You may have always been the person who would much rather spend time crafting than hanging out with your friends. Or perhaps, you’ve never been interested in sitting at a desk pushing paper from nine to five. Instead you’ve always secretly wanted to work from home doing something you love. Whatever your aspirations are starting, operating and maintaining a home-based craft business takes tremendous perseverance and self-discipline. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is time management making sure you prioritize what needs to be done and then allotting your time accordingly. The following are a few tips from experienced home-based craft business owners on how they handle the demands on their time.
If you’re new to the home-based business industry then the idea of working when you want to, is awfully attractive. Just imagine crafting in the morning, afternoon or even in the middle of the night, all while wearing your pajamas! But what many new at-home business owners don’t realize is that you have to be accessible to your clients. This means that you have to maintain some sort of regular business hours. From tracking invoices, creating your crafts, shipping them and answering customer questions, there are many aspects of your home-based business that can only be accomplished during regular hours. Yes, a home-based business is not a nine to five job, but there elements of operating your enterprise that can only be done during daylight hours.
It’s not always easy to separate your business from the rest of your home-based activities. That’s why in order to properly manage your time designate a room that is to be used for your company only. Use a spare bedroom, the garage or even the basement as a professional office. If you’ve got small children put a lock on your door so they can’t get into your work room. Additionally, try to establish some basic guidelines as to when you cannot be disturbed. Your spouse, older children and even your friends need to respect that boundary.
Determine how long you can work on a certain project or aspect of your business before you need to take a break. As an example, you may need to spend one hour a day on finances; or you may craft better in the early morning when your house is quiet as opposed to the afternoon when it is loud and you’re easily distracted. Some people need more frequent breaks than others who are able to sit down at the table and work for hours at a time without a break. Take the time to experiment with your tasks and the hours during the day and find what works best with you.
Learn how to deal with interruptions throughout your work day. No matter how well you plan and insulate yourself from outside distractions, they will happen just as they do when working in an office. Be firm. Whether it is a child or an adult family member try to adhere to your set work hours and let them know it’s not okay to bother you during that time. Set your priorities. Undoubtedly, family comes first. Certainly there will be times when interruptions simply can’t be avoided and you will need to stop your work to take care of something. But, try to remain focused on your work and your deadlines.
It’s up to you
Remember there is no right or wrong way to manage your time let alone operate your home-based craft business. Only you know what works best for you and that often comes from experimenting with your time and responsibilities. The key is to remain flexible. A home-based business is an ongoing effort and rules can never be set in stone regarding how you achieve your business success. By being diligent, focused and setting goals you will eventually reap the rewards of your hard work.
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