Advantages of working from home with an Online business
Nowadays, almost everyone has a “smartphone” and/or a tablet. Recent estimates are that there are over three billion people with access to the internet. With the handheld devices now accounting for half of all online sales and is increasing, it is really an amazing thing. Consumers are in reality holding the stores in the palm of their hands creating unprecedented opportunities for home-based Online businesses.
So why work from home at an online business?
- There is no commuting to work
- Flexibility in work schedule – Your schedule can be arranged to fit around childcare or other commitments
- You manage your own destiny, you are the boss – Your income earning potential is in your control
- Significantly lower start, upfront and operating costs than a brick-and-mortar business, there is no rent payment, no physical store or a large staff etc. and you can write off home expenses
- A Niche website can be built and managed by personal passions, interests, hobbies from a desktop or tablet from the comfort of your own home
- Online businesses are open 24/7 while you are away, sleeping, on holiday, playing
- Technology is improving rapidly, from no cost to inexpensive online tools are readily available to make it easy to run your business and automate workflows.
With minimal barriers to entry, it is not surprising that there is an increasing number of people chasing a slice of the booming online business (eCommerce market).
Although there are some major advantages to working from home, working from home can sometimes be challenging. Personally, my biggest challenge was getting my family to understand that even though I am at home, I am working and should not be interrupted. A private workspace became very important and it took some time and patience to explain to them, but if you explain it properly, they will understand.
These 6 simple rules have helped me keep a disciplined and balanced approach to working at home for the past number of years.
1. Don`t become Sedentary. Stay Active.
You don’t want to feel shut in – It doesn’t have to be a formal exercise routine (fine if that works for you). You want to take proper breaks. I take walks, go outside so that I`m moving and not in a stationary position for extend periods of time. I also work standing up for part of the day. My office is on the second floor, I have left it so I have to go down a flight of stairs to get a drink of water or coffee
2. Don`t be alone. Meet with and respect other people.
Meet with clients, others who do similar work, join Chamber or other Business Associations. Get out and mingle. Working at home provides no water cooler time and eliminates the office chatter. Sure time savers but we all need to interact with others to keep our sanity. Online networks can and are valuable and helpful, but they do not provide what I believe is necessary, the face to face time that we need to interact with other human beings.
Self-employment also requires tolerance. You may get some negative attitude from colleagues, co-workers even your clients when they see that you are working from home. They can be envious if the opportunity is not there for them to do the same. Be nice!
3. Don`t waste Time. Manage Time effectively.
Working at home is generally not a 9 am to 5 pm undertaking. If you don’t set a schedule and stick to it, you risk not getting very much done. Breaks are very important for refreshing. Make sure that you plan downtime. 15 minutes at least for coffee, catching up on the news, newspaper reading, radio time, or even a longer break to hit the local library.
One of my mentors, who was majority owner and the President of the company, used to say ” I am most valuable to this organization when I am doing nothing but thinking”. I can tell you, he was right and he will tell you it was one of the main reasons his company was very successful. Make time to think, get those creative juices going.
4. Don`t fly by the seat of your pants. Have a Plan. Set goals.
Have a plan for the week, the month, the year. Track progress daily. What do you need to accomplish? You likely won’t have a manager for timely performance appraisals, so you need to have your own measuring system. Goals are crucial, both long and short-term. Short term, you need to reiterate that you are going somewhere and ensure that years don’t pass without any noticeable improvement in personal development, income or job satisfaction.
5, Don`t ignore you or your loved ones. Make time.
Working 24/7 is counterproductive. Keep some extended time work-free.
Take vacation time. Look for deals, a big advantage for the working at home is a more flexible schedule, so you can likely take the last minute deals. Take advantage of the right weather or opportunity to do something during working time to break things up. Stroll in the park, swim, surf …..most office workers don’t get that opportunity.
As much as me time is important, so is setting and achieving self-improvement goals. Make time for what you enjoy, whether art, reading, writing, or pets. Doing something with no end goal, let the mind rest.
Chores should be done on weekends or outside work hours. Blurring work and chores can become a bad habit. It can become a great excuse for avoiding getting the things done that need to be done.
6. Don`t overdo Food. Manage food, drinks, and snacks.
It is imperative to eat proper meals at the appropriate times. Make sure that you don’t overdo the caffeine or snacks. I personally make the treats and goodies cupboard as well as the refrigerator off limits until meal time.
A short list of tips to help you be more productive:
- Declutter – Clear your mind and your work area.
- Stay organized – Devise a work plan and schedule and stick to it.
- Plan – Every day ahead as part of your bigger plan.
- Don’t procrastinate, Prioritize & Focus – Work on the most important and give these initiatives your first focus, use the ‘vital few’ versus the ‘trivial many’ mindset
- Be effective – Multitasking is the enemy, don’t try to bite off more than you can chew
- Finish – Make ‘finishing’ the plan.