How cool is it that you’ve ditched your dead-end day job to strike out on your own to build a fortune? While working from home may sound like a sunshiny tropical paradise, there are a few things you need to consider once you’ve made the decision to cut the paycheck cord. Here are seven necessary skills for a successful home-based business:
Discipline: Will you remain focused on work, or are you easily distracted by kittens and butterflies? It can be tempting to stay in your pjs and hang with the ladies of The View while playing Candy Crush Saga, but that won’t pay the mortgage.
Space: Can you dedicate an area of your home that is only for your workspace? I work in my kitchen, but have a desk that closes up, so when I’m done working, it all gets put away until next time I open shop. If you spend lots of time on the phone, you may want to find a nook or room with a door where you can shut out the distracting sounds of family or neighbors.
Technology: Do you have the right tools to get the job done? These days, working from home requires a computer with up to date software, an internet connection, an email account and a cell phone. Without this equipment, you won’t be able to keep up with your customers.
Skills: So, you have hardware, software and internet service, but do you know how to use them? There are tons of free resources on the internet and thousands of “how-to” videos on YouTube. If you can’t afford to hire someone to complete every day tasks like bookkeeping, communications and social media, you can pick up basic skills to get these jobs done. In fact, Microsoft offers free office training tutorials.
Scheduling: Two words - Google Calendar. You can use this free tool to schedule blocks of time for work and for play – so you can be sure to include time for your family or personal errands during your day. You can even share the calendar with your team.
Communicating: In today’s world of texting and tweeting, we have to remember that not all communications are expressed the same way. When communicating on the phone or face to face, be sure to adjust your style appropriately.
Finance: Having a paycheck means you know how much money will come in monthly, making it easier to budget. When you have a home-based business, you have to expect irregular income. Create a home and business budget to be sure you can pay your bills on time. Mint.com or Budget Simple are free tools to consider.
What other skills can you add to this list for what it takes to have a successful home-based business?
About the Author: Sonia Schenker is an Office Systems Development Trainer, specializing in teaching the productive and profitable use of modern office technology in business or the workplace.