With much of the world under some kind of stay at home restriction at the moment, many people are now working from home. Remote work has its challenges, and there are extra challenges when you run your own business.
However, it is possible to do so, and ensure that your business not only survives, but thrives in this crisis. Here are our 7 tips for running your business from home.
1. Use Technology
Running a business from home requires certain infrastructure. Specifically, you’ll need the required technology in order to run your business. This means some degree of planning to make sure you have the necessary technology in place before you can properly run your business from home. This will vary depending on your business, but generally you will need a computer (that is powerful enough to do the tasks you need it to do), a phone line, high-speed and reliable internet, and a scanner/copier machine. Having all of this in place will mean that you can effectively communicate with clients, be responsive, and carry your out your tasks efficiently, meaning you can get as much done as possible with your valuable time.
2. Use Team Communication Tools
Great communication is essential for any business’ success. If you manage a team, it is critical that you have open and constructive communication within all levels of the team: without it, the team will not work well together and it will be impossible for you to meet your business’ goals. Communication is a challenge in any setting, but it can be particularly difficult when working remotely. Using online communication tools to keep in touch with your team, and using them frequently, can make a big difference. For example, use Xoom for team meetings, Asana to assign and monitor tasks, and Slack to communicate within the team on a daily basis.
3. Choose the Right Team
Your success in managing your team remotely also has a lot to do with who you choose to be on your team in the first place. When choosing people to work for your business, make sure that they are the kind of workers that will thrive when working remotely. In the interview, ask candidates how they feel about working from home. Look for team members who are motivated, self-disciplined, and won’t have any issues in keeping themselves on track when working from home. You can also help to set your team up for working from home, whether you have hired them for a remote position, or converting it to a remote one because of global events. Make sure they are well set up with a workspace in their home, and have all the tools and software they need to succeed.
4. Manage Your Time
When running a business from home, time can be your greatest enemy – or your biggest asset. Manage your time effectively by setting a strict schedule. Have a daily routine that makes sure you start and finish work at the same time each day. Block out your time each day, setting time aside for essential tasks and specific projects, this will help you to keep on top of your workload and make sure everything gets done.
5. Know the Power of Networking
Networking is crucial for any business. Having a strong network helps you to find new clients, identify new opportunities, collaborate with peers, and more. However, when you are running your business from home, this makes networking more difficult. You are isolated from many networking events, not to mention spontaneous interactions that could build your network. Luckily, modern technology has created many opportunities for online networking. For example, you can join social media groups (such as Facebook and LinkedIn groups) and online forums (such as Quora). Join some of these groups and forums, participate in discussions, and offer useful advice. This is a great way to build your network and make useful connections.
6. Maintain Work-Life Balance
One of the biggest problems of either working from home or running your own business is that work can take over your life. Combine both and you may find that you are working all the time, with no time for family, friends or self-care. Help to maintain work-life balance by setting strict guidelines for yourself: set a time when you finish work for the day, and set aside weekends for personal time. Exercise is also critical: make sure you schedule in some time for working out, or at least going for a walk, every day.
7. Be Flexible
Adapting to a new environment should extend beyond how you manage your business: with the external landscape changing all the time, it is important to adapt your business accordingly if you want to be successful. Consider if there are new products or services that you can offer to respond to changing market needs. Think about ways that you can step your marketing up to the next level: can you use holographic stickers to promote your business to new customers? Or produce fresh online content to promote your products?
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