For every one of us who runs a business of some sort, we tend to wonder about if we should spread our budgets that bit further and make a new investment. An investment that might be the thing that our business needs to get to the next level, whether it is upgrading your tech, hiring new staff members that have a better attitude to the brand, or even upgrading your office space to a more central location. Upgrading your office space sounds like it should be a no-brainer, but now it has never been easier to run a business remotely. In fact, for all those that are looking to conserve their budget, running your company from your own home has never been a better option. So, if you’re in the throes of that crucial first year, or you’re thinking about how to make the most of your staff while still cutting back on finances, read on…
The first thing to get out of the way is this… While running a business at home has a million and one advantages, the one thing it really doesn’t provide for is a relaxing environment. The work/life balance will get mixed up during the early months for any new business, so you need to make a part of your home dedicated to your work and nothing else. That means an office that you can shut the door on when you’re finished for the day, and besides, the amount of time you’ll save in commuting means an extra hour or two with the family, so think about it like that rather than an extra couple of hours to work.
In running your business from a remote location, you need to have your tech up to speed. Communication is a vital component when you have various freelancers and staff members working for you to get a project completed, and you can use software like Skype to your advantage because it’s free, but it also has the option for video or voice calls as well as conference functions. If you have workers all in the same country that makes life even easier for you, schedule a 9 am catch up with everyone and discuss the previous day’s good and bad points before emailing them their tasks for the day ahead. A lot of leaders prefer the face to face method of catch ups, and this can be done, but if you plan to have one meeting every three weeks in a rented office space, the cost you will have saved that would have gone on office rent will be staggering. This is why you need to nail down the working pattern first before anything else. If you work to deadlines, then set one for every day. Enforcing rule can be harder when you don’t have face to face contact, so take some extra precautions. Have people be available to take calls, answer their emails, or stay online throughout the day via chat tools.
Even from a customer perspective, you can still maintain a level of professionalism while running your business from home. A very simple way to give off a better impression of your business is to make the most of the virtual office assistants. For a monthly fee, you can have people act as your telephone operator, handling your calls when you’re busy. Another great use of a virtual office is that they can act as a mailing service, so instead of you putting down your home address in correspondence, you can use a professional-looking mailbox address in a desirable city center location, and you look infinitely more professional. It also helps to win more clients this way. So many will look at your residential address on correspondence and throw it in the garbage! Tech has become such a vital part of how we purchase items that we can run a whole company without even setting up a physical store. So if you had a customer order an item, you could outsource a delivery service to hand the item to the customer and accept payment via a mobile credit card processing service or device. Payment processes are expected as part of the whole package now, and if people are ordering online, they want it to get processed there and then. So why would you need a physical location to run your business in this instance? You wouldn’t!
Operating out of your home cuts back on cost, not just in the office rent, but it helps you when you’re out of pocket. The beginning of any business requires you to pay out when your finances are practically nil. From a support standpoint, having the home support network of family members may help to cushion the blow in some ways. Being in a sterile office environment makes everything a lot more serious and “official” which could mean that you would run a business in a much more target-driven way. Don’t get me wrong, you need to hit targets and complete deadlines, but if you’re working from home, and once you get into a natural rhythm of working from home, it works out a lot better for you in terms of your stress levels. Working in an office is preferred by a lot of people because it focuses their mind, but if you work at home, you can certainly find ways to compartmentalize your working attitudes. The other, very simple, thing about working at home is that you have a lot more home comforts. Your favorite coffee or pair of slippers, and if you’re feeling stressed you can play with the dog for a bit. Overall, it can benefit your lifestyle to work from home anyway. And it’s a fashion that people are requesting to work from home due to child care issues now. It’s a very suitable choice for a lot of us, and running a company is one of those things that may sound like it should only work if you’ve got an office, tables, desks, chairs, and workers. But, with the right attitude and some forward planning, you can make a handy profit from your home comforts.