One day you are a creative, working in the corporate world with a set schedule, fitting art in at night or on weekends. The next, you are an independent artist or crafter, working from home. This sounds like a dream come true to many – doing what you love, full time, for a living. And it is a dream come true! You just have to remember that it is still a job.
Here is a simple guide I put together that will help you remain committed to your new business and mindful of what needs to get done each day.
1. Decide What You Need to Learn-quickly!
Some questions to ask yourself…
• Do you understand the financial bookkeeping end of things?
• Do you know if you need to set up and LLC or not?
• Does your city or state require you to have a business license for what you are doing?
These are just a few of the questions to think about as you are setting up your business. After all, you want to set it up for success, not failure. Simply determine what you may need some help with and attend a business class or two or hire someone who already has the knowledge.Though I feel I could manage my own expense reports if I had to, I hire an accountant. I feel much more comfortable having a professional handle it for me.
2. Create a Designated Work Space
Some Tips For Finding the Perfect Space…
•Unless you’re going to be alone all day and never use it for eating, the kitchen table is not the place to conduct your business. You need a space o call your own. Have a “spot” for getting your “business-y” things–Emails, phone calls, etc.–taken care of. The routine will come easier to you if you do it in the same space every day.
•If you’re making your own products in-house, keep your “creating” area separate from the spot where you take care of business/keep your computer. The last thing you want is to spill hot candle wax on your keyboard or IRS forms. Plus, creating your products should be sacred and it should be fun! Let yourself live in a different headspace while you’re making lovely things.
• If you can find a space with a door – use it! I work from the furnace room in our basement. It has cement floors and cinder block walls, but I can close out the outside world and work away in there. I probably I have the only furnace room in the state of Wisconsin that has chandeliers hanging from the exposed rafter, and it is all mine. And – IT HAS A DOOR!
3. Craft a Schedule – and Stick to It!
The hardest part of going from the office to home is the dedication and fortitude it takes to to create and stick to a schedule. You are used to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The new found freedom can be great. Yes, you can volunteer at your kid’s school! Suddenly you are able to attend that hot yoga class every Wednesday at 10:15! Amid all this new free time time, though, it’s important to remember you still have work you need to get done, and a new business to launch, which often takes 40+ hours a week to do.
So, ask yourself a few questions: Are you willing to put in some time at nights to in order to meet someone for lunch? Are you okay with writing a blog post on a Saturday afternoon instead of curling up and watching a Lifetime movie while the laundry is going?
Here are some great tips that can help keep you on track!
• Put together a daily schedule. Build it in whatever platform works best for you – Outlook, day planner, or big desk calendar– and lock it down. Moving down a list of tasks will honestly help in keeping you both organized and on task.
• Include fun stuff into the calendar in a real way. Don’t just count the hour for yoga. Include the time to change, drive over, and get home. This is all time out of your day.
• Don’t run errands unless you absolutely have to. I can’t tell you how many hours I have lost at Target and Costco. Seriously. I might have run for something I “needed,” but what I really needed was to just get out of the house. That’s fine, but be sure to flex your day and make up the lost time.
• If you are distracted by the tv or radio, simply turn it off. We all love a good reality show, but if that means you will be watching instead of working, . If it is really bad for you, then don’t have one even in your dedicated space.
Some Final Thoughts..
• Treat your business like a business, not a hobby, and promote it as such.
• Use social media to your benefit.
• Talk to people other than your kids and your spouse during the day. Either email, text, or call someone else or you will go stir crazy.
• Network. Network. Network.
• Donate your product. Find a fundraiser or charity where you can donate your soaps, artwork, jewelry, etc. within your community. This will help to build your brand and your business.
I hope you found these tips helpful! There is a lot you will need to get used to when making the transition from a “traditional” job to working from home, but there are endless benefits as well. Once you master staying organized and focused, things will get easier, and yes, a lot more fun.
Let us know how YOU made the transition from office to home and then check out my blog to see what I work on everyday!