Being the master and commander of your own at-home business gives you freedom and flexibility, as well as the ability to grow your brand–however big or small you want it to expand. Whatever those goals are for you, implementing routine habits from the start is critical to your success.
Here are some tips to help you stay focused and manage your time:
Be A Goal Setter
It’s important to figure out how much money you want to make with your business. In terms of looking at it from a year’s perspective, figure out your total goal for the first year, and break that amount down to quarterly, monthly, and weekly targets. The sales will ebb and flow, but by tracking the numbers with a set amount in mind, you can average out what you need to hit your overall goal.
As owner of Days 2 Remember, Bobbi Daniels has set up a system using Salesforce, Google, and QuickBooks that helps her manage her numbers. Not only has this system kept her on track, but it has pushed her to keep raising the bar and sticking to a plan that makes it all possible.
Plan Out Your Calendar
Whether you’re a full-time or part-time at-home business owner, it is important to figure out when you can dedicate time to your business. Planning your week out in advance will alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress. When considering your time schedule, be realistic with yourself and know your habits.
Bobbi has identified that she is a morning bird and likes to get up at 4 a.m., so getting tasks done before 9 a.m. (such as catching up on invoicing, design work, etc.) helps set the tone for each day. After 9, she is typically a full time mom, carting her little one around and taking calls on the road. She has a team to support her in everyday tasks such as bagging, packing, putting away, picking up etc. Though it wasn’t always this way, to scale the business it became necessary.
One of the most important things you can do for your at-home business is to set a schedule and stick to it. This will help you stay focused and organized, as well as keep track of deadlines and other commitments. Of course, there will be times when you need to be flexible–but having a set schedule will help you stay on track overall.
Be Cautious Of Busy Work
It’s easy to start spending time on aspects of the business that are not yielding a profit. Don’t sweat the small details needing to be perfect before you can get started. This will only bog you down. As Bobbi explains, “I saw a lot of CEO’s and Executive Directors in my past life fall easily into this trap. Having business goals and a vision is important, but remember to be flexible with your plan.”
Bobbi stresses focusing on the bigger picture: Your time should be most spent on the part of the business that brings you money. “As you grow, you will need to learn to let go of ‘handling it all’, and start assigning out the necessary tasks that need to be done but don’t directly generate money.” If your goal is not to grow the business to this extent then overbooking and setting boundaries for the rate that you need will be your most important first step.
Outsource When You Can
In the beginning, you will probably be wearing a lot of hats–and that’s okay! As your business grows and you start to bring on more clients, it will become impossible to do everything yourself. That’s when it’s time to start outsourcing some of the non-revenue generating tasks, so you can focus on what brings in the money.
For example, if bookkeeping is not your thing, hire a virtual assistant or personal bookkeeper to do that for you. If social media marketing is not your strong-suit, there are plenty of people and agencies out there who would love to help grow your brand’s presence online.
The important thing is to focus on your strengths, and delegate or outsource the rest. This will free up your time so you can focus on making money and growing your business.
Find Your Balance
Finding balance might be one of the biggest struggles you deal with as an independent business owner. All too often we get stuck in the rat race and begin to observe time as the enemy. One of the biggest keys to Bobbi’s success is making sure she is giving equal attention to the mind, body, and soul. For her, that translates into activities, such as taking an hour a day for the gym, , practicing being present in the moment, and seeking gratitude in the simplest of tasks. Bobbi has found a certain harmony in her life by being a work-at-home mom, running her own business. Work doesn’t feel like work because she has tailored a plan to keep her focused and able to enjoy the simple moments.
Take the following into consideration:
Having a dedicated workspace
a place where you can go to focus on work and get things done. This can be something as simple as a corner of your living room or a spare bedroom that you can close the door on at the end of the day. It’s important to have a space that is separate from your personal life so you can mentally “clock out” when it’s time to relax and recharge.
Make time for yourself
even if it’s just 10-15 minutes a day. This can be used for reading, taking a walk, meditating, or whatever helps you relax and rejuvenate. It’s important to have some time that is just for you–without work or family obligations.
both mental and physical. Breaks are important for both your mental and physical health. Make sure to schedule time for lunch and coffee breaks, as well as time to step away from your work to clear your head. Maybe use this time to take a walk outside or call a friend.
with yourself and others. One of the challenges of working from home is that it can be difficult to “turn off” work mode. It’s important to set boundaries with yourself so you can enjoy your personal time without feeling guilty. This might mean setting a daily quitting time or only checking email at a certain point in the day . It’s also important to set boundaries with friends
Bobbi admits that some days are more structured than others, but that’s okay because one of the beautiful advantages of being a Stork Handler is not being a prisoner to the time clock. She’s calling the shots and doing it her way.
By following these simple tips, you can find success as an at-home business owner too! What healthy habits have you put into place to manage your business?
Let us know in the comments below!
Ready to start your at-home business journey? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.