When you first started your home-based small business, you probably imagined how great it was going to be to be your own boss, how much freedom you were going to have, and how comfortable it was going to be to work from home. After a few months, you probably came to the realization that it takes a whole lot of work to run a successful, home-based small business, and the stress probably set in. If you’re committed to the success of your business, you’re not only going to have to work hard. You’re also going to have to take care of yourself properly because your business is only going to be healthy if you stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Here are some of the things you can do to stay balanced as a home-based small business owner:
1. Only work in one section of your home.
Ideally, you should be working in some kind of home office, a room with a desk, chair, and a desktop computer. All you should do in that room is work, and you shouldn’t work in any of the other rooms of your house. Why? It’s difficult to separate your home life from your work life if you work in all areas of your house. At the end of the day, you should shut off your computer, and go spend some time with your family. If your laptop’s open on the couch, you’re more likely to get distracted by all the things you need to do for your business. It’s easier to maintain a healthy work/life balance if you don’t associate all areas of your home with work.
2. Stick to a schedule
As previously mentioned, at the end of the day, you should shut your computer off and spend the evening with your loved ones. It’s difficult to do this if you don’t have a set schedule. For instance, you might want to dedicate the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to working each day. As a small business owner, you may not be able to just work 8 hours a day, but you do have the power to make room in your schedule in the evening for yourself and your loved ones.
3. Set realistic goals
When you own your own business, you don’t have a boss setting goals for you. You set your own goals. And, if you’re self-motivated, you probably set a lot of goals for yourself. It’s important to step back sometimes when you feel overwhelmed and reassess your goals. You can’t do a million things every day, and you can’t make a million dollars every day. Be realistic about the amount of work you’re able to put in and what type of results you’ll see.
Running your small business from home isn’t always everything you dreamed of, but it can be quite rewarding as long as you take care of yourself and keep your cool!
Author’s Bio: Carolyn is a guest blogger on the subjects of small business management, small business tools, and order management in the ecommerce industry that involves Shopify, 3dcart, and BigCommerce.
2 Replies to “How to stay balanced as a home-based small business owner”
This is something that I struggle with as I don’t have a dedicated work area and quite often end up working whilst trying to hold down a conversation with the teenager and catch up on the soaps at the same time. I’ve only recently fallen into this pattern due to the house being in total array due to decorating. Once that’s finished I will get back to working at the table away from everyone else where I won’t be distracted.
There are a lot of us that don’t have a dedicated work area (me included!) I think the only solution is to do what you suggest and try to carve yourself out a working space that everyone understands and that you can ‘close down’ at the end of your working hours. That might be working on the kitchen table, but putting away your files and laptop when you finish work. Otherwise you tend to work on and off all day and night and never get a break from it. That means it feels like you’ve done a 16 hour shift but you’ve not achieved very much!