The idea of being independent of an employer, the ability to set one’s own schedule, avoiding long commutes to and from work, those are but a few of the different perks of working from home. With those perks do come some challenges, challenges that can get the best of an individual if they are not careful.
In order to make the home business a success, one must make sure they have all the proper tools and resources at their disposal.
So, if you’re running a business out of your home, how prepared are you for the daily tasks that come your way?
Speed Ahead with the Proper Tools and Resources
If your home business seems to be struggling, is it because you do not have all the tools and resources at your ready? In the event that’s the case, use the remaining weeks of 2016 as an opportunity to reorganize your business, allowing you to be ready to go for 2017.
Among the 5 items you should definitely have:
- Proper Internet – Can you imagine trying to run a home business with dial-up Internet service? Well, countless people did that for a number of years until technology made high-speed Internet for home an option. With that option in your home, you can not only work with clients at a much faster pace, but you can also order supplies, handle your accounting needs, research trends in the industry you work in and much more. If your current Internet service provider is leaving you falling asleep at the wheel (your computer), search for a provider where high-speed Internet and all it offers is a priority;
- Accounting software – Unlike a corporate job where you can count on your employer to pay you (typically ever two weeks or once a month), being your own boss also means running the accounting department. As a result, you must have top-notch accounting software at your disposal. This is crucial for not only invoicing clients but also for keeping tabs on your expenses (ordering supplies, doing year-end taxes etc.). Try out a number of different software products until you find the one that will best suit your needs;
- Headsets – Even if you don’t have kids or animals in the home, it can be rather easy to become distracted while running your business. Everything from the neighbors to nearby traffic (depending of course where you live) can get to you. Make sure you have the right headset to focus on your work, specifically when talking to clients. Not only will it keep you calmer, it allows you to be more professional when talking business with others on the phone or computer;
- Business cards – Although many businesses (including a number of home business owners) have gotten away from the traditional business card, don’t take the bait and make the same mistake. You’re best suited to buy business cards in bulk, thereby avoiding having to place orders over and over again. Use the cards at each and every opportunity you get, notably if attending trade shows, local fundraisers in the community etc. That little card could end up turning into one of your most beneficial resources when all is said and done;
- Mobile devices – Whether it is a simple cell phone or a mobile tablet, much of today’s business is done over the Internet. That being the case, make sure you are properly outfitted with the best mobile devices when away from home. No, you don’t want to spend what little vacation time you have working, but having the right mobile resources when away from home is important. If there is an “emergency” so to speak with a client, you can check on it from anywhere and hopefully resolve the problem. If you’re running an online store etc. for your home business, make sure it is optimized to meet consumer needs. Those needs are more and more consumers are shopping and ultimately buying goods and services on the run. If you can’t meet their needs, you can all but be guaranteed another home business owner will.
Even if your home business is proceeding along with no major red flags to see, take some time to review your tools and resources.
You might just find that one or more things are in fact lacking, items that could mean the difference between great business and so-so business.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.