Not everyone is cut out for the corporate or retail worlds. Maybe you don't do well with answering to a boss, or your life feels best when you have the flexibility to manage your own time. Whatever the reason, it's important to prepare as best you can before making the transition from office to the home.
As many will tell you who work in both places, there are pros and cons to both. Workers outside of the home are often able to leave work at the office creating a clear and healthy line between personal life and job responsibilities, but they are often limited in their salary, time off, and job duties. Working from home provides flexibility, no cap on your salary, and a wide range of job responsibilities you can do yourself or hire someone else to take off your plate. The stressors are typically the lack of boundaries and a team that shares your same passions to get the job done.
So if you are contemplating working from home or are already diving in head first, we wanted to give you four ways to prepare:
1. Plan ahead.
You will face many changes when you begin to work from home. Prepare a budget to include all incoming and outgoing expenses down to the smallest detail. Leave room for changes because it will take several months to truly get a feel for your business expenses and profit.
Create a website with information about you, your business, products/services and any other details you think your customers or clients might need. Referring people to your website will save you hours of answering the same questions over and over.
If you are selling products, plan “product testers” so that any kinks with the system will be dealt with before you launch your business.
And plan out your schedule by setting daily and weekly hours so that you can develop a new normal that gives your business and personal life the attention they both need and deserve. Remember, boundaries are necessary. There is no one to take anything off your plate when you first begin, so you have to do much of the planning for your business up front, so you aren't working backward after you launch.
2. Set-up a support system.
No longer will you have co-workers to bounce ideas back and forth or superiors who challenge you to grow. But though you may feel alone, you don't have to be. Put a support system in place by preparing your family for the new daily grind, networking with like-minded professionals who are single-handedly running their own businesses as well, and, most importantly, weed out the people who are going to weaken your success. When you are first starting out, you need people in your corner who are going to champion, celebrate, and carry you during the ups and downs of your new career.
3. Organize an office space.
Working from home does not mean you have to keep your pajamas on and sit in bed with your laptop all day (although, it does mean you can). Create a space in your home or even nearby coffee shop that is your “go-to” work area. The line between home and work can get blurry if you don't designate a work space right away. Decorate the space with inspirational quotes, keep it clean and organized, and always be sure to have the supplies you need on hand at all times so that you don't delay your progress (computer, paper, pens, printer, etc.). Make it a place you look forward to visiting each day. If your space is outside the home, make sure your bag is packed with the necessary supplies at all times so you can work on the go!
4. Be committed.
Before you officially launch yourself into the “work-from-home” club, be sure you are truly committed to riding the waves of the highs and lows that come with the title. Agree with yourself and an accountability partner that you are in it for the long haul. Remember, it can take a year or more to really take-off and see the full potential of a home business. Commitment requires a mindset of success as well.
Those who work from home, tell us in the comments what tips have helped you in your transition from work to home!