The Working Parent's Guide to a Successful Home Business by Ruby River
If you're a parent that works at home, you already know about the ongoing conflict between your business and your family obligations.
Home based businesses are rapidly becoming the norm in our world of high technology. As a parent, this is great news, as it allows you to be in the house with your kids while still creating a necessary income.
So, when combining your work life with your home life, how do you find the proper balance, so each can be stable and successful? To begin with you need to have the correct tools at your disposal for your business.
While this may sound easy, the lack of organization can be a death knell to your home based business. Beyond strong organization, you'll also need to be able to communicate with your family effectively, set limitations, prioritize your day, stick to your commitments, and learn how to be flexible.
Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It's not only possible, it's very manageable, and while the balance will rarely be perfect, optimizing your schedule and your office will lead you to not only a stronger business - but a stronger family unit, as well.
The following steps will help get you started:
Whether you're running an Internet home based business or another type of work at home career, start with communication. Explain to your family what your home based business will require in order for it be streamlined. This is all about expectations, and may include establishing protocol for interruptions, discussing your normal working hours, and basic rules to be followed. Be ready to listen, question, and explain every detail fully.
It's essential to have the proper tools in order to work at home successfully. Be sure to have a strong Internet connection (particularly if you have an Internet home based business), a dedicated telephone (it can be a cell phone), a place to keep files and notes so you can find them quickly, and a way of organizing your incoming work.
Your family is important and they are probably the main reason you're in a home based business to begin with. However, your children need to understand you're working -- even if you're only in the next room. You'll need to set limits with them so they know how to approach you in non-emergency circumstances. You could designate a signal that will visually tell them you cannot be interrupted unless it is an emergency. This can be as simple as a closed door or a sign you hang outside of your office.
Invest in a calendar, whether the old-fashioned type or computer software, to use as a planning tool. This is one of the most important steps you can take if you work at home, because you need a place to pencil (or type) in appointments, school activities, deadlines, etc. Get into the habit of updating your planning tool throughout each day so you can set your priorities well in advance.
If you tell your son that you'll be at his soccer game -- be there! If you tell a business associate you will be available to talk on a certain day and time, make sure you are. Your word is important within your family and your business -- so unless something happens that you cannot control, live up to what you say. If you do have to break a commitment, be open and honest about it and be ready with an alternate plan. If this happens -- it is essential that the alternate plans you made are adhered to.
As with anything in life, learning to be flexible will save you, your family, and your home based business unnecessary stress. Things happen in life, try to find different solutions and different methods when issues pop up. A work at home office can truly make a difference in narrowing the gap between career and family, especially if the office is organized and the expectations with your family are firmly in place. Combined, it will allow you to remain the stabilizing force you need to be -- both in your home based business and in your family.
Meet the author: Ruby River is the proud owner of an established, home based business with a system that cuts through the hype and presents a genuine opportunity to exceed your income goals working from home. Motivated, entrepreneur minded individuals, visit: Life a Great Life
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