If you have young children in your life, running a home based business in Australia presents a particular set of challenges. The key is to be super organised.
Here are a few extra tips for managing a home based business without neglecting your most important responsibility – your children.
Get ready first!
It is very easy to get carried away doing other things and then realise you are late. Don’t work in your PJ’s – get up, get dressed and ready to greet the world before you open your office door. (For more on the right attitude to have when working from home, read Karen Morath’s article Running a home based business in Australia).
Prepare meals in advance
When making breakfast, make lunch for yourself and the kids while you are at it and put in an airtight box. Then clean the kitchen ready for the day. You will feel better, less rushed and will not have to do it again at lunchtime. If you are out that day then you can just take the lunchbox with you but even if you are home, you will always have something nutritious at hand.
Keep a spare on hand
Ensure there is a change of clothes, nappies or underwear and anything else you need for each child along with an empty water bottle for each child in a bag in the car – permanently. That way, if you are ever pressed for time you can just rush out the door knowing that you have all the supplies you need and can just fill up the bottles on the way.
Use technology to your advantage
When you run a home based business, use voicemail when you can’t answer the phone or employ an answering service. With advancements such as BlackBerry mobile technology, important emails can find you wherever you are.
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Be realistic in your scheduling
Do an audit of how long it takes you to do particular tasks. You will be surprised at the results. This will encourage you to recognise what can be achieved in one day rather than setting yourself unrealistic goals that just create negative energy when they are not achieved.
Be careful with your time
Conduct some meetings over the phone and only meet when absolutely necessary. When you do need to meet face to face then arrange all meetings for that period of time in one block and preferably around the same area. Invite your clients and suppliers to networking events that you attend. This is a great, regular way to keep in touch and provide that face to face contact.
Sweat the small stuff… but all at one time
Keep a small stuff tray and email folder and empty them once a week.
Do one thing at a time
Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to achieve everything you want to in your business on that day. These days you can outsource just about everything so create a quality network around you so you can offload certain tasks when you need to.
Remember that you are choosing to stay at home with your child/children and run a home based business for a reason. Make sure you can close the door to your office and focus completely on them.
What will you reflect on when your kids move out of home – how much quality time you spent with them or how much work you got done? If you are relaxed and organised you will actually achieve much more!
For more articles on home based business Australia, head to our working from home section.