Managing an online business from your home offers great benefits. You do not incur the extortionate overheads of an office-based company, you can be flexible with your time and you can enjoy all the creature comforts of home.
Put simply, earning money without having to take your pajamas off is increasingly attainable – especially for traditional companies looking to cut costs and outsource work to freelancers.
However, this does not mean it is easy to manage your business from home. Working from home can reduce your productivity levels due to the lack of formal atmosphere, and it can be harder for potential clients to take you seriously.
Here is how you can manage an online business from your home:
You do not have to register your business at your home address
A major concern for many online business owners working from home is finding a business address. Of course, some merely use their home address, but this can infringe on your privacy, create added postage hassle and potentially detract from your professional image.
It is wise to keep your home life as separate from your work life as possible, so using a virtual mailbox is a good option. A virtual mailbox is a physical location you can rent and use as your company’s registered address. These are usually situated in pack and ship stores or an executive business center, depending on what your requirements are.
You can have packages sent to your virtual mailbox via a number of couriers, reducing the admin involved with having packages delivered to your house.
There are a number of locations to choose from, which gives you added flexibility and allows you to use an address that suits your brand requirements. You can find virtual mailboxes with iPostal1.
Make sure you have a dedicated work area to maximize professionalism
One of the greatest benefits of working from home is the ability to sit in bed and run your business from your laptop. Unfortunately, this can quickly become a downside.
The problem with working wherever you want, in whatever clothes, at whatever time, every single day, is that you fail to establish a routine. Without a routine, procrastination sneaks in lowering your productivity and causing your work quality to plummet.
Working from home can also negatively impact your brand image. If you are taking calls in old hoodies against a messy backdrop, you are unlikely to be taken as seriously as if you were wearing a suit in a boardroom.
To prevent these issues from cropping up, maintain a professional attitude whenever you work. Wear smart clothes, create a dedicated workspace, and decorate it with some house plants and frames. Also, minimize distractions from family or friends. It also helps to have a clean-up before you start work, as this will trick your brain into becoming more productive and present a classier image to any prospective clients that you video call.
Set up a dedicated website, domain name and email address
This tip might sound obvious, but you would be amazed by how many online business owners use personal email addresses, low-grade websites and do not invest in quality domain names.
It looks highly unprofessional and speaks volumes about how seriously you take your business and its service quality. Working from home means you are already on the back foot when it comes to appearing professional, so make sure to invest in a high-quality website with an associated email address and domain name.