How to Run a Home Business and Keep a Balanced Family Life

When you have a home business, it can be hard to separate your work life from your home life. It can be a challenge to work from home and to maintain a balanced home life. Without actually leaving for work as normal, it is difficult to maintain the separation necessary to run a business efficiently. However, you can adjust, and have both a satisfying home life, and a successful home business. Here are some ideas to help you get the best of both worlds.

1. It is pretty much essential that you create a working area very much separate from your family living areas. You need a separate phone line for your business as well. Do not use the same phone for your family and your business. When you answer your phone during working hours you should expect it to be a business call and answer accordingly. When you have separate lines, you will be able to avoid the personal calls that could cause the disruption and distractions which can break your concentration. Your wife or partner can help by fielding calls from family and friends during working hours. This could be a problem at first as people close to you will be aware of your new circumstances and may not realise the problems that their calls can make. After all, you would not expect to be interrupted by personal calls at your normal place of work, so you will need to explain the importance of this to them.

2. Do not overlook the importance of taking your regular breaks just as you did at work. There is a purpose behind this, in that these breaks refresh you in a variety of ways. As well as giving you a little break from your desk, moving about will help with blood flow and those little aches and pains that develop from sitting too long. It also helps with the family aspect as you can take your coffee and lunch breaks together with your wife or partner. When you are starting a home business, you may find it difficult to step back, as you will naturally want to be pushing the business forward as fast as you can, and may begrudge time away from it. In the long run this is simply not a good policy. Be sure that you use your weekends in your normal pursuits with family and friends. Working at home does not mean that your normal life comes to an end otherwise it defeats the whole object of working at home.

3. The fact is that, as mentioned earlier, you may initially have problems created by well meaning friends and family who may think that their calls may offer you some moral support in your new venture. It helps a lot if, during your preparations, you get people over and show them your working area or office. If there is construction or a conversion going on then that is an ideal time because it will bring home to them that you will be at work, rather than just being at home, and will help them understand when you ask them to avoid calling during working hours. Get them to understand that you expect to work similar hours to when you were in a job. At this point you may better realise one of the benefits of a business at home, because you can still put in the same working hours, but have more time for your family due to the commuting hours saved.

4. Talk to others who are doing the same thing. While setting up your business you have probably been talking to your bank, you’re Chamber of Commerce or a local authority small business organisation. These are ideal places to find others in your area, who may be running a business from home, or those that plan to. Contact as many of these as you can and try to meet and discuss your plans. Speaking to people in a similar situation is a great way to give each other support. Another way is to participate in forums in the same or related businesses. Of course this may bring out ideas helpful in planning, not only your work, but your work – family balance.

5. So far we have looked at the necessity of having dedicated working hours to run your business. Do not forget to use the same sort of planning in creating a separate time to share with your family. Whilst you do not want the family to encroach on your business hours, be sure the same thing applies to your family time. Never forget that time is our greatest gift, particularly so with young children involved. Work is just one part of your life, not your entire life. Fight for your social time just as hard as you fight for your business.

Use these tips to help you find the right balance between business and your family life. Remember to give both the attention they deserve. Use that saved commuting time wisely, it can be one of the biggest bonuses that your new business at home has brought you.

Get a Feel of the Services Offered

There is plenty of variety among exhibition stand designers in terms of what they offer, the services they are the best at, concepts they can incorporate, and how they bring it all together. The amount of time it will take for the project and the pricing also vary. With all of this in mind, take the time to get a feel for the services offered before you hire anyone.

Consultations in this type of business are usually free. It is worth a bit of your time to talk to them and see what they are all about. You should conduct research too that shares with you their reputation, previous work they have done, and if anyone has had issues with the outcome. Don’t compromise and work with just anyone – hold out for one of the best exhibition stand designers.

Ask for Examples

While you want the outcome for your project to be unique, you need to see what they can do. Ask for various examples and look closely at them. Do they appear to be professional? Would they get your attention if you were a customer interested in that realm? What would you improve or change?

You also need to compare them for differences. If they all seem very similar, that is a red flag you don’t want to work with that provider. Look for exhibition stand designers that give a new look to each project they work on. Otherwise, you run the risk of consumers already seeing something so similar, yours isn’t going to capture their attention.

