NEW: Samantha McDonald
Tuesday, July 10, 2007/
Suddenly working from home seemed like a good option for my solopreneur client. It just meant a businesslike approach to her schedule.
Get your house in order
As a coach, I’ve been working with a certain solopreneur for a little while now. She’s in the service industry, and has been working from home for two years.
Recently, she decided to get a serviced office. This seemed like a really good option as it meant she would escape the never-ending odd jobs that popped up around the house, someone else would answer her business phone and clients could visit her in professional surrounds.
So, with the support of her young family, she made the move. However, she soon discovered that she was spending no more than one full day at the office per week because she still had the internet and phone connected at home, and she found that it was actually easier to conduct her business from there while fulfilling her duties as wife/mother/cleaner/cook/ironing-lady/handyman.
Ironically, it was the same jobs that drove her from the house in the first place that hauled her straight back in! This presented some problems for my solopreneur.
First, it had cost her a lot of money to set up her new office; but second, and even more importantly, she started to question her priorities and began to think that maybe she was not cut out for business after all.
This scenario could happen to anyone. Let’s face it: when you’re stuck at home with a tiny office in a spare bedroom or a computer set up on your dining room table, things can look a bit bleak, and you may even feel like you’re not running a legitimate business. Try these things:
- Think long and hard about the move from home office to “official” office. What are the reasons for your move? Is it entirely necessary? What could that extra money go towards instead?
- If you move out of your home office, how will that affect your family time? Will you get more done, or will you be running from here to there all the time like a headless chook?
- Can you make your home office more “official” instead? Can clients come to you, or could you meet them at their premises or at a coffee shop?
- If you choose to stay in your home office, can you set parameters to ensure that you get enough work done, and don’t spend half your day hanging out the washing or doing the dishes?
- Think about what’s really important to you. If you really need to get out of the house, do it! If you feel that you would best be able to accomplish all your tasks by keeping a home office, do that!
So, back to my solopreneur. Now that she’s realised she can get more work done by working from home, she’s going from strength to strength. With just a few minor adjustments to her schedule and her surroundings, she’s optimistic about the future of her business, and has a much easier family life as well.
And she’s happy with that!
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Monika Newman writes: Perhaps your client might want to consider getting a Virtual Assistant to assist her with her workload during her busy periods. A Virtual Assistant is a highly skilled and experienced Secretary/PA and they work from their home office, forming alliances with solopreneurs, SMEs to help them with their admin overload etc, as their businesses become busier and more successful. This frees up the business owner to work in their business at the things they do best and enjoy the most and helps them grow their business.