As busy parents, holding down a full-time career and working for a company or in an office can be hard. It is often difficult to find daycare for the kids whilst they aren’t at school starting age and summer holidays can be a real pain to arrange time off. We all want to spend time with our families, but bringing in a regular and reliable income is so important.
Sometimes it might be worth considering other options. What about asking your company if some or all of your work can be done from home? This would give you more free time to spend with your kids and could significantly cut the cost of childcare. This would leave extra money for family vacations and fun.
Convincing your boss to let you work from home could be difficult. You would need to highlight some potential advantages and make it appear a good and viable option that will actually help the company, rather than hinder it. Press the point that you will be available 24/7 to deal with any issues. With modern technology such as Skype and FaceTime for cell phones, you can even join in those important company meetings. If your boss doesn’t like the idea of this then don’t be disheartened. You can still make working from home a reality. It might be time to consider starting your own work from home business.
Where to start – first of all you need to come up with a business idea. Choose something that you are knowledgeable on and that you have a passion for. Working on ideas and projects that you truly love, will ensure that you have the determination to see it through until the end. Try to think of something that can be easily set up in your own home. Can you make a product and send it without having to rent vast amounts of office space or employ hundreds of staff in the early stages? Something simple, with the prospect of good earnings, is the best place to focus your attention.
Making and selling products – if you decide to make and sell products you should think about the technicalities involved with this. If you decide to make your own merchandise, for example, you will need to think about the materials required and how you can best package and post to your customers. Postage shouldn’t be too hard, as these days you have the option to buy stamps while sitting at your computer. This means that you don’t waste any time on arrange visits to mailing offices, and there are a lot of companies who will even pick your parcels up directly from your door. You should take some time to think about how you will protect your items though and ensure that they reach your customers in the best possible quality. Keeping a loyal customer base is one of the key factors in making your business successful.
Managing work and family life – this is a tough one. Working from home has so many advantages, but there are also some down-sides. Sure, you get to spend heaps of time with your kids but what about those times when you really need to knuckle down and work to a deadline? How do you prevent work and family life from obstructing each other? One way around this is to plan your schedule. If you have younger children who still take a nap, then plan to get as much of the ‘serious’ work done as you can during this timeframe. Allowing yourself some stress-free time just to knuckle down and get creative without interruption is important. If your family members are older children or teens, then try explaining that there are times when you won’t be available at the drop of a hat. Try to set aside set periods of time when you can have some time out with the family, to ensure that working from home is still a rewarding experience though. Cooking and eating dinner together is one of the best times for some quality family interaction.
Keeping organized – making sure that your work from home business is organized is one of the most important things that you can do. Things have a certain tendency to get lost when you work from home. It can be tempting to work in an ‘organized mess’ with less of a filing system and more of a filing pile. You can buy cute binders and folders in just about any office supply store or stationery shop. They won’t break the bank and can be easily labeled with their contents. Make sure that you label the spine of each file so that you can stack them neatly and find them at a glance. Fill your office with plenty of office and storage that is high up enough to keep your most important documents away from little hands! You will probably have spoken to your children about respecting your office space. Sometimes pretty folders and paper can be too exciting to resist messing with though.
Make use of technology and don’t shy away from programs and apps that could make your life easier. Financial computer programs, to help you keep track of incomings and outgoings, could be a real life-saver when it comes to doing your taxes at the end of the year.
Get the right help – don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself in order to be a big success. You can seek out the help of a good attorney or a lawyer, and they will advise you on the best and most cost effective ways to run your business. This is perfect for those starting their first company or work from home project. Choose someone who you have a good rapport with and who understands where you see your business heading. Finding a good match for both personal and professional projects is essential. You will spend a lot of time liaising with these people and planning the future of your business.