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When Home Is Your Office - Home Based Business

Aug 23, 2007
The benefits of running your business from the confines of your home are endless. In addition to the ability to have a more flexible schedule, you can also save thousands of dollars every year on overhead costs.

But, let's face it, running a successful business from your home can tax the patience of even the most supportive family. How can you survive the mounds of business paperwork; the business calls that are constantly interrupting family time; the boxes of inventory littering every spare inch of the house; not to mention the stress of never being able to leave the office behind?

It's easy to feel trapped (and exhausted) when home is also the office. Here are a few tips to help get you through the turmoil of running s small business from your home:

Set a Schedule (and stick to it):
One of the biggest problems home-based entrepreneurs and businesspeople make is allowing their business time to slowly inch into their home time. Set a work schedule and office hours - then stick to them. Sure, there will be times when you need to work a bit of overtime to keep your head above water, but it's important to set boundaries for yourself in order to maintain a sense of balance.

Just because your office is on the other side of the house, doesn't mean you should rush to handle emails at 8 pm instead of sitting down with your spouse or kids to talk.

Don't Let the Business Take over Your Home (or your life):
Just as important as setting a work schedule is setting a working perimeter in your home. Convert a specific space for your office. That may mean taking over the spare bedroom, or it may require cleaning out the garage for inventory, or the entire basement for office equipment. No matter how much (or how little) space you commandeer, there is bound to be conflict. After all, your business is now encroaching on family space.

So be respectful and don't let business paperwork or merchandise to overtake every room, every closet and every inch of open space. Create an office and a warehouse and work from those areas only.

Make Sure Everyone Understands & Respects the Office Rules:
Once you've established office hours and business space, it's imperative that you review all office rules with every member of the family and are sure they each clearly understand them.

For instance, you may require that the office be a "no kids" area for safety reasons; or that no one is to disturb you (except for emergencies) when you are on the phone with a client. Maybe you can't stand people rummaging through your supply closet. Then make it clear that office supplies are off limits to family members. Whatever your office rules are, make them clear and make sure everyone sticks to them.

Remember to Always Make Your House Your Home First:
When you work from home, it's really all-to-easy to forget that it's a home first and a business location last. Respect your family's wants and needs for your time, energy and a little space. When you find that your business is encroaching on all things family, than it's probably time you moved it off premises for a place better suited for a growing business to thrive and allow your family to once again enjoy their home as a peaceful place to relax and be together.
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