starting up a business from homeWhilst actually starting up a business from home online is relatively easy, to achieve success involves setting priorities and learning to draw boundaries that others will respect. For parents especially, working from home online is one of the most comfortable and convenient ways of working, but it is also fraught with opportunities for distraction.

It can become very easy for someone working from home to lose focus when their home office is their den, just steps away from the rest of their home,  However, there are strategies that can be implemented that will help curb these tendencies toward inattention.

Firstly it is important for the home worker to see his home office only as a workplace. That is where he goes to work every day, just as he might go to the office in the outside world. Whilst it is a workplace that is very convenient to his home, it must be separated from the daily activities that go on in the home. It is not the place to relax and watch the game on TV while trying to built a website or perform some other task.  The kitchen is not the ideal place to try and work either while preparing the family dinner. The dedicated workplace must be reserved only for work.

Getting into a routine and being disciplined is very important when working from home, so it is a good idea to set office hours. Until you get a routine established try and remove any distractions, such as the TV, from your home office.

Many home workers elect to shut off their home telephones or send calls to voice mail during their working hours.  Depending on your situation it may be a good idea to install a separate office phone line and treat it as an office number.

A lot of well meaning people forget that having friends who work at home doesn’t mean their friends don’t have office hours like everyone else. Usually a business person who worked in an office would only be contacted in times of emergency and so a business person who works at home should be treated the same way.

Sometimes online business traits make it even more difficult to define a home office as a workspace, since one’s work life and personal online lives often intermingle. Nevertheless, try and professional and draw a firm line between personal and work life online as well as offline.  

For example, it is not a good idea to have your personal Facebook IDs mixing with working ones as this can get one into a lot of trouble. Bear in mind that what is a comfortable and acceptable identity to have with one’s friends might be another matter entirely for current or potential clients.

Also it is a good idea to keep totally different email addresses for home and work use. Not only will this help you be more organized but it will also prevent the unaware business person from using his outrageous Doctor Who tagline with an important work account.

In summary, a successful online home business is run like any traditional business so starting up a business from home needs to be taken seriously, as the only difference is the worker works from home.

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