Open Ended Questions

Learn about them and what they offer too. For example, ask them some open-ended questions. Most exhibition stand designers are willing to answer you. If they don’t, you should keep looking for someone else to work with. Ask them what they like the most about their job and what they like the least.

Ask them about the most challenging job they have worked on and the most rewarding. Discuss with them how they handle deadlines and problems that may arise as they work on a project. How they answer you can help you to decide who is right for your particular needs. In the end, you need someone with talent but who can also deal well with the pressure of the job.

Processing Time

Top notch exhibition stand designers are going to have other projects on their agenda with deadlines. Keep this in mind when you approach them to complete work for you. Is it reasonable for them to get it done by the time you need it? Hopefully, you didn’t wait until the last minute or you will have a hard time getting the right provider to complete it for you.

They should be able to give you an idea of the processing time. Keep in mind, that time starts once you have approved the concept they created for you. If you need quite a few changes, it can delay when they actually start on the overall project.

The cost of exhibition stand designers and their services vary. It depends on the methods they use and the types of equipment. It depends on how much time is involved in completing the project for you. Some are more challenging than others so they need to bill you for the time. The more colors you use, the more expensive it becomes.

Don’t worry, they should be able to discuss cost with you. If you have a strict budget, let them know and there may be some ways they can help to reduce that cost. Yet you don’t have to reduce your quality of the outcome either.

Benefits of Taking Home-Business Insurance Policy

Home-based business is the popular choice for entrepreneurs who want to do business with small investments. According to National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, there are 2.43 million people (Q4 2011) in UK who run a business from home. These self-employed home-workers are the fastest growing part of UK workforce, whose number rose by 28.16% over the last decade.

Since home-businesses have small capital, they do not involve huge or costly business assets or workforce. However, like any other large or medium sized businesses, home-businesses too are prone to wide range of risks. Regardless of the size, every home-based business needs to get insured to protect the assets and revenues of the business owner. Let us see why and how insuring a home-based business is profitable.

Importance of home-business insurance:
Many business owners assume that they do not require a separate insurance for their home-businesses, as they already have a home insurance policy. But, many renters’ or home owners’ insurance policies do not automatically cover a home-business. Even though your home insurance covers contents in the home, it may not extend to your home-office equipment. Similarly, personal auto insurance policy does not cover vehicles used for business purposes.

This clearly means that your home-business is lacking protection. Thus, in order to secure it from any unexpected losses, it has to be protected by taking sufficient insurance policy.

Benefits of taking home-business insurance:
Now that we know the importance of home-based business insurance, let us look at the benefits one can get by insuring his business.

•Claims of negligence: As most of the home-based businesses include companies that offer professional services, such as consultancy advice, design or financial planning, medical or legal advice, a typical home-based insurance policy definitely includes professional indemnity, which protects business owners from the claims of negligence. May it be a piece of flawed advice or a wrong service, it could result in serious legal claims from the clients. In such scenarios having home-business insurance helps the business owner to meet the expenses incurred in defending himself against the claims.

•Revenues and assets: Business property such as contents, stock, equipment, vehicles, furniture, electronics, etc., is very important for any company. Any loss or damage to them significantly affects the profits of the business. Hence, by taking home-business insurance, which offers cover against all minor and catastrophic losses, you can safeguard your business assets and revenues from all unforeseeable risks.

•Coverage for third party injuries/damages: Another advantage of home-business insurance is the protection it offers against third party injuries/damages because of your business activity. Anything like a bodily injury, property damage or a manufacturing error could result in hefty compensation claims from the injured. Thus, having insurance policy enables you to run your business without the fear of a lawsuit or losing the business in a legal battle. Besides providing compensation costs, the policy also covers legal fees helping you to continue your business without any interruption.

•Medical aid and paid leaves for injured employees: This kind of coverage is optional. If your home-business has workers/employees working for your business, then you can include this cover in your policy, which provides employees with medical care and paid leaves if they are hurt on the job. Thus, this policy relieves you from the burden of taking care of employees’ medical expenses and hospital bills.

With many home-based businesses showing interest to take insurance policy, insurance companies have come up with various policies. But, in order to get a tailor made policy which suits your needs and business requirements, you need to approach a reliable and reputed insurance brokerage firm. These firms suggest you with the best policy that covers all the risks associated with your home-business, thus allowing you to make a worthy purchase.