Guide To Your Home Business and Office Set-Up
Setting up can be exciting! It is also necessary if you are going to be serious about how to make a home based business successful. Be mindful, creative and deliberate as you design your home business and office space.
Having your home business set-up helps you to treat your home business as a business. It helps you focus on your work and avoid distraction.
It makes sure you have the furniture and equipment you need to do your work. It makes sure you have the support systems in place that you will need for your success.
How frustrating is it, to sit down to do your work, and not be able to find a pen and pencil when you need it? You scramble around to locate the relatively simple tools you need…you lose your thought, you lose your focus, you lose your momentum.
It’s better to be set up and ready to go, isn’t it?
First Step – Set Reasonable Expectations and Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are good for life. They are also necessary for business.
Part of setting up your home office is to make sure you have a conversation and agreement on a plan with other family members. You will appreciate their emotional and logistical support as you proceed with your home business.
You also need to set up reasonable expectations with them. One expectation is that you will have to work. Make a plan for how many hours a week you will dedicate to your business. Will it be 20? Or 40? Or 60? What will work for all of you as a family unit?
Once you have agreement, stick to it. It is easy to get swayed to spend more time than you all agreed to. It is also easy to get distracted and spend less time.
Honor your commitment to yourself and to your family.
Your family needs to honor the agreement too. They need to respect the boundaries of your business physical space and working time.
Build in reward systems for you and for your family for respecting the commitment and the boundaries of your work. Plan special times together, whether it is an ice-cream treat or a vacation. Rewards can be a great ingredient in how to make a home based business successful!
An aspect of boundaries is the financial commitment you will be making. What is the budget you will be working with to get your home business started? How much will you be willing to reinvest when you begin to make money?
I suggest you find free ways to get started as much as possible. There are some things you will have to pay for right in the beginning. If you are starting part-time while holding down a full-time job, the regular bills will get paid while you are in launch phase. If no job, then family pressure may be higher. Again, setting reasonable expectations is vitally important for you and for your family.
A part of the boundaries and expectations, is a realistic view to how long it will take to become profitable, and how much profit it is reasonable to expect. There really are NO Get Rich Quick Schemes that work. Having your home business will take time and hard work. Set those expectations.
The Logistical BASICS
Where in your home will you put your office workspace? You will need to find a space that is free of traffic and sudden noise and interruption. I suggest that desk in the kitchen probably won’t work unless you live alone or are alone most of the day.
If you have young children at home, you need to balance taking care of them, with taking care of business. Do they nap? Can they have a quiet playtime alone? Having them in earshot for emergencies, perhaps with a monitor, may work.
An alternative is that you work before and/or after bedtime.
Think about year-round ambience for your space. A place in the garage may work for some seasons of the year, but what about when it gets to be 110 degrees and 100% humidity in the garage in summer? Or 40 degrees or less in colder weather?
Plan for climate control, light and air flow. If you are serious about how to make a home based business successful, you need to make sure you set aside a space for being productive and professional. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so make sure the space is conducive to getting your work done.
Identify the Equipment You’ll Need
Paper and pencil just doesn’t cut it anymore. We live in a high technology age.
You’ll need a reliable home computer, with contents back-up. You can back-up manually, or there are many online services that provide daily back-up to the cloud.
You also need computer equipment back-up. You can have a second computer at home, set aside just in case. A less costly solution is to have a ready source to be able to get a replacement when that inevitable breakdown happens. There are many home-built options in small computer tech stores, or company-refurbished ones from big box stores, for a lot lower cost than a brand-new one.
Take a look at what you will be using your computer to do. If your home business is blogging, like mine, you won’t need much more than a decent keyboard, decent speed and a good high-speed internet connection.
If your business is going to involve lots of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) work, or involved calculations, spreadsheets or other high demand work, your computer speed and capabilities will need to match what you need. As will your replacement plan.
Phone, Fax, Internet Connection are all important. You’ll need an email account dedicated to your business, to reduce distractions from other aspects of your life. You may want to use Skype to connect with associates and to network. Having a phone just for business can help, too.
Storage and Your Work Space
There are two ways to keep your stuff. One is laying all over the place and one is organizing it neatly. There are people who say they are organized even though someone looking in from the outside may think everything is a mess.
Whatever you do, it has to work for you and your family. You will need to keep files, so you’ll need a filing system of some sort.
You may want to invest in a scanner/printer/fax all-in-one machine. That way you can go as paperless as possible, and set up virtual files on your computer. It saves the cost and physical space of a home filing cabinet.
For daily organization, you will want some sort of planner. I keep a steno pad for notes, and a daily planner on my computer. You’ll also want a clock, perhaps with a timer. It can be easy to get lost in your work and lose track of time. I like to break up my working hours into 30 minute segments, with breaks.
Many modern offices have posture options for best work. Some people like to work at a stand-up desk. Some like to work with feet raised on a beanbag or in a recliner, and a laptop literally on their lap. What’s your preference? Where will you be most productive?
What do you have in your home that can be repurposed to use for your office furniture? Keep your start-up costs low, and reinvest profits later on. Make sure you stretch and move regularly.
Being mindful of how you set up your Home Business will help to get a start toward your success, and to manage expectations for yourself and your family.
What is the biggest challenge to your Home Business you see? Is Traffic one thing you want more of? Most of us do…see this eBook offered here exclusively for no cost to get tips on driving free traffic with social media.
What are you planning today to address it?
Please comment below…I love to hear from you. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to either address them myself or point you in the right direction!
Annie is a wife, Mom and Grannie, who has discovered and rediscovered creative art in her retirement. She has a lifelong commitment to learning and living creatively.
She has been a business owner, and enjoys the challenges and demands and creative hard work that entailed. Her entrepreneurial spirit and attitude still guide her volunteer work in her community school system.
She has a blog about creative lifelong learning and growing, to share what she has learned and is learning with others. She says, “There is a lot of paid-for ‘information’ on the internet, and it can be hard to sort through all of it to get to what is truly helpful. Together, we can help one another live creatively in pursuing happiness and joy, health and wholeness. ”
Her blog is designed to help people find the best information, supplies, tips and training so her readers can maximize enjoyment in their lifetime.