Boss, Secretary, Bookkeeper—Welcome to Your Home Business

Article originally published in

By Nancy Keny

I have been working on this column for five days. During that time I have started and stopped five different times.

I stopped to play golf. I stopped to check my e*trade account and the stock market. I steam cleaned my carpet. I took a nap. I walked the neighbor’s dog. All within my work day.

These are just some of the easily accessible distractions afforded a home-based business person.

Are you thinking of starting your own home-based business or moving out of a traditional office space for the perceived luxury and flexibility of working out of your home? Do you envision dress down day being every day?

How about spending more time with your family? What are the issues and realities that home-based business people face and what are the solutions?

The reality is that many are becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by their new found job flexibility and freedom.

With the support and structure of a Professional & Personal Coach you can work out of your home more efficiently and effectively thus increasing your bottom line and decreasing the overwhelm.

Reality 1

Congratulations! You are now the President, CEO, CFO, COO, Sales Manager, Executive Secretary, Head Gopher and Visionarian.  You no longer have the support staff you had in the traditional office environment.

You are it.

There comes a point when you are spending your talents and energy not on the important things of growing and working your business but on the peripheral tasks.

Coaching Strategy: 

1. Make a list of all the things you currently do for your business: sales, marketing, billings, scheduling, data entry, financial planning, secretarial duties, filing, appointments, buying office supplies, maintaining office equipment-the list goes on.

2. Next to each item write down whether that task must be done by you or can be bartered, hired out or just deleted. Then take the appropriate measures to make it happen. This will also give you a sense of balance by focusing your time on your priorities.

Reality 2

Lack of clear goals and priorities. To your delight, you no longer have to answer to a boss who TELLS you what your goals are. You are on your own to decide where you want to go. But to your dismay, there is no one who really challenges you or cares whether you have clear goals and priorities, let alone if you are actually achieving them. Losing direction and focus is a constant struggle for many on their own.

Coaching Strategy

Setting clear and challenging goals for your business and following through and achieving those goals is critical to your success.

Schedule in your dayplanner a weekly appointment for you to review, set goals and schedule in priorities that must get accomplished. If you are not achieving them ask yourself what is getting in the way, then create tangible ways to overcome obstacles and move forward.

Reality 3

Home-based businesses have unique built in distractions. When you want personal or family time you are distracted by work and when you are working you are distracted by personal or family time.

You are now suddenly without a boss, built in corporate deadlines or business hours. How do you maintain the balance between work hours and personal hours? How do you make sure you accomplish both your work and personal priorities without falling into the depths of distraction?

Coaching Strategy

Recognize that time-management is the key to ensuring that your priorities will be achieved and that balance is maintained. Practice saying “no” to things that take away from your priorities.

A dayplanner and schedule will help keep you focused. Break down your total day & create set hours to work your business and set hours for personal time.

If you keep getting off task because you see the carpet needs steamed or it’s a beautiful day and you want to play golf, schedule it in for a particular time after you finish the priorities at hand. Don’t forget to schedule in a lunch break, exercise or whatever other breaks you may need to keep focused.

Reality 4

There is often a sense of isolation when working out of your home. It’s not only the lack of face to face communication that you would ordinarily have in an office environment but a sense of cabin fever as well.

Coaching Solution

By Joining networking groups, your local Chamber of Commerce or any other trade group you will feel more connected. Change your environment by scheduling a lunch with a friend or a daily walk to reenergize.

The support of a Coach will help keep you focused, on track and moving forward so that you don’t become disenchanted with your home-based business and miss the opportunity for success, both professionally and personally.