Working from home really works for some people. They like the flexibility and work-life balance it provides, the lower cost and financial risk in establishing the business plus the lack of travelling required. Others tell me they find it lonely and difficult to motivate themselves into setting a routine and keeping to it.
Consider the following:
- Keep set business hours
- Create your own work space and keep everything for the business in one designated room of the house or use a separate building such as a shed, converted garage or garden office. This could be the spare bedroom, a converted attic, the garages or shed. Google and eBay began life in their founders’ garages and many of my clients run successful businesses from garden sheds, outhouses and lofts.
- Ensure you have space to store your work things even if that is just boxes in a corner or a cupboard.
- Establish some way of having some human contact, ideally with other business owners and those with similar interests to yourself. Business networks may be a good place to start. Alternatively, I know women who get their human contact by joining a sports club or painting class; whatever works for you, just make sure you do get out and about at least a few times a week to avoid the cabin fever that can suppress some entrepreneurs.
- Stay motivated by setting yourself some ground rules about how and when you will be working. Experience tells me that planning the week ahead and setting targets and rewards for yourself works. While it can be tempting to have a lie in, work in your pyjamas, sit with a laptop on a comfy sofa or get distracted by the TV, I find that, in order to stay motivated and focused it’s best to get up as if you were going to work outside of the home, dress reasonably smart, have breakfast, clear away and then get to work. Discipline is critical. If you don’t put the effort in you won’t be paid. It’s as simple as that.
Whatever you decide; make it work for you. Don’t be over distracted by the lure of business premises before you really need them, they may look good, but can you really afford them? They will certainly eat into your revenues.