Sometimes, even though you're living out your dream of working for yourself, working from home can mean you don't get the same buzz as working in a busy office environment. So how do you make sure you don't end up with only the radio or the dogs for company?
1. Have meetings away from your workspace
Whether you are sending off the post, delivering a customer order or visiting a supplier, take the opportunity to meet up with your stockists, your website designer or another colleague. Not only is it an effective use of time (and travel costs) but it will keep you sharp to be forward planning and sharing ideas in a non-deadline driven way.
2. Enrol on a training course
Consider training as a real investment in your business. You will be improving your skills as well as giving yourself the chance to meet others in a similar situation to yourself. If you train locally, you are more likely to stay connected with people you meet on the programme – as well as being more likely to finish the duration of the course! Keep training courses short to fit in to your working day or week and if you end up training at the weekend, give yourself a bit of time off in the week to get that valuable down time so you don’t resent the additional hours. Remember, one of the huge perks of working for yourself is that you get to be the keeper of your own time schedule. And when you’ve successfully finished a course – look for another. You need to keep ahead of the game, whether that’s in your technical know-how or indeed keeping up to date with crucial social media marketing that's so crucial to working remotely. Check out your local tech for starters.
3. Join a Network
When you work for yourself, talking about what you do with other people is as vital as hearing what everyone else is doing in their world of work. There are networks for virtually every industry out there now! The Lean In Circles exist in almost every part of the country and your local Facebook Bizmerang are worth exploring. Groups like these bring together likeminded people to create a source of huge support. And if you can’t find anything locally, start a network up yourself! Or if you don’t want such a commitment, host an event in a local pub or hall that brings small businesses together as a one-off but with the objective of one of them picking up the mantle and running a second event with a different theme. Before you know it, you could have kicked off a chain of events!
4. Consider how you can give back to your local community.
If you own a facility that allows you to work from home, could it also allow others to give workshops or demos of what they do? When small businesses come together, they are often able to offer their community a service or a social gathering that really add value. Take a look at the likes of Mon Amie Living and what they are doing in their barn – could you do something similar?!
5. Share ideas with another lone worker
You will almost certainly know someone else who is working for themselves. It doesn't matter if they work in a different industry or offer a product or service that is completely different to you. Im fact, often the more different your propositions, the more you can learn from each other. So be brave, pick up the phone and fix up a coffee or lunch date. Use the opportunity to pick someone else's brains or to sound out an idea you've been pondering. You may get more than you bargained for and come away with a new perspective or even the chance to pool resources.
Even If You're Only Wee!