How to Trade Your Corner Office for a Home Office
Most of us dream about being our own bosses, but few people have the courage to actually take the leap. After all, you might be working for someone else, but at least you have job security, a steady paycheck, and the ability to separate your home life from your work life. All that becomes a little more difficult when you begin working out of your home. Stepping out on your own takes bravery, but it also requires a lot of planning beforehand to ensure you’re successful.
Make sure you have enough money saved up to cover emergencies and to make up for all the benefits your old job included. When you calculate this, don’t just take into account your salary; for Americans, your job also paid into your retirement policy, life insurance, and health insurance. Now, you’re solely responsible for such things. Before you quit your current job, plan out how you’ll take care of these.
Working at home, it’s much easier to become distracted or procrastinate than it is when you’re working at an office. At home, there’s no one to discipline you if you want to sleep in late or spend the day watching movies. That’s why it’s even more important when you work at home to set yourself a strict schedule to follow. This doesn’t mean you need to work the traditional hours of 9-5 though. Maybe you’ll start working earlier in the morning and finish in the afternoon. Or maybe you’re a night owl who gets your best work done during the late hours of the night. The important thing is that you stick to your schedule once you create it. If you have children or a spouse who will be around during your work hours, make it clear to them that just because you are physically present doesn’t mean you should be disturbed.
Just make sure you don’t overwork yourself. Your old job gave you sick days and paid time off, so treat yourself to time off when your body needs it. If you’re sick with the flu, you won’t be doing yourself or your business any favors by working when you should be resting.
One thing many people don’t plan for when they start their own businesses is the social aspect they’ll be leaving behind. For many people, interacting with coworkers at the office provides valuable insight and social interactions. When some people give that up for the quiet solitude of their home office, they become lonely. How to counter this? Schedule networking lunches with friends and colleagues to bounce ideas off each other and catch up. Meet up with other entrepreneurs in your area and discuss the challenges and successes you’re each facing – you’ll go back to your home office feeling recharged and inspired.
Lastly, don’t try to do everything yourself. You’re starting your own business because you believe in your talent and your capabilities – good! But that doesn’t mean you’re an expert on everything. Hire a part-time accountant or use a program like QuickBooks to help you keep proper track of your finances. Contractors can help you design your website or create marketing plans. Utilize their expertise when you can so you can stay focused on what matters: growing your business.