You’ve got a home business to run and make successful, and you’re not going to be able to do that when you’re constantly blurring your personal and professional life. Sure, you’re working from home, surrounded by familiar things and your family routine, but you’ve still got to have some discipline! Building a business from home might seem one of the easiest things you can do, but in reality, it’s possibly one of the trickiest. And this is simply thanks to the frequency of distractions you’ll have to juggle as you work.
You need to know you can set up working hours that are strict and structured, and dedicate time to making money. After all, there’s nothing quite like petting a beloved pet to keep you from performing stellar customer service! If you’ve managed to ignore them so far, good on you!
So, what do you need to do here? Most of all, you’re going to need to learn how to separate the personal from the professional within your home business. You may be working out of your living room, or loading up your laptop in bed, but you still need the right mindset about you. And with the points below, we aim to help you ensure you’re thinking straight, and like the business professional you’re trying to become.
Separate Your Mail
The first thing to do is separate your mail, both in terms of the physical and anything you get online. Because when you have a mixed up mail box, and a mixed up inbox, it’s going to take you twice as long to sort through your correspondence, and answer the time sensitive matters that really need your attention. Just imagine missing that business utilities bill simply because you’d already spent any hour sorting through spam and just couldn’t take it anymore!
It’s time to set up a separate business email, and also start using something like a PO Box for anything sent by snail mail. The latter option alone is incredibly important. When you have the ability to check as efficiently as possible, because you know there’s no personal letters or spam from the local takeaway in your pile of mail, you’ll get through the day much faster!
Of course, if your email address is already far too littered with both professional and personal mail, and you can’t even begin to face the thought of sorting through everything and mailing it to your new inbox, you can always create separate folders for professional mail to filter into. And be strict with yourself! During working hours, these are the only folders you’ll check.
Separate Your Finances
Then you’re going to need to do yourself a huge favor and open up a separate business account from your person one. You don’t want anything from your business going unfiltered into a personal checking account, nor straight into a savings account that’s meant for the whole family, simply because that money needs to go through a bit of regulation first.
After all, what you make in your business is what pays for your business, in the long run. It pays for new materials and equipment, it pays for the tax costs at the end of the year, and ultimately, it’s a sign of just how well your profits margin is operating. And if you can’t separate the professional from the personal, it’s going to be a lot harder on you to try and fulfill these checks!
So it’s time to open a business bank account, and have all your business related accounts connected to it. If a customer pays their invoice, that’s where the money goes. If you’ve got a book to balance, this is the account you’ll check. Simply put, if you separate your finances, your accounting situation will become a lot easier to handle, and you won’t absolutely dread having to work out what you owe the government every time a new year swings around.
Separate Your Social Media
Then it’s time to keep your social life online separate from your professional activities. Because a personal social media account is never going to carry the same weight as a business related account, in both the networking and customer building world. It just doesn’t have the shine it needs to catch the eye, and if you’re building upon a social media account that already has an extensive history of posting online, it’s going to be a real mess to comb through as well! Most of all, your attempts to brand yourself are going to get very confused.
So, while you can still keep your personal social media, completely separate it from the business you’re building. Make new accounts, and link them together if need be, but ensure that they’re different entities posting different things. Give yourself a fresh start, in the best way, and get to working on creating an online platform that’s so perfect for business that everyone will want to get to know you.
Separate Your Hours
And finally, it’s time to define that schedule. It’s time to work out when your best working hours occur, and when you’re a little too busy to be getting on with building the home business you’re always wanted to run. Most of all, you need to be working during those times when you’re most mentally present.
For example, if you’re a Mom, between 3 and 5 in the afternoon is going to be a terrible window in trying to create anything professionally meaningful! Because that’s when the kids need you, and you need to be around for them. Be sure to apply this same principle to other time periods in your life, such as the morning/school rush – make your log on time a little later, say 11am, and you’ll be far more likely to get things done in a fast and efficient manner.
Separating the personal from the professional takes a bit of practice. Get on it, and watch your home business roar into a future of success!