Before you can start your own Internet business, one of the first things that you will need to do is to set aside a place where you can work that is free of distractions. Ideally this would be a separate room but that may not be practical for everyone. In which case, you should set aside a secluded area that is as far away as possible from your family’s normal activities.
You will also need a computer, a printer, a desk, a comfortable chair, an Internet connection, and a bathroom close by. You may also need a phone if you conduct any business over the telephone. You will then have everything you need until you take your SCHEDULED breaks.
Don’t depend on the glow from your monitor for your lighting. You will need good lighting in order to see what you are reading or writing. If you don’t have any windows or your windows do not provide adequate light, invest in full spectrum light bulbs which simulate sunlight.
You will also need a filing cabinet to organize your important papers. You may also want to invest in drawer organizers, etc. to keep smaller items organized. If you can’t find something, you will waste a lot of time searching so you want to make sure everything is organized and in easy reach of your desk. Remember the old saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
One thing that many new entrepreneurs forget when setting up their home office is a bulletin board or a dry erase board. Here you can post important messages, write down ideas as they occur to you, etc. This is also a great place to post your daily to-do list as it will be easily visible. You may even want to post a motivational quote or two, a picture of your dream house or car, or pictures of places you would like to travel to.
Something to remember is that you are ‘at work’ in this area so you should make sure that every distraction is taken care of. This means there should be no television or radio in the same area as your office space.
If you have preschool age children, you should hire someone to look after them if you are working while they are awake. This may seem strange since you are working at home, but would you take a baby into your office with you? Of course not nor would your boss allow it.
If your children are school age and old enough to understand, let them know that you are working, and that they should not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. If they are too young to understand this, have someone watch them after school.
This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you are talking to a client on the phone, they won’t take you seriously if they hear a crying baby in the background, or children fighting. You want to make yourself seem as professional as you can so that people know they can trust you.
Ideally, you should have a separate phone line and number just for your business. However, if that is not possible, you must let your relatives, friends and neighbors know that you are not available to chat on the phone during your normal business hours. It would be a good idea to get caller ID if available from your phone company. This way, you can screen your calls and only answer when necessary. Alternatively, use an answering machine and let it go to record. If the call is business related or something important, you can always pick up and answer.
You will also want to let everyone know that they cannot just drop by for a visit when you are working. And if someone does ring your doorbell, don’t get up and answer. You may want to post a “No Solicitors” sign to discourage salespeople from knocking on your door.
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