If you are ready to begin working from home, the next step is actually getting started. You need to get a few things in order – practically and logistically – before you launch your work-from-home business.
1. Purchase Work-from-Home Supplies.
Your shopping list will likely grow as time goes on, so for starters, buy only the items you need. Some important supplies to start with include:
- Business cards
- Letterheads (you can create your own)
- A computer and printer
- Equipment pertaining to your work/business
You might try to find your equipment secondhand (check Craigslist or Letgo) or “shop” around with friends and acquaintances to see if someone has equipment you can purchase for a lower price, or even trade for.
As an example, I have a friend who started making candles, and she found most of her wax at garage sales. She scoured estate sales and thrift stores for candle-making supplies for a few months and found most of what she needed that way. She purchased wicks and a few other necessary items but saved a lot of money by making secondhand purchases.
Note: If you are purchasing used material, make sure it is of high enough quality to sell or market.
2. Create a Dedicated Space in Your Home.
If your work-from-home venture is something like soap-making or clothes design, you’ll need a good amount of space for your work – most likely an entire room set aside for that purpose. Even if your venture is solely online, you need some space for a desk, a calendar, a notebook or two, a printer, and other office supplies.
Besides the practical aspects of creating a work area, having that location specifically for your work (even if it’s a smaller space than you would initially like) helps you stay focused. When you sit down, you can say to yourself, “I’m at work now. I need to concentrate and not waste time.”
This dedicated space makes you feel more legitimate as well. You want to sit up straight and get something accomplished because you are in your place of work. With this in mind, keep the area clean, tidy, and clear of extra clutter. Make sure your children (and spouse) know that this room (or desk surface) is not a catch-all.
3. Create a Schedule.
We will cover specific schedules in greater detail in a future chapter, but for starters, make a schedule for your “office” hours (even if it’s in an art room or a kitchen rather than an office). Once you’ve created your schedule, keep to it as well as you can. (If you have children at home, this might be difficult; don’t give up.) Make sure your family and friends know your work schedule, so you don’t get unexpected phone calls or visits during your work time.
If you do get phone calls or visits, kindly let them know you’re working. Of course, you’re not going to slam the door in their faces, but slowly help train them to understand your work is important, even if it takes place at home. By doing this, you are training others as well as training yourself. It will take time at the start but save you time later. …
4. Dress the Part.
It helps if you dress as if you’re going to work. You’ll find dressing well makes a psychological difference in the way you view the tasks at hand. You don’t have to wear a three-piece suit, but if you sit down at the office in your pajamas, you’ll be more likely to browse Facebook or start chatting with friends than to begin working. You feel more professional by dressing the part, which shows in your actions and demeanor.
“You mean I can’t work in my pajamas?”
Okay, if one of the primary highlights for working from home was so that you don’t have to get “dressed up,” the final decision is yours to make. Perhaps you can strike a happy medium by having “casual days,” or determining that by a certain hour, you will be dressed for work (even if it’s not first thing in the morning).
This post is an excerpt from Work from Home: Find a Passion. Forge a Path. Fulfill a Purpose by R. J. Santiago, available to purchase on Amazon.
Learn how to start a new career or earn needed income on the side by working from home. Author and freelancer R. J. Santiago shares tried (and proven) tips and step-by-step instructions to help you launch a work-from-home career. This book covers various avenues of online earning, the process of defining your area of expertise, and using it to fill a need in the market. You’ll also learn tips on finding clients and customers, practical strategies for working from home, and essential factors that will help determine your success.
Also included in the book:
- A Self-Discovery Quiz
- Pros and Cons to Working from Home
- Signs of Online Scams and Schemes
- Over 25 Work-from-Home Opportunities
- Start-up Costs and Other Money Matters
- Legalities and Creating a Business Plan
- Time-Management and Efficiency Tips
Most importantly, discover the satisfaction that comes from finding your passion, forging a path, and fulfilling a purpose as you work from home.
Buy the book!