Running a One-Man Show
Transitioning from working in the corporate world to working from home requires a lot of adjustments, but the biggest one is probably organizing your time. Because, in a very real sense, it is your time now. It’s not your boss’ time or the companies’ time—you answer to yourself. That’s a tremendous amount of freedom, but it’s also a great deal of responsibility.
You’re now in charge of every aspect of your business. It’s your job to find your clients, as well as to deliver your services to them. It’s your job to collect the money, pay the bills and make the office run. You’re not only your boss, you’re also your secretary, your marketing department, your tech support, your accountant, and the list goes on. Without a support staff backing you up, time-management becomes critical to your business success.
5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Time
It’s imperative that you have a plan and that you follow through with it:
- Schedule your days, and stick to your schedule. Assign certain times for certain activities and projects. If you don’t put yourself on a schedule, it’s very easy to find yourself wandering aimlessly and waste the entire day without really accomplishing anything. Or to forget some important task until it’s too late.
- Make a to-do list each day and be diligent about crossing everything off. If you don’t get something on today’s list done, it should go right back to the top of tomorrow’s list. Rosalind Resnick, founder of Axxess Business Centers (http://ABCbizhelp.net), says, “That’s one very good way to stay focused…otherwise 5 o’clock rolls around and it’s time for dinner, and [you’ve] got nothing done.”
- Set aside time to market yourself. Promoting your business is essential, so schedule time for whatever it is that you do to bring in new customers.
- Consider using the first hour of the day to make phone calls to potential clients, send out emails, etc., before you get busy with all your other business.
- Resnick recommends using lunch as an opportunity for networking: “Everybody has to eat, so… have lunch with either a client, or a potential client, or a consultant, or professional services provider who could provide [you] with leads to the client, at least three out of five days a week.”
- Have a place in your house designated for business purposes only, whether it’s the spare room, the den, or the basement. There’ll never be a shortage of distractions when you’re working from home—the kids, the fridge, the TV, even the solitude—to pull your attention from the work at hand. If possible, set up your office somewhere that has a door you can close. Make sure your family understands that your workspace is separate from your home space and when you are “at work,” you’re unavailable for non-emergencies.
Just being good at what you do doesn’t guarantee you a profitable home business. If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to take control of your time. If you discipline yourself and organize your time according to your needs, you’ll really put yourself in a position to achieve your goals.