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5 tips for running your small business from home

Working from home has many advantages, besides being able to keep you pyjamas on all day. Even full time office workers are working remotely from home in greater numbers these days.

Being able to dive straight into your work without a lengthy commute is a time and money saving joy, but working from home is not without its share of challenges. It can be all too easy to get pulled away by well-meaning friends or family members or household chores. Some people can find it harder not to “bring work home” when the line between work and home is fuzzier. Carolyn, a long-term Cashflow Manager customer, shared her tips for running a small business from home.

Set up a dedicated office

The best way to set boundaries between your work life and home life is to have a clearly defined workspace. Try to pick somewhere that’s not right in the centre of family life for the easiest way to get out of the “at home” mindset when you’re working.

Keep that office tidy

They say a clear desk is a sign of a clear mind. Keep your desk and office area clean and tidy for a less distracting and more productive environment.

Set yourself regular working hours

Anyone who works in an office knows that they’re at work when they’re, well, at work; but time is just as effective a boundary. It doesn’t have to be nine to five, but make sure you set regular “office hours” and discipline yourself to stick to them. And: when the working day is over stop working and enjoy time with your friends and family.

Let everyone know your office hours

Tell your friends and family what your work hours are, and that it’s important that you can rope off that time for business-related things only. People who respect you will respect your boundaries, plus the reward of spending time with friends and family once a day’s work is done is an excellent motivator, Carolyn says.

Take plenty of short breaks

Carolyn pointed out that, like many people, she’s hardwired to focus really well for short bursts, but fatigue when she has to focus too intently for long periods. Her method for maintaining high concentration levels throughout the day is to work in one hour sprints with a 20 minute break in between. Alternatively, you can switch tasks instead of taking a break and still see a spike in energy.

Account for accounting time

Keeping your finances under control is always important in any business. Make sure you have an accounting software that fits your business’s needs, and use it regularly. Doing this keeps your finger on the pulse when running a business from home, and will keep your incoming and outgoing cash flow on track.

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