How to Run a Home Business and Keep a Balanced Family Life

When you have a home business, it can be hard to separate your work life from your home life. It can be a challenge to work from home and to maintain a balanced home life. Without actually leaving for work as normal, it is difficult to maintain the separation necessary to run a business efficiently. However, you can adjust, and have both a satisfying home life, and a successful home business. Here are some ideas to help you get the best of both worlds.

1. It is pretty much essential that you create a working area very much separate from your family living areas. You need a separate phone line for your business as well. Do not use the same phone for your family and your business. When you answer your phone during working hours you should expect it to be a business call and answer accordingly. When you have separate lines, you will be able to avoid the personal calls that could cause the disruption and distractions which can break your concentration. Your wife or partner can help by fielding calls from family and friends during working hours. This could be a problem at first as people close to you will be aware of your new circumstances and may not realise the problems that their calls can make. After all, you would not expect to be interrupted by personal calls at your normal place of work, so you will need to explain the importance of this to them.

2. Do not overlook the importance of taking your regular breaks just as you did at work. There is a purpose behind this, in that these breaks refresh you in a variety of ways. As well as giving you a little break from your desk, moving about will help with blood flow and those little aches and pains that develop from sitting too long. It also helps with the family aspect as you can take your coffee and lunch breaks together with your wife or partner. When you are starting a home business, you may find it difficult to step back, as you will naturally want to be pushing the business forward as fast as you can, and may begrudge time away from it. In the long run this is simply not a good policy. Be sure that you use your weekends in your normal pursuits with family and friends. Working at home does not mean that your normal life comes to an end otherwise it defeats the whole object of working at home.

3. The fact is that, as mentioned earlier, you may initially have problems created by well meaning friends and family who may think that their calls may offer you some moral support in your new venture. It helps a lot if, during your preparations, you get people over and show them your working area or office. If there is construction or a conversion going on then that is an ideal time because it will bring home to them that you will be at work, rather than just being at home, and will help them understand when you ask them to avoid calling during working hours. Get them to understand that you expect to work similar hours to when you were in a job. At this point you may better realise one of the benefits of a business at home, because you can still put in the same working hours, but have more time for your family due to the commuting hours saved.

4. Talk to others who are doing the same thing. While setting up your business you have probably been talking to your bank, you’re Chamber of Commerce or a local authority small business organisation. These are ideal places to find others in your area, who may be running a business from home, or those that plan to. Contact as many of these as you can and try to meet and discuss your plans. Speaking to people in a similar situation is a great way to give each other support. Another way is to participate in forums in the same or related businesses. Of course this may bring out ideas helpful in planning, not only your work, but your work – family balance.

5. So far we have looked at the necessity of having dedicated working hours to run your business. Do not forget to use the same sort of planning in creating a separate time to share with your family. Whilst you do not want the family to encroach on your business hours, be sure the same thing applies to your family time. Never forget that time is our greatest gift, particularly so with young children involved. Work is just one part of your life, not your entire life. Fight for your social time just as hard as you fight for your business.

Use these tips to help you find the right balance between business and your family life. Remember to give both the attention they deserve. Use that saved commuting time wisely, it can be one of the biggest bonuses that your new business at home has brought you.

Don’t Raise Your Fees, Yet

You’ve seen those webinars, right? Some business coach scribbles some math and shows you how easy it is to do a six-figure whatever, all you need to do is to raise your fee. Then proceed to sell you some $997, $1,997 or $2,997 program.

So you bought the program, thinking there’s some magic bullet.

I have done that too. Quite a few. And they all boiled down to:

Figure out what you gotta sell, who you’re selling it to, and tell these people why you’re unique and relevant. After you created that package or whatever, smack a price tag on it, and then multiply it by X. That’s your new price, go get them, tiger!

Here’s problem #1:

You need a ton of discipline to stay honest and focused while you figure out what you sell, who you sell it to, why you’re unique, and how you’re relevant.

Even if you succeed in doing so (which makes you the top 1%) you still have to articulate it so your market can understand the value and pay you the money. Last time I checked, those online programs don’t write the damn thing for you.

What happens is that most people would go through the motion of trying to figure these things out or articulate their offering.

