If I Knew A Secret You Would Want To Know, Right?
Thinking back on the events that lead up to starting my own business working from home gave me chills. The supervisor that hated me, the commute, the job that I loathed, all were good reasons to leave that job that didn’t even pay the bills. However, I knew no one who was already working at home that could prepare me the right way. Well-wishers encouraged me and even envied me; but, no one was capable of getting down and dirty with the reality of working at home.
My dear friends…what you are about to read is the shocking truth about working at home. Strap on your big boy and girl pants, this is NOT for the faint at heart. Ready? Here we go…
- Set the alarm clock, bankers hours are a myth. If you think you are going to roll out of bed at 9 or 10 o’clock and build a successful business, you’d better think again. It’s true it’s your business; but, remember the early bird gets the worm AND it is still WORK!!!
- Use a calendar to schedule tasks. Remember that desk calendar that you reviewed each morning and edited before going home at night? Well, YOUR business deserves the same respect as that old job, don’t you think? Don’t leave your bank account to your memory, jot down your to-do-list so you can prioritize it first thing in the morning. Remember, you are your own supervisor now. You’ll get way more done which means you’ll earn more in the long run.
- Set deadline dates on each task. Think for a moment about your duties around the home. You set and achieve deadlines all the time. Take for example the laundry and meals. You have a deadline for laundry when you run out of clean clothes right? If you don’t meet that deadline you will have nothing to wear! What about family meals? If indeed you miss that deadline there will be plenty of growling tummies demanding the task be started and completed ASAP! Am I correct? You betcha…so, your daily income earning tasks are equally as important, maybe more so…if you don’t earn, you don’t have a business to work at home with.
- Use a timer for big projects. When I began working at home full time it was difficult to figure out how to get it all done. Finally, I was able to break each part of the job into manageable chunks. After a few weeks a flow began to appear as a successful system, almost mechanical in nature. Each of you will find different ways to accomplish the same thing; but, setting a limited amount of time for each task is necessary.
- You must restock office supplies in advance. I’ll never forget the first time the printer ran out of ink. The phones were ringing off the hook, files were piling up on my desk and there was no end in sight. It was far from the end of the day, yet there were so many orders to process and fulfill I had to get them done or start the next day behind. BAM!!!! The dreaded message blinking on my computer screen “Out of Ink“. Turning around to the supply shelf to grab another cartridge my stomach dropped…there were no more ink cartridges to replace and no time to run to town to purchase more. That is when I realized that the office fairy is not a real person or department…organization and preparation in keeping office supplies was on ME!
So having a provider of cheap stationery similar to Office Monster that you regularly make trips too will be a life saver.
- Set aside time to pay vendors. This might seem like a no-brainer; however, when you ARE the entire business in the beginning you must schedule time to write out your subcontractor’s checks and get them in the mail in a timely manner, there is no accounts payable department. The same way you expect to be paid in a timely manner by your customers, you want to be known as the “paid on time” contractor, too.
- Allow time daily to reconcile checkbook, be sure there is money to pay bills. Although I come from a banking background, there were times when a week would go by without checking my bank account’s balance online. Ensuring the business has sufficient cash flow is necessary to keep it running efficiently on a day to day basis. It will also save you embarrassment and over draft fees if that should ever occur. Your banker is your best friend when you are a sole proprietor.
- Pay bills as money becomes available. When you work at home you will begin noticing things you’ve never paid attention to before. An example is your gas bill…it says “payable upon receipt”. If you are like me you never paid attention to that because your paycheck was received on the 1st and 15th and that is when the bills were paid in the past. Not anymore! As a sole proprietor now you are wise to pay the bills as they come in, as the income comes into the business. You’ll keep your suppliers happy and you’ll be able to sleep better knowing you owe no one.
Watch your inbox tomorrow for more tips about working at home. Have you subscribed to my newsletter? Surely you don’t want to miss any tips coming up! Go ahead, click here to enter your info and receive tomorrow’s tips right in your Inbox.