10 Tips for Working from Home
10 Tips for Working
What you should know, before you get started.
By Jacqueline Bodnar
Have you considered working from
home? You are not alone! According to the U.S. Census Bureau,
nearly six million people currently work from home, and many others are considering the idea. Some people may be able to turn their current position into one they can do from home, but most people would become self-employed if they undertook this journey.
Keep these 10 tips in mind when it comes to working from home:
1. Choose a path. While deciding what to do may seem simple enough, it can often be one of the hardest parts of getting started. There are helpful books at your local library that can shed some light on the various ways you can make a living by working from home. Start by making a list of your skills, education and experience. See what you already know how to do, and consider whether you can turn that into a business.
2. Make a plan. Once you decide what you’re going to do to work from home, write up a business plan. Even if that plan consists of two handwritten pages, get it down on paper. Detail what your business is going to be, how you will perform it, what the start-up costs were, and where you want to take it, one, three and five years down the road.
3. Set goals. Start the year off, every January, by setting new goals for your business. Determine how much you want to make, what goals you want to reach, etc. Studies have shown that people who write their goals down are more apt to accomplish them.
4. Avoid fraud. Keep in mind that a lot of people try to prey on individuals who want to work from home. They may offer up what sounds like an amazing position. Keep in mind that, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And you shouldn’t have to put out a bunch of money to learn about an opportunity.
5. Get legal. If you are starting a business from home, you will want to make sure you do everything legally. Consider becoming an official business or acquiring a fictitious firm name; then keep track of all tax information, such as how much you make, as well as a tabulation of all of your expenses.
6. Set boundaries. One of the most stressful things that people do when they work from home is live it 24/7. This can quickly lead to becoming burned out and over-stressed. Establish rules for yourself when it comes to taking calls, answering e-mails, and doing work. And if you can establish a designated home office, you are even better off when it comes to establishing boundaries.
7. Network. You will need to get the word out about your business, and one of the best ways to do it locally is to network with others. By doing so, you can learn about marketing, building your business, and much more. Find local groups of interest, even other work-at-home groups, and meet up with people. You can find a wide variety of networking sites on meetup.com. And if you don’t see one that suits your needs, create one!
8. Get connected. No matter what type of work you may do from home, if you are self-employed you need to find a way to reach customers. Use the Internet to your advantage by having a Website and using social media tools like Twitter or blogging to reach people.
9. Make adjustments. Each quarter, take a moment to pull out your list of business goals. See if you are on the path to reaching them or if you need to modify them. You may find that you need to change them, in order to roll with the tide.
10. Persevere. The most important ingredient for being successful, when it comes to working from home, is not to give up. The right mindset, believing that you will succeed, can make a tremendous difference. If you believe that failure is not an option, you will find a way to make it work.
Working from home, especially if you have small kids underfoot, can be a challenge. But it can also be rewarding, even if it is only for a few years. By doing your research ahead of time, you can be ready to take it on!
Read more on this topic here, here, and here.
Jacqueline Bodnar is a freelance writer that lives in Port Orange, Fla. and blogs at VolusiaCountyMoms.com. She is also he author of “Starting Your Career as a Professional Blogger.”
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