Starting a business has never been so popular. In fact, according to StartupBlink’s Startup Ecosystem Rankings 2019 report, Australia is now the fifth most startup friendly country in the world. Setting up your own home business can be incredibly rewarding, so it’s easy to understand why so many people are taking the step. More flexibility over working hours can alleviate some of the financial and logistical strains of childcare, no commute means you can be more productive, and you can spend your days doing something you truly feel passionate about! We’d be lying if we said it was all plain sailing though, so here are 17 bright ideas to help you on your journey.
Set up a home office– When you’re working from home, it’s important to set physical boundaries. In other words, working from your bedroom in your pajamas is a big no no. Ideally, set up a desk space in a spare room or if you don’t have one, in a corner of your living room or kitchen.
Get a virtual office– Once your business is off the ground and you’re financially stable, consider getting a virtual office membership. You’ll get a business address (it works wonders for client perception), phone number and sometimes extras like access to meeting rooms and hot desks..
Establish a routine– Some people fall into a routine easily when they go freelance while others find it trickier. If you’re the latter, you can make it easier by setting an alarm for the same time each morning and aiming to finish on time. Do this on a more granular level too by scheduling your tasks.
Freelance first – If you do decide to establish an LLC or corporation, get advice from reputable and regulated sources. The same goes for financial advice if you choose to set up a business account.
Get the right advice – If you do decide to establish an LLC or corporation, get advice from reputable and regulated sources. The same goes for financial advice if you choose to set up a business account.
Keep a financial record – From the moment you start your home business, you should keep a record of all of your income and outgoings. It will make it easier when it comes to filling out your tax return. You can create a spreadsheet or use one of the many accounting apps out there today.
Take a lunch break – The lack of job security can make it tempting for small business owners to work every hour of the day, but this can stifle your productivity and lead to burnout. You should aim to get away from your desk every day and take breaks to stretch your legs and rest your eyes.
Develop a business plan – Where do you see yourself in five years time? It’s always good to have goals and writing them out in a business plan can help you realise them. Plans can always change, so feel free to amend your plan accordingly as your business’ circumstances change.
Utilise local resources – Depending where you live, you might be able to get access to free or discounted resources like business clinics or development programmes. It’s always worth checking with your local authority to see if there are any local business groups you can join.
Stay connected – You can view this tip two ways: staying connected with people and WiFi. Sole proprietorship can be lonely, so you might want to consider joining a coworking space or taking on a hobby such as a team sport. In terms of internet, have a contingency plan in place if it goes down.
Attend networking events – Networking events can be good for your business and wellbeing. See if your local coworking space has any events coming up; quite often they’ll host events for non-members as well as members. Check out industry conferences and events too.
Hire a virtual receptionist – If you run a business that involves a lot of inbound calls, you might decided to outsource these to a virtual receptionist or live receptionist. These (often freelance) professionals can answer calls on your behalf, forward messages and provide basic customer service.
Communicate effectively – Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful business. It goes without saying really: reply to emails as swiftly as you can, respond to enquiries quickly and above all, be honest with clients, even if it means having a slightly awkward conversation.
Compartmentalise – Everyone’s work and home lives are becoming intertwined, but this is especially the case for home business owners. Try to separate the two by not checking your emails in the evenings and weekends unless you absolutely have to. Your family will love you for it!
Reward yourself – Clients might give you praise every now and again, but as a business owner, you don’t have a HR representative to pat you on the back. You’re your own HR! So feel free to treat yourself every now and again and be kind to yourself every day of the week.
Take up yoga – As a freelancer or home business owner you can end up with a lot of pent up tension that manifests in your posture. Yoga is a great way of relieving tension and settling your mind. Join a local yoga class or try Yoga with Adriene’s desk yoga practice.
Delegate and expand– You might be quite happy as a solopreneur or you might decide to grow and hire new members to join your team. It’s always worth considering freelancers before hiring in-house. Hiring contractors will enable you to grow at your own pace and delegate incrementally