More often than not they aren’t 100% there yet but no one is going to stop them and point out what isn’t fully baked. Look no further than the half-done assignments on your hard drive.

(I also believe we’re constantly evolving and everything is work in progress. I mean it’s not fully-baked for who they are at that moment in time so they have a solid step for their evolution.)

Then comes the pricing module. So now people are essentially slapping a high price tag on something half-baked.

Creating something in total alignment and articulating its value and relevance is hard, compared to slapping a few numbers to those packages.

So guess what – half-baked offerings that aren’t fully aligned or well-articulated with a price tag you don’t feel good about saying out loud.

Without the confidence and alignment, there’s no way on earth you can sell it like you mean it. And a program or package with a high price tag ain’t gonna make you any money if no one is buying.

Anything times zero equals zero.

Here’s problem #2:

Sound bites are taken out of context trickle down to blog posts and podcasts, making people think all they need to do is to sit on their ass, do some inner work, and pump up the numbers.

“Charge what you’re worth” is the greatest offender of all.

Some business coaches try to sell their “high end” program by showing you how you can raise your price and “make your investment back” by just signing up 2 new clients using artificially inflated numbers.

Not saying you can’t charge that kind of money. I’m all for getting a fair price that reflects the value you bring to the table. But you need to be clear and confident about what you offer, and in how you articulate its value and relevance to your market.

This takes time. To do good work and build up the confidence, so your pricing is backed by an honesty that connects you with your work and your people to you.

Your honesty to yourself and your confidence on the value you deliver determine the price you can charge with alignment. When you charge with alignment, you get it.

Ling Wong:: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Author of Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to Turning a Powerful Personal Brand Into Content that Sells.

Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, Content Experience Design and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts – by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.

Ling is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing certified.

She helps coaches, consultants, service professionals, solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.

The Best Home Business Ideas and Tips to Run Them Smoothly

To make a decision to start a home business is easy, but finding one is a bit more difficult. You can plan and start home business either offline or online. Here is a compilation of some of the best home businesses ideas and opportunities to invest your money, time and energy in.

Off-Line Home Based Business – Running a Home Daycare, pet sitting or pet walking, helping people organize their home and life, professional scrapbooking for others, photography for weddings or families and such other home based business are very interesting and can earn money for you.

On-Line Home Based Business – Selling online via eBay or amazon marketplace, teaching people how to use the internet and other computer related ideas, writing content as well as SEO articles for websites, affiliate marketing, mass emailing, scanning, medical and legal transcriptions and many more such businesses that you can do sitting at home via internet.

MLM Home Based Business – By definition, multi-level marketing or MLM is a marketing strategy by which the marketer is compensated not only for personal sales generated, but also for the sales of the marketer’s recruit, thereby, creating a down line of distributors and a tier of several levels of compensation. There are many different MLM companies to choose from.

Choosing the wrong home business ideas and opportunities can be disastrous. Do your research thoroughly before making your choice of what kind of business to open.

Expanding Your Home Business on a Budget:

Now that you have started and established your home based business, you may desire to expand and take your business to higher level. Those who try to expand any business often run into problems with infrastructure, cash flow, and personnel. Though expanding your home business can be difficult, it is possible to expand a business with a minimum amount of problems, so long as care is taken to smooth out the rough spots.

• Upgrade your website and hire some help.

• Sell your business system to others and partner with other small business people.

• Get a secured loan to raise capital and expand into new markets.

• Make extensive use of online advertisements and marketing; and avoid common expansion pitfalls.

If you run headlong into expanding your business without proper planning, you could lose thousands of dollars or even run your home based business into the ground. Carefully plan and execute each phase of your expansion plan to gain new customers while keeping your existing customers happy.

Distinguishing Home Life from Business Life:

It can be disconcerting trying to separate your personal life from your professional life, especially if the boundaries are set within your own home.

• Make border line of priorities between your family or your business and come up with ways that the two do not coincide.

• Use an isolated room to work and separate yourself from your family, constant interaction causes loss of focus.

• Keep a neat and tidy area and restrict your children from touching your work materials.

• If you must, time and regulate the amount of time you spend “in office.”

It’s understandably difficult to split away from your family, but at the same time it serves no benefit to you to have two conflicting areas of your life converging at one point.