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How To Run Your Dream Online Business From The Comfort Of Your Own Home

You’ve already cemented the foundation of your business -- the business name, the logo, the tax filing details, the mission statement. You have your home office space, your desk, your computer, and you’re ready to go! It can feel a little bit like your first day of school again -- you show up nervous but prepared, waiting for the teacher’s instructions. Only this time, there is no teacher. So what comes next for your business?

Managing Your Hours when you run a business from home

One of the most rewarding things about being your own boss and working from home is the ability to determine your own hours. The how, when, and where of your business are all determined by you! But with that freedom comes the sole responsibility of motivating yourself to manage your own time. Take some time to ask yourself these questions when determining your schedule:

  • Do you need a set schedule, or do you need a rhythm? Some people prefer (or require) a set work schedule dictated by hours. Perhaps their children are in school from 9am to 3pm, or they can only work when their spouse is at home from 6pm to 10pm. Other people might prefer a less rigid schedule, such as working after their morning coffee and exercise. They might not finish at the same time every day, but they have a task list to accomplish by the end of the day. Determine what works for you, and either set your hours or identify your rhythm.
  • What time buffers do you need? If you’re a mom (or a dad!) and a business owner, time buffers are especially necessary to navigate the unexpected with kids. If you don’t have kids, time buffers are necessary in unexpected events such as sickness, family obligations, or your mental health. No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, it’s important to remember that life will not always go according to plan. Don’t forget to always schedule time buffers when setting your schedule, whether it’s 30 minutes or an entire day or two.
  • What boundaries do you need for yourself? It can be very tempting to be open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, especially in the beginning stages of building your business. However, your energy will soon be depleted and your inspiration will be lacking. Learn to rest by determining beforehand when you will be unavailable for business.

Managing Your Tools when you run a business from home

On the first day of school, you were most likely prepared for the day with pencils, paper, notebooks, and a backpack. You had the necessary tools to succeed, even without knowing what the day would bring. Managing your business works the same way -- you need the necessary tools to succeed, so prepare for this ahead of time. Do you prefer mostly digital tools, or do you feel more in control with pencils, paper, and notebooks? A few tools you will need for your business include:

  • Time management - Choose one tool to manage your time, whether it’s Google Calendar, a paper planner, or another app to help you plan, schedule, and set appointments.
  • Record keeping - Choose one place to keep all of your records, from receipts to contracts to documents. Consider a tool like Google Drive where you can create folders and keep track of all the records for your business.
  • Communication - Text messaging and DMs are an easy way to communicate, but it isn’t organized and messages can easily be lost. A platform like Slack can be used not only with your team but also for communication with clients, all in one place.
  • Budgeting - Planning for your monthly and annual budgets will be much easier with the help of a budget planner, whether it’s a budgeting app or a spreadsheet. You can easily keep track of purchases, check your balance, and plan for unexpected expenses.

Managing Goals when you run an online business from home

Your elementary school teacher didn’t teach you the ABCs without a goal for your future. The goal was for you to read, of course, and every day she (or he) had a teaching agenda to help you reach that goal. Running your business without any goals -- even with the right time management and the right tools -- can prove to be fruitless in the long run. To combat this, set your goals for the week, the month, the quarter, and the year.

At the end of each period, schedule time for yourself to review what your goals were and determine whether or not you accomplished them. If you did, identify the habits that contributed to your success. If you did not, identify the habits that contributed to missing the goal and what you can do (or not do) that might help in the future. Identifying all of these things will help you focus on your future goals, learn what works and what doesn’t for your business, and make consistent progress.

Join over 11,000 fellow freedom-seekers in our FREE Facebook community, Screw the Commute, and learn how to start (and grow) a successful online business with support from like-minded people!

While running your own dream business in the comfort of your own home can have many benefits, it’s vital to organize, plan, and manage your time to create your future success. There are pitfalls to avoid in working from home just as there are pitfalls in working outside of the home. Keep track of the lessons you learn along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes twice (or more!). Try to schedule time for keeping a daily journal of how things are going in your business. Write down what your successes are and what areas need improvement. Most importantly, no matter what kind of business you have or what your future goals are, maintaining your gratitude and vision for your business is one of the most important things you can do.

When times get tough, you will be much more prepared to navigate the obstacles and build a long lasting business.

Join over 11,000 fellow freedom-seekers in our FREE Facebook community, Screw the Commute, and learn how to start (and grow) a successful online business with support from like-minded people!

About the Author:
Some people look at the sky and see stars; others see constellations. Some people look at lines of code and see a website; Julia saw a path to empower women in building their dreams. As a (former) military wife, self-taught web developer, and lover of location independence, Julia has taught over 2,400 women to say “YES” to any WordPress request, but not only that, “YES” to themselves, and “YES” to creating life on their own terms. Empowering women and seeing others succeed is the biggest motivator for Julia. And so, she created a program to teach others the skills that allowed her to take back control of her life and start living on her own terms.
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