More Americans than ever before now work from home or run a home business. For many, it’s a dream scenario. But working from home isn’t always easy. If you want to succeed with a home-based job or business, you need to be disciplined, accountable, and organized.
At Murphy Business, we know a thing or two about home-based jobs and businesses. The reason why? Most of our brokers run their franchises from home. This allows them to keep their overhead low, eliminate lengthy commutes, and work in the way they’ve always wanted.
In fact, many of our brokers are former corporate executives and managers who found us when searching for the perfect home-based job. Others, like Mike Metzger, were searching for the right small business opportunity and jumped at the chance to work from home.
The success stories of Murphy Business franchise owners are a great example of how you can build a successful career or a thriving business while working from home. Below, we’ve collected some of the keys that have helped our brokers succeed as home-based business owners.
Tips for Home-Based Jobs & Home Businesses
Productivity & Performance
- Create a Schedule and Stick to It. Working from home gives you a lot of flexibility with your work schedule. Use this flexibility to your advantage — but be careful not to abuse it! Without a regular routine, it’s much harder to make efficient use of your time.
- Give Yourself a Productive Workspace. Your home office has a bigger impact than you might think on your performance. So, think carefully and deliberately about the design of your workspace. And whatever you do, don’t make your bed or your couch your main workspace.
- Stay Physically and Digitally Organized. Home-based jobs give you a lot of leeway when it comes to organization. If you naturally struggle to keep organized, take the time to create a system you can stick to for managing both physical and digital materials.
- Keep Your Work Life to Work Hours. With home-based jobs and businesses, there’s a big risk of work spilling over into personal time. Over time, this can do serious damage to personal relationships. It also puts you at risk of burnout, which imperils your job/business.
- Do the Same for Your Personal Life. Working from home on a flexible schedule also comes with the risk of using work hours for personal tasks or interactions. Make sure you aren’t wasting valuable work time and set boundaries with friends and family about when you’re on/off work.
- Set and Enforce Physical Boundaries. When you have a home-based job or business, you need to set boundaries for your time and your space. That means making sure that your workspace is your workspace, not a family office or a place where you spend time relaxing.
Growing Your Business
- Network, Network, Network. Isolation’s a big challenge with home businesses and home-based jobs. Working from home makes it hard to network, but you need new connections to grow your operations. So, you’ll need to make an effort to keep active and build new relationships.
- Maintain a Professional Image. The freedom of a home-based job or business can be a slippery slope. With so much flexibility, it feels like no big deal when you miss a phone call or forget to reply to an email. In reality, this lack of professionalism is one of the easiest ways to lose or deter clients.
- Find and Focus on Your Niche. As an independent professional or sole proprietor, you need to find ways to stand out from the pack. Often, the best way to do this is to find and focus on a specialized niche within your field. Figure out what sets you apart and turn it into your calling card.
Finances & Funding
- Take Advantage of Tax Credits. Doing your job from home or running a home-based business can provide you with generous credits on your next tax return. It’s worth taking time to research any credits that might apply to you or your business.
- Keep Your Overhead Low. One drawback of home-based jobs is the overhead created by your home office. And while home businesses cost much less than office-based or store-based businesses, these savings can be offset by runaway spending. So be mindful of your expenses.
- Give Yourself Adequate Runway. If you’re starting a new career or business from your home, you’ll need a runway. Make sure that you have enough to live while you try to establish yourself or your business. Also, be careful not to put your personal finances in jeopardy.
Resources & Services
- Review Your Insurance. Most home insurance policies limit coverage for business property and provide no coverage for loss of income caused by damage to your home office or business items, so you may need a business owner’s insurance or commercial insurance policy.
- Explore Virtual Office Services. Virtual office services can streamline your work responsibilities and give you a more professional image. These services include live phone answering and call forwarding services, as well as business mailbox rentals.
- Rent Meeting Space. With most home-based jobs and a number of home-based businesses, you can avoid hosting meetings. But if you’re in a situation where you need to host a meeting, it’s a good idea to rent meeting space instead of hosting a meeting in a non-professional setting.
Exploring home-based jobs and business opportunities? Find out if starting a Murphy Business franchise is right for you! Call (727) 725-7090 for detailed franchise information.