It’s never been easier, or more appealing, to work from home. The rise of online job boards and the massive range of freelance contracts available in every field of employment mean more people than ever are hoping to go it alone and freelance from home. Unfortunately, it is never as easy as people think it is going to be and despite the appeal of being your own boss and choosing your own hours there are some downsides and some things to bear in mind if you choose this style of work. This article will offer some tips and tricks for successful home-based working:

(1) Effective Management of Time – When starting out on working from home the main thing to work out for yourself is how much time you are willing to dedicate to your business. Starting out on your own, either as a freelancer or running a business will inevitably take up a lot of your time in the first year or two and may well be very stressful too. If you have your own family and are going to be working in the family home you are going to establish particular hours each day that are for business only. You will then need to let your family know that during those hours you must not be disturbed. Once you set up those established hours you then need to follow the schedule religiously, only doing work during your working hours and then leaving it all behind at the end of them to get some decent time with your kids and other half. Don’t bring work into the family time or family into the work time. If it helps you, invest in some decent software for organising time management and find a way to optimise your new working day.

(2) Effective Management of Space – In order to be able to manage your time well you also need to manage your space. When planning and fitting your home office try to get yourself an area that is cut off from the rest of the house – ideally an annex or separate hut at the end of the garden – so that there is a clear divide between you and your family when you start your working day. This will both help you to work undisturbed as well as proving useful when it comes to tax returns and sorting out the business’ share of the bills.

(3) Make Sure There Are No Distractions – Wherever you set up the office, ensure that you have removed anything that might distract you from your work. This could include a television, DVD collection or radio. Working from home means there will be no one to tell you off if you start to slack. This means being disciplined. Some people even turn there internet off for a few hours, so they don’t get lost browsing and waste time.

(4) Get a Separate Account for Business from the Start – Everyone knows you need a separate account for your business but most people don’t get around to it until they’ve been working at home for a few months. Set it up right from the start so you will never miss any income, or outgoings, when it comes to your tax return.

(5) Get Social Online – You’re working from home now and not getting as much chance to network as other businesses. That’s why you need to put all your efforts into online networking and social media. Get fully involved with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and all the other relevant social software. Be a regular and friendly presence and offer advice to other people in your field.

(6) Set Up a Great Website – Your website will define your presence online, so make sure you get it exactly right. If you’re no good at design, hire a designer. If you aren’t any good with words, hire a copywriter. Your website is your shop window and business card – make sure it makes the right impression.

About the author: Esther is a financial blogger. She writes about everything from small business advice to financial software and from taxes to mortgages. She also writes for a pay day loans UK blog.


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