7 Tips to Help You Succeed At Being a Work at Home Entrepreneur

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TORONTO = What is it about a 9 – 5 job which so many people find enticing? To name but a few perks, the network of colleagues and support, a stable income, and clear progression and development are the staple reasons why people who are at ease in their comfort zone prefer this mode of work. The allure is definitely there but despite this, one look at the positions people around us hold will tell you how a 9 – 5 job is not really everyone’s cup of tea. Some of us dream and strive hard to be our own boss. This path in life is not missing its own uncertainties, risks and a whole new definition of what “hard work” is. Starting up on your own is not easy and keeping your motivation levels high, whilst ensuring you can keep up with life’s expenses (not to mention allowing yourself that bit of luxury every now and then) is no mean feat. It’s difficult, but far from impossible.

We have therefore compiled some tips for budding entrepreneurs, ranging from how to supplement your income, to how to stay motivated and focused when the going gets tough.

Learn to Prioritise

When you make the switch to managing your own time and deadlines, it can be quite tricky to get to grips with handling it all. Learning to prioritise tasks based on their overall importance, not just how much money they will earn you, is the way to go about it. “To do” lists can be very helpful here as they allow you to prioritise as well as plan your time efficiently. Dividing them up in clear subtasks will help you see more clearly how much time you might need on each. We also find it extremely helpful to have a month-view of deadlines and other commitments so you can see how you’re at in terms of days and time available, at a glance. If your smartphone is your go-to reference point for tasks, there are also apps and online tools to help you keep track of everything.

Get help with keeping accounts in order

Unless you’re into finance, tax policies and the sort (and actually have the time to do it) it is always worth getting someone remotely to take care of your finances. Making sure your invoices are all paid, your taxes are in order, and your balance sheet is in good order. This will help with growth and most importantly, allows you time to focus on the things which most matter to you.

Remember to connect to people offline too

Working at home or being self-employed can be quite a lonely experience. You can easily go for hours or even a whole day without speaking to anyone else face-to-face, or having any human interaction that doesn’t involve a keyboard. If you find yourself spending more and more time on your own, there are a few things you can do to rebalance the equilibrium. Why not try working from a café or shared space? Take a lunchbreak away from your desk or meet up with clients and partners more often. You’ll find the human connection to be quite invigorating.

Supplement your Income

This will largely depend on what you have a flair for. In the early stages of working from home, it could be a good idea to have some extra money coming in from other sources to help you stay afloat financially. If you’re a language person, why not sign up for freelance writing jobs or proofreading? A quick scour on your Facebook wall will probably yield a lead or two. You could also post your own availabilities on job forums. For the numerically inclined, why not take a look at online trading options? Online trading (or investing online) is the buying and selling of securities or assets over an electronic network, such as the Internet. There are a number of different trading options: forex trading – which is basically the trading of currencies, stock trading where you buy and sell stocks based on whether you think they will increase/decrease in value, or you could check online binary options trading, which is trading on price fluctuations in multiple global markets. There’s huge potential to double your investment within minutes and once you get a grasp of the concept and a knack for prediction, it is pretty straightforward. If you’d like to get off your PC, why not look into alternative options? Help with the running of a café, a bookshop or a record store for example. Keep your eyes peeled for vacancies – and keep your options open.

Learn How to Market Yourself

You may have the best service and product on the market but if it does not reach the right audience, then all your work is futile. Market yourself as well as your product consistently and clearly. Start by building a brand from ground up; name, logo, tagline, description of services, a hosted domain for your website and email, and a Facebook or any other social media account. All this should cost you less than $1000 and will help you with keeping your followers up to date on your progress, and with pushing out new information to your potential clients and business associates. Be clear in your aims, your selling points and who you are. And remember the first trick in every salesman’s arsenal: you sell yourself first, then your product.

Hold on to that precious Work- Life balance

In the first days of setting up a business, it can be difficult to remember to make time for yourself, as 15-hour days become the norm more and more often. Making time for your friends, family, health, and hobbies will ensure that you don’t burnout, which will consequently leave you feeling demotivated, tired and depressed. Making time for work and play will have positive reverberations even in your working life as you find that you are more productive and happier, resulting in better work accomplished. It might seem like a waste of time when you have investors breathing down your neck, but 30 minute offline breaks here and there can make a huge difference and will aid to keep that balance intact.

Keep Going!

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Setting up your own business and working from home is a long, hard, trek uphill with new obstacles you might never have encountered before. When things get hard and you feel like giving up and going back to an easier, less-satisfying job, try picturing how much better the view will get as you ascend. It’s hard to reach the top and the journey gets worse before it gets better but once you’re there, you’ll realise all your struggles were not in vain.


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