plus side to working at home as a business is the lower overhead, but the downside are varied.
In an unofficial survey done on Twitter it was found that most people who ran a business at home, they were not taken seriously. This could be from a variety of factors such as:
1. Lack of money coming in.
2. The way the entrepreneur treats the business (like a hobby).
3. Lack of understanding of what a person does in their business.
4. Old ideas which demand an office over a home.
What many say they encounter from working at home are things such as:
1. Spouses/Partners wanting them to do family stuff during work hours. Regardless of where the office is, the work needs to be done. This does not mean a person can’t take some time to do family things, but it also comes down to what type of business they are running. If it is a part-time business then it may be a little easier to be flexible.
2. Neighbors wanting babysitter or package delivery pickup. It is not a business owners job to do task which take them away from running their business. If the business was in an office, how would those neighbors deal with those issues?
3. Over or under working. All the family activities going on can be a temptation to slack off, but even worse are those who work long hours seven days a week. They don’t know how to shut down and just relax.
4. Poor time management. Depending on the type of business being run, it is important that a business owner get a hold of their time. This means completing task on time and prioritizing what needs to be done.
So how does a person who runs a business at home get people take them seriously?
1. Establish business hours and keep them. This is a simple solution. There are 24 hours in a day, and a business owner needs to set aside hours when their clients or prospects are available. Depending on where those clients live in the world may also change the hours of operation. Some people with really small children set out to do their work only when the children are sleeping or at school. This can be a little tough, but if the purpose of being at home was to be with the family, then adjust to that.
2. Establish an office which is off limits to the family or friends during those hours. A private office is essential. A place where files can be locked away
3. Discuss what the business is and what it involves. If it is not simple to put into words, then work on it so it is. Home businesses have often been thought of as little hobbies. Make it clear what is being done and what the financial return is on that.
Working at home can be a prosperous venture if a person is able to learn to make the hard decision and treat their business as just that.