A community-oriented business leader may be wary about working from home. While it has many positives, an entrepreneurial small business owner may want to focus on the possible risks.
However, working from home can work. Rented office space might be hard to come by, and it is certainly expensive. So, instead of devoting funds to this, reserve them for other important aspects of a company.
Overall, it may be wise to think about running a business from the comfort of one's house. Therefore, a financial plan can receive a needed boost and a start-up can focus on building customers, not designing an office. There are some potential risks, though, and working from home might prove distracting – making motivation a priority.
Tips for staying focused
A small business owner working from home might be faced with a number of distractions. Family is one of them, and while kids are great, they can take time away from the company. A few financial tips may provide some useful methods for dealing with this problem.
Holly Reisem Hanna, the founder of the blog The Work at Home Woman, recently provided some tips for stay-at-home businesspeople to Forbes.
"Individuals need to learn best work at home practices, like setting office hours, having a dedicated office space, avoiding home-bound distractions, and actually dressing as if you were going to an office," Hanna explained. "This will help keep your mindset sharp and focused."
She also stressed that organization is a major factor, given the high number of distractions. The better the entrepreneur is at this, the easier it will be for them to work effectively. Working from home is a great way to save money on office space and commuting, and organizing well doesn't cost a lot.
Hanna recommended filing systems, schedules and comprehensive lists, according to Forbes. A financial plan can account for these additions, and with them the business may run smoother.
An entrepreneur should always remember to focus on work, and avoid doing favors for other people who take the work from home status less seriously. Money – and time – will be wasted when an entrepreneur is running errands or helping out a neighbor, instead of working.
Handling family while working at home
Another impediment to working at home efficiently is children. While a small business owner's focus should always be on family, trying to juggle everything at once while running a business from home isn't a great idea.
One method for staying on track is good communication, according to Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanon. What does this mean? For instance, how the job is presented to family is key.
"Say you 'work out of my home office' or that you 'work from home.' Never say, 'I work at home.' That suggests you create window treatments or freelance in your spare time," she explained to Inc. magazine. "'Home office' sounds more professional … Also, if friends and relatives believe you are less than seriously employed they will start adding you to their lists of People Who Can Easily Host a Last-Minute Book-Club Meeting or Pick Up My Child After School."
Online banking is a wonderful tool for a small business owner who works from home, but finding the time to use this service may be hard with constant family distractions. The task can be made easier if time is dedicated for work and play, according to Inc. magazine.
Tiffany Snedaker, founder of the website Babes and Kids, told the magazine that planning ahead can keep kids busy. She recommended creating activities that will hold their attention, or planning certain ones for particularly busy times, like letting kids watch TV when a business meeting needs to happen.
Moreover, a financial plan may help prepare professionals for working from home. The benefits to this might outweigh the risks for small business owners, as long as distractions are kept to a minimum.