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Do's and Don'ts of Running a Home - based Business

Aug 17, 2007
Most all freelancers work from home as they typically have no need of office space. But working from home requires a high degree of discipline. You no longer have a boss looking over your shoulder and for some this is too much to handle and they take their freedom to the extreme. If you fail to be disciplined, your home-based business will fail and you will have to do the dreadful task of finding a job with an employer again. So, there are some do's and don'ts you need to follow when running a home-based business. Take the time to follow them and you will increase the chances of having a successful business.

Probably the most important thing you need to remember when running a home-based business is that it is just that - a business. You need to get up at a set time everyday and designate a time to work and how many hours you are going to work. Home-based business owners are usually never paid by the hour but by the completed product or service. So there are going to be those days when you have to work extra to meet a deadline or get a product delivered. But you should have a somewhat normal schedule that also allows for some time off.

As part of the healthy separation of work from home never under any circumstance give out your home telephone number as the business number. Get yourself a separate phone line or cell phone to use as the business phone. If you don't do this you will be quickly haunted by the overbearing customer who thinks you never bathe, eat, or sleep. This is especially the case if you provide services worldwide via the Internet. There is nothing like getting a call in the middle of the night from someone on the other side of the world who wants a status on their project. You have to separate work from personal life even though both take place in the same venue.

Minimize the distractions when working from home. You actually should have a separate room for an office with a door you can close. This is important because it will minimize family dropping in for whatever non-emergency reason. Also, you may have a problem at first with friends calling you up or dropping by all the time to ask you a favor because, well, you have the time because you work from home. At least that is their perception - that you have time. Make it clear to them that you are at work and you have to work. Stand your ground or they will quickly waste your valuable time.

And part of minimizing distractions is to avoid chasing rabbits. What is meant by this is to avoid doing other things instead of sticking to the task at hand. If you worked for a company, you wouldn't be browsing the Internet for fun (or maybe you would but you can't afford to now). You wouldn't be taking one hour breaks every 15 minutes either. This is where the high degree of discipline is really needed.

So manage your time and resources properly and you will probably have a successful business. Work hard and play hard. That is one of the keys to a successful home-based business.
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