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.

Top Work From Home Business Opportunities

The list of successful work from home businesses is unending. On the darker side, if you have been looking for a work from home opportunity or if you are starting a new business online, most probably you would be knowing that the internet is full of false entities luring you to deceptive ideas of getting rich instantly. However, online businesses and regular businesses stand equal at one point and that is-they both need skill and persistence.

Below mentioned are six tried and tested work from home business ideas

Business 1: Translator

Companies look for translators who can offer culture sensitive translation services. With increasing globalization, demand for translation services is growing at a rapid rate. Translators also avail higher rates than regular writers. The work includes translating audio, video or text files from one language to the other. Translators can work from home and earn good income.

Skills needed:

Proficiency in minimum two languages, use of Microsoft office, Good communication skills, good organization skills.

How to start

A Degree or Diploma in translation is helpful, but it is not mandatory. Beginners can take short term translation courses, join local translation associations or volunteer with organizations. Taking short and simple assignments such as translating a brochure or an advertisement from one language to another will help in building confidence and help your work from home business.

Business 2: Teacher

Virtual teaching market is growing very fast. With growing competition in schools and universities, teaching services are in big demand. Demand for science and math tutors is high.

Online teaching is different from regular face to face teaching, as online teachers have to interact with students from different nationalities.

Skills needed:

For most teaching jobs online, teachers who work from home are asked to present a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license. At undergraduate level teachers are required to present a Masters degree while at college level, a Doctorate is usually required. More and more colleges and universities are allowing staff members to work from home.

Business 3: Internet research business

Many businesses and law firms regularly need online researchers who can work from home and search the internet to find information for them. Internet research includes competitor search, potential clients, keyword research, content search, background checks, product research, social media research etc.

Skills needed:

Analytical ability, good with numbers, knowledge of keyword searches, knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Knowledge of search syntax and access to internet directories and database is very helpful for any work from home business.

How to start:

Many websites available online provide information for free. You have to use different keywords to search information available, such as work from home. Keywords are the words you choose to perform a search on the internet search engines like Google.

Business 4: Social media manager

These days almost all companies want to increase and improve their presence on the internet. However, at the same time, the work does not need full time employee in most cases. This is where online social media managers come into picture.

Social media managers develop brand awareness, build present and potential client relationships and promote products and work from home services online.

How to start:

If you are good with building online relationships, you can straight away start looking for simple and small works on freelancing a work from home websites.

Observation of the trends and users is the best way to learn. The more you observe behavior of your fans, friends, customers and others on social networking websites, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll learn, the better you can earn.

Reading views and experience of other social media managers will also help in understanding opportunities and issues. Several online articles list the best practices and common errors for social media managers. In order to reach them you will need to search the keywords on search engines.

Business 5: General Transcriptor

General transcription is simpler than legal and medical transcription. It includes transcription (making a copy) of business meetings, conference calls, interviews and other documents.

Skills needed:

Good typing speed (minimum 60 words per minute), English language proficiency, proofreading skills, online research skills, listening skills, Knowledge of Microsoft office.

How to start:

You don’t need a degree or certificate to start general transcription work. Transcription work can be started simply by brushing up your vocabulary, grammar, typing skills and spellings.

For doing the transcription work, you have to download the digital audio file given by your client. Once you have downloaded the file, load it into the transcription software (Express Scribe is widely used free transcription software). Now with the help of headphones and foot pedals, you need to type the conversation in Microsoft Word.

If you have training or experience in transcription services then include the same in your resume. Otherwise mention in your cover letter why you would be appropriate for the job you are applying for.

Business 6: Designer

There is an upcoming trend of design for work at home websites on the internet. The designs made by designers on their websites are used on T-shirts, mugs, hats etc. You can set your free online shop with them. Logo designs and cover designs have high demand. For the last two you might have to consider self learning or a short-term course.

Similar to writing, designing work also has various avenues. You can work from home and design brochures, business cards, newsletters, catalogs, menus, business form, business reports, scrapbooks, greeting cards, banners, signage etc.

Just do a Google search for “work from home” and you will find thousands of home businesses you can start or join. Lots of ideas for running your home business.

Benefits of Taking Home-Business Insurance Policy

Home-based business is the popular choice for entrepreneurs who want to do business with small investments. According to National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, there are 2.43 million people (Q4 2011) in UK who run a business from home. These self-employed home-workers are the fastest growing part of UK workforce, whose number rose by 28.16% over the last decade.

Since home-businesses have small capital, they do not involve huge or costly business assets or workforce. However, like any other large or medium sized businesses, home-businesses too are prone to wide range of risks. Regardless of the size, every home-based business needs to get insured to protect the assets and revenues of the business owner. Let us see why and how insuring a home-based business is profitable.

Importance of home-business insurance:
Many business owners assume that they do not require a separate insurance for their home-businesses, as they already have a home insurance policy. But, many renters’ or home owners’ insurance policies do not automatically cover a home-business. Even though your home insurance covers contents in the home, it may not extend to your home-office equipment. Similarly, personal auto insurance policy does not cover vehicles used for business purposes.

This clearly means that your home-business is lacking protection. Thus, in order to secure it from any unexpected losses, it has to be protected by taking sufficient insurance policy.

Benefits of taking home-business insurance:
Now that we know the importance of home-based business insurance, let us look at the benefits one can get by insuring his business.

•Claims of negligence: As most of the home-based businesses include companies that offer professional services, such as consultancy advice, design or financial planning, medical or legal advice, a typical home-based insurance policy definitely includes professional indemnity, which protects business owners from the claims of negligence. May it be a piece of flawed advice or a wrong service, it could result in serious legal claims from the clients. In such scenarios having home-business insurance helps the business owner to meet the expenses incurred in defending himself against the claims.

•Revenues and assets: Business property such as contents, stock, equipment, vehicles, furniture, electronics, etc., is very important for any company. Any loss or damage to them significantly affects the profits of the business. Hence, by taking home-business insurance, which offers cover against all minor and catastrophic losses, you can safeguard your business assets and revenues from all unforeseeable risks.

•Coverage for third party injuries/damages: Another advantage of home-business insurance is the protection it offers against third party injuries/damages because of your business activity. Anything like a bodily injury, property damage or a manufacturing error could result in hefty compensation claims from the injured. Thus, having insurance policy enables you to run your business without the fear of a lawsuit or losing the business in a legal battle. Besides providing compensation costs, the policy also covers legal fees helping you to continue your business without any interruption.

•Medical aid and paid leaves for injured employees: This kind of coverage is optional. If your home-business has workers/employees working for your business, then you can include this cover in your policy, which provides employees with medical care and paid leaves if they are hurt on the job. Thus, this policy relieves you from the burden of taking care of employees’ medical expenses and hospital bills.

With many home-based businesses showing interest to take insurance policy, insurance companies have come up with various policies. But, in order to get a tailor made policy which suits your needs and business requirements, you need to approach a reliable and reputed insurance brokerage firm. These firms suggest you with the best policy that covers all the risks associated with your home-business, thus allowing you to make a worthy purchase.