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Challenges of Running a Home-Based Business

Feb 29, 2008
Running a home-based business offers many challenges and being a work at home mom offers many more! The number one challenge and probably the most important is staying organized; so things not only in your business but also in your home life remain as stress FREE as possible. To avoid work consuming your time and having the housework getting behind I will outline a few important steps to staying organized which I have found very useful.

Staying Focused - Setting Work Hours:
The hardest part about being home and working your home-based business is staying focused. Many things can and will interrupt your day unless you set work hours; treat your home-based business like a j.o.b. First and foremost is to establish the minimum number of hours you wish to work each week. Once you have done that then it is important to block out the hours on your calender to avoid interruption. Make sure when determining these hours that you take into consideration the best hours with the least amount of distraction.

My main reason for starting my home-based business was so I could work around my family however once I started I realized my families schedule and demands change on a monthly basis. Now how do you keep a focus on your business and still remain there for your family? This is when I realized the easiest way to do this is to gather the school calender, home calender and my business calender at the end of each month. I start by blocking off the activities for the month ie: orthodontist, school plays, school holidays etc. Then I block off my work schedule making sure I have my minimum hours that I originally established when I set out to start my home-based business. Now that I have my families schedule and my work schedule all mapped out on the calender I can arrange whatever else comes up without taking away from my business. This helps me stay focused and not get distracted; I find that I get much more accomplished with my business this way and avoid the easy distractions. My family and friends have also learned to respect that I am still only available to them certain hours of the day since I am working even if I am home.

Recruiting Family Members to Help: It is very easy to try and take on all the work load yourself however this is not the wise thing to do since you will discover burnout very quickly. Not only will you burnout from exhaustion but you will get very frustrated and overwhelmed. Recruit the kids to help out with the easy tasks such as folding the laundry, the vacuuming and more importantly make them pick up after themselves. You can even recruit the kids to help out with the business; they can help by preparing mailings, making copies, stuffing envelopes, etc. Obviously if you have small children this may be a little more difficult that is when you will have to rely on your significant other to help out.

Learn to let go; maybe the house isn't as tidy as you would like it but remember you are home for the family. You have to have some trade offs in this deal.

Organize, Organize, Organize: It is very important to stay organized not only in your business but also in the household. I find lists and calenders are my savior without them I would never make an appointment. Get rid of the clutter starting with your desk or daily work space. Keep it simple! Once you have a system into place it is easy to remain organized. The hardest part is to get there; I find bins and trays work best for us. I use the stack trays for all the important things that come into the house via mail or school.

Once your work space is organized them move onto the next section of the house. Again keep it standard so the rest of the family will know the routine and were things go. Once you get the family involved with your new system things will start to fall into place; you will find everhting in the household and business running much more efficently.
About the Author
By Lisa Burkhardt Editor of http://www.work-home-today.com; great resource for work at home ideas and opportunities.
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