At my coach’s workshop for growing our small businesses, I was shocked to hear that some home based entrepreneurs are watching The Young and The Restless. That’s when I had to really acknowledge myself for not even having enough time to eat lunch or to pee during the day from being so busy working both in and on my business. Here are some other tips to keep growing your small biz even if you’re home based.
Spending Too Much Time at Home: Loneliness is the number one complaint from people who work at home. Plan lunch dates, attend networking groups or work from coffee shops to build a social element into your day.
Keeping a 24-7 Work Schedule: When Leon Oks co-founded iCanvasART, an online seller of custom canvases, he and several employees spent day and night working from his dining room. It’s a recipe for burnout. But this year, he moved his Niles, Ill.-based company to an office space because the growing business was becoming difficult to manage at home.
Allowing Interruptions: Set aside blocks of quiet time throughout the day when you don’t allow phone calls or email alerts. You also need to be careful about getting pulled too often into distracting chores like laundry or childcare.
Depending Too Much on Loved Ones: Loved ones may get weary of talking about your business. What’s more, they may not provide the best advice because they don’t always understand your business. Try to connect with others in your field to develop an informal network of advisors.
Failing to Create a Separate Work Area: Even if you don’t live in a huge home, set aside a space reserved almost entirely for work. . If you must work in a common area of the house like the dining room or kitchen, put away personal objects to set a professional tone for the day.
Letting Employees Abuse Your Home: You risk damage to your home if you don’t establish rules for how employees should behave there. Set up rules you’re comfortable with.
Getting too Busy to Stay Organized: As work piles up, it’s easy to let organization slide. File papers away before they pile up and stores only business-related items there.
Starting the Day Without a Plan: Give time to both short-term actions and long-term goals so you run your business in a more balanced manner. Create a schedule and stick to it. Also, make sure you leave unscheduled time in the day to deal with important but unexpected issues that crop up.