Running a business from home presents a number of unique challenges. Using your living space as an office may cut down on the time it takes to commute to work, but it does mean there are some other issues that home business owners need to overcome.
Work-life balance is a subject that is often discussed as a way to reduce work-related stress. However, mangaing a work-life balance when working from home can be even harder to achieve. Making life easier for yourself when you run a business from home is the most effective way to reduce your stress levels and to bring more balance into your life. Finding solutions that help to simplify your business processes, and make your company run more efficiently allow you to take a calmer approach to your work. There are several ways that you can make life easier for yourself when running a business from home, here are some suggestions that could help:
Take the Hassle Out of Payments
Sending invoices and receiving payments is an everyday task for all business owners. However, processing payments can become complicated when you run your business from home. Asking customers to transfer money to your account is not practical, and neither is requesting cash, so finding an alternative way to receive payments is essential. Even if you do not have a dedicated phone line, it is still possible to make receiving payments a seamless experience. You can even accept payments by mail and securely process them wherever you are by using a virtual point of sale. This hassle-free solution takes away the time-consuming complexity of not having a traditional POS system.
Reduce Time Spent on Queries
One of the most time-consuming tasks that business owners face is handling customer enquiries. Receiving customer queries via email and over the phone can eat into your day. Spending lots of time dealing with customer phone calls and emails back and forth can cause you to fall behind on getting your work done, and a large portion of the time that you had allocated to completing outstanding work can be interrupted. Of course, without customers, your business would not exist, so finding a balance between dealing with queries and having the time to complete your work is a must. There are a few ways that you can handle this situation. Firstly, you may want to update your website to include a frequently asked questions section. This will enable you to address many of the most common customer questions that you receive. Secondly, you may want to allocate a portion your day to deal with customer enquiries. Leaving some time free each afternoon to go through your emails and reply to any phone messages will enable you to focus on your work for the most part of the day while having a dedicated time slot for calling back customers.
Focusing on getting organized is essential when you run a business from home. Your work life can quickly descend into chaos without plenty of care and attention. Trying to stay in a regular working pattern should help make it easier for you to switch from work life to home life and prevent the two from merging. Working regular office hours is a helpful way to ensure that you get to relax in the evenings. You will probably find that you actually get more done when you stick to set working hours. This is because you can plan your day better when you only work at certain times. Having a regular work pattern will also help you feel motivated to work efficiently as you have a set clocking off time to look forward to.
It is challenging when there is no physical separation between your workplace and home environment. You may feel like there is a constant reminder of your work present when trying to chill out after a hard day. Tidying away your workplace each evening is a useful way to create a physical separation between work and downtime.
Constant distractions are one of the most common issues faced by home business owners. Finding ways to reduce the distractions in your day should make life both simpler and far less stressful. When you are working, try to focus simply on work where possible. It can be tempting to start doing chores around the house during your workday. Trying to stay focused can be challenging, but resisting the temptation to procrastinate will help you to work through your tasks faster and more efficiently.