American small business owners are the innovators, entrepreneurs and drivers of change in the local and global markets. Astonishingly, more than 50 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are home based. With the internet becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, working or running a business from home is more common than ever. Home-based businesses provide the benefits of reducing business overhead, allowing flexibility in work schedules and helping business owners balance work and family life. On the other hand, unless you have a fully equipped home office and a group of staff working for you, the efficiency of your home-based business might not be as great as it could be. Here we look at 4 ways to increase the efficiency of your home-based small business.
Create a Productive Workspace
Working in your pajamas may sound appealing, but sometimes more order and structure can boost your productivity. Create a designated workspace in your home just for your work. Rather than simply setting up your laptop on the kitchen counter, have a work desk that is separate from family areas and free from distractions. Customize this space based on the type of business you have and what your needs are. Ensure that everything you need is on hand and organized in a neat fashion. Set aside blocks of time that are dedicated to work, so you can effectively complete tasks. Simple planning of space and time will allow you to work faster, harder and more effectively to provide greater results for your business and your clients.
Small business owners often make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves. It can be difficult for free thinking innovators, like small business entrepreneurs to give up control of their enterprises. Truly effective small business owners recognize what they can outsource and delegate accordingly. Delegating tasks reduces the pressure on the entrepreneur, and frees up their time and energy for more important matters. Delegate routine tasks to a personal assistant, or junior staff member, if possible. Let your local private mailbox handle everyday business services like sending and receiving mail, parcels and faxes. A private mailbox can be an excellent source of business services, helping you to make photocopies, produce business cards and letterheads, and offering other important home office supplies. Outsourcing tedious tasks allows you to focus on your unique business service.
Working from home can provide more flexibility and ease in your work, but be sure to maintain professionalism. It is easy to become more lax and casual working from your home, but you must avoid being informal in your business interactions. Uphold your brand and maintain professional communications with colleagues and clients. Present a polished online image through a well- optimized website and professional letterhead. A maintained professional image will capture the respect of your clients and colleagues, and ensures your business will grow and succeed.
Be Ruthlessly Organized
You cannot afford to be disorganized when running a small business. It is essential to stay up-to-date on all of your work and communications with clients and associates. Utilize technology to take advantage of the different services available to help you stay organized. Keep your diary and work schedule online so you can stay on top of appointments wherever and whenever. Use smart phones and smart devices to stay on top of your schedule and in touch with clients. Keeping information on the cloud frees up storage space on your devices while keeping the information you need at your fingertips.
Running a business from home can be a dream come true for many people. Keep that dream alive by utilizing the time, services, technologies and opportunities available to help boost and maximize the efficiency of your home business.