Running a home-based business is a dream for many people. The obvious benefits include eliminating long commutes to work, being your own boss, working flexible hours, and not having to deal with the high overheads of renting office space.
In order to be successful in a home-based business, it’s important to use the latest tools to help you save time and money, and run your business as efficiently as possible. You’ll also need to make sure you’re organised and productive.
Regardless of the space available to you in your home, the most important objective is to implement systems that will help keep overheads down, utilize your space in the best way, and streamline your work output to reduce time wastage.
Here's where today's latest tech tools come in.
Gone are the days of having to invest in expensive, bulky equipment, such as fax machines, to communicate with clients. You can now use systems like eFax to send and receive faxes online as easily as emailing. You get a proper fax number, and can attach cover letters and even a digital signature to documents. You don’t need to spend money on paper and toner, or have a dedicated phone line. With a virtual fax system, your mobile device or laptop is all you need, and you can send and receive from anywhere.
You can keep your costs down by investing in the cloud to run your key business software programs. With the cloud, there’s no need to keep purchasing and installing the latest Office or Adobe programs on physical hard drives – you can access the latest versions online for a monthly subscription. This saves on the cost of your IT infrastructure, and also makes collaborating with remote employees or clients a breeze.
Cloud storage is also a practical, efficient way to use less paper and ensure your documents and communications are securely backed up and stored. No need for large filing cabinets cluttering up your office space!
One of the common perceptions of running a home business is that it will allow you much more freedom than having a regular job. In some ways, this is true, however if you don't implement ways to stay productive, you may find the freedom works against you.
Here are five tips for staying organised and increasing your productivity:
1. Set regular business hours. When you develop a routine, you'll be less likely to put off important business tasks.
2. Invest in ergonomic furniture in order to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries associated with office work.
3. Hire people to help you with areas you're not yet proficient in, such as web designers or tax advisers. This way you'll learn as you go, without having to fix costly mistakes.
4. Arrange strategies for backup, including subcontractors.
5. Avoid the negative side effects of isolation, such as procrastinating and poor business decisions, by making it a priority to network and join groups with common business interests.
Once your home business is off and running, it's also important to retain a home / work balance by segregating your business from the people you live with and household duties, so you maintain professionalism, productivity and the ability to achieve maximum success in your endeavor.