The idea of running a business from the comfort of home is appealing to many would-be business owners.
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Clearly, working from home does have its perks. But it also has its pitfalls. To be a success, consider abiding by a few basic guidelines for your home-based business venture.
Develop a transition plan
Home-based business owners sometimes run into problems because they failed to follow a transition plan. As you might imagine, home-based businesses don't succeed overnight.
It takes planning and hard work to grow a business to a level that will allow you to quit your day job. Before you polish off your resignation letter, create a transition plan with goals that will help you chart your progress.
Stick to a schedule
Once you have made the leap to a full-time, home-based business venture, it's a good idea to establish a work schedule and stick to it. This is especially true if you are a first-time business owner. When you were an employee, someone else dictated your working hours. Now that responsible will fall to you. Your schedule is a constant reminder that you are supposed to be working, even though you are doing it in the familiarity of your home environment.
Set aside a dedicated workspace
Another way to stay on-focus in a home-based business is to establish a dedicated workspace within your home. Depending on the type of business you own, this can be as small as a room or as big as your garage. The important thing is that you have a interruption-free place that is dedicated entirely to your work.
Working from home is not an excuse to behave unprofessionally. Some people like the idea of working from home because they can work in their pajamas. However, too often working in your pajamas is an excuse to stay in bed. By maintaining a professional standard, you are setting the bar a little higher for yourself and for your business.
Perhaps the biggest pitfall of a home-based business is the temptation to give in to the distractions of family life. Television, pets, even family members can all distract you from the task at hand. If distractions are becoming a problem for you, keep a record of how you are spending your time and make adjustments as needed.
High-speed internet access is a necessity for every home-based business. In many ways, it will be your business' lifeline to the outside world. In addition to providing you with a limitless source of information, high speed internet access will also provide a virtual office for clients and vendors to communicate with your business.
Get out of the house
Every now and then it is important to get out of the house. To avoid going stir crazy, take an afternoon off once in awhile to catch a movie or go to the coffee shop – whatever it takes to achieve a little change of scenery.