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Advice on Running Your Own Home Business
Let�s Introduce Ourselves
This article doesn�t strive to be the �end all and be all� when it comes to advice on running your own business, or on running your own business from home. What I will do is share with you a little I�ve learned in the hopes that it might be of some help. You�re about to embark on a grand adventure and it doesn�t hurt to start with a few friendly tips.
Let�s begin with a few assumptions. I�m assuming that you are ready to start up a business at home, and already know what you want to do. I am also assuming that you�ve looked into some of the resources that are out there to help you to get moving towards your new career in home entrepreneurship, like registering your business, developing a business plan, or applying for funds. What I�ll do is share some of the ups and downs of having a home-based business, so that you can avoid some of the pitfalls out there.
Now that we�ve dealt with my assumptions, let me tell you a little bit more about myself. My background is in social work. I graduated with my HBSW (Honours Bachelor of Social Work) in 1987 and worked for five years in the field before returning to school to take my Masters. After completing my Masters, I worked again for about five years (is there a pattern here?), had my fill of working for other people (you know what I�m talking about), and started my own business.
Selfishly named after me, my business is called KDM Program & Management Services. KDM is in its fifth year (hmmm). What I do is hard to describe because it is different from everything out there - but in a nutshell, I provide administrative and program support to non-profit, charitable organizations. I have tended to work mostly with organizations that serve the disadvantaged, which is consistent with my past work experience. However, my clients are now organizations, not the people they serve. I work mostly from home, and wouldn�t have it any other way.
The Nitty Gritty
Location, Location, Location
Give some thought to other factors that might affect your workday � such as noise and light level. Think radical. I spent my first year working downstairs. My New Year�s Resolution was to move my entire office - at that time spread between three rooms � into a large bedroom upstairs. The move meant I could fit everything into one room, had a door to close, was away from the noisy TV, and had the sunshine streaming in to keep me motivated.
Set Your Expectations
While the challenge for some might be not working enough, forother it may be putting an end to the workday. This is a particular challenge when you work at home. In this case, the most rigid rules you may want to set for yourself are when you won�t work. For example, my rule is, "No work on weekends." I will occasionally work in evenings but only when the matter is urgent. I need these limits to keep from working too much.
If you�re a borderline workaholic, an at-home business might not be the best option for you. You might want to consider setting up an off-site office to resist the temptation of working all the time.
Establish Some Routines
list. These routines will give you something familiar to help you distinguish between work and non-work hours � a constant challenge when working at home.
A Rule for Procrastinators
Remember that changes in your family�s routine may also affect your work schedules. (For example, March break or summer holidays will mean your children are home during your usual �workdays.�) Anticipate these changes and make special plans to get your work done and spend time with your family.
Company can also throw a wrench in your work routines. Be sure that visitors know if and when you have to work at home. Perhaps you�ll want to plan activities they can pursue on their own, or with other family members, during your work time so you don�t feel you are a negligent host.
Only the Lonely�
Remember the Basics
Call Display & Call Answer
And Most Important, Enjoy the Freedoms
Kristin Duare McKinnon has diverse front-line and administrative experience in non-profit organizations providing health, social, and community services. She now has her own business, KDM, which offers program support to the non-profit sector. Kristin's special interests include leadership and service excellence, public and media relations, volunteer management, and working with seniors and people with disabilities. She can be reached at KDM, P.O. Box 429, Pontypool, Ontario, Canada. Phone (705) 277-3262; Fax (705) 277-2921; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright � 2002-2007 Kristin Duare McKinnon.
All Rights Reserved. Published 12 Mar 2002
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Category: Home business