Setting Boundaries in the Home Office

Having a home based business is a challenge.

How do you successfully give your business the attention and nurturing that it deserves, while managing the day-to-day issues of your home?

homeoffice1This is a challenge faced by anyone who works from home. Don’t get distracted by chores at home, especially when it’s time to do a business task that’s less than exciting (like bookkeeping for example). Or your friends and family automatically assume your have time to talk, run errands or baby sit.

How do you make sure that you properly divide your time so that you can successfully work on your business, while working in your business and keeping up with home duties?

Let’s first get a handle on the two key components….many fail to make a success when they focus only on working in their business and don’t work on their business

What’s the difference?

We tend to get caught up and focused on doing only those things we love, after all, isn’t that why we went into business for ourselves?  So the event planner who spends 90% of her day scouting locations, booking venues and coming up with creative party themes will get into trouble by ignoring business correspondence, marketing efforts and networking opportunities.

This common mistake can cost you the chance to do what you love. It’s not enough to only do what you love. You have to keep the business funnel open by dedicating time to marketing; keep the lights on by paying bills on time and taking advantage of changing times by doing future planning.

One of the first ways to make sure that you are properly working on your business is to set boundaries for yourself and your friends and family.

So how do you do it?

Treat It Like A Business

When you say you’re going to work, pretend you’re in someone else’s office. Would you spend hours on the phone chatting with a friend? Would you watch TV or take a break to throw in a load of laundry?  Get your head in the right mindset when you start your day.

Designate Office Hours

It makes it more real and formalized and let’s others know when you are available to play.

Set Routines For Business Building Roles

We wear different hats as a small business owner, but don’t pile them all on your head at once. Schedule days when you do your marketing efforts; block time for networking and making local contacts; maintain administrative time to pay bills and file.

Prioritize and Plan

Don’t waste time on the small things when there’s bigger fish to fry. Make sure that the things you’re spending your time on are going to keep moving you forward.  Start with strong business goals and a growth plan and then lay out your short term and long-term projects to help you reach them.

Delegate

Don’t be afraid to hire an assistant to help you with the smaller administrative tasks.  Think about it this way, if you have a billable hourly rate of $50, you’ll save money by paying someone $8 to file for you.

If you want others to respect your growing business, you need to give it it’s proper place first. When you treat it like a business and set boundaries first for yourself and stick to them, you’ll get others to fall in line and do the same.

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