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.

Top Work From Home Business Opportunities

The list of successful work from home businesses is unending. On the darker side, if you have been looking for a work from home opportunity or if you are starting a new business online, most probably you would be knowing that the internet is full of false entities luring you to deceptive ideas of getting rich instantly. However, online businesses and regular businesses stand equal at one point and that is-they both need skill and persistence.

Below mentioned are six tried and tested work from home business ideas

Business 1: Translator

Companies look for translators who can offer culture sensitive translation services. With increasing globalization, demand for translation services is growing at a rapid rate. Translators also avail higher rates than regular writers. The work includes translating audio, video or text files from one language to the other. Translators can work from home and earn good income.

Skills needed:

Proficiency in minimum two languages, use of Microsoft office, Good communication skills, good organization skills.

How to start

A Degree or Diploma in translation is helpful, but it is not mandatory. Beginners can take short term translation courses, join local translation associations or volunteer with organizations. Taking short and simple assignments such as translating a brochure or an advertisement from one language to another will help in building confidence and help your work from home business.

Business 2: Teacher

Virtual teaching market is growing very fast. With growing competition in schools and universities, teaching services are in big demand. Demand for science and math tutors is high.

Online teaching is different from regular face to face teaching, as online teachers have to interact with students from different nationalities.

Skills needed:

For most teaching jobs online, teachers who work from home are asked to present a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license. At undergraduate level teachers are required to present a Masters degree while at college level, a Doctorate is usually required. More and more colleges and universities are allowing staff members to work from home.

Business 3: Internet research business

Many businesses and law firms regularly need online researchers who can work from home and search the internet to find information for them. Internet research includes competitor search, potential clients, keyword research, content search, background checks, product research, social media research etc.

Skills needed:

Analytical ability, good with numbers, knowledge of keyword searches, knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Knowledge of search syntax and access to internet directories and database is very helpful for any work from home business.

How to start:

Many websites available online provide information for free. You have to use different keywords to search information available, such as work from home. Keywords are the words you choose to perform a search on the internet search engines like Google.

Business 4: Social media manager

These days almost all companies want to increase and improve their presence on the internet. However, at the same time, the work does not need full time employee in most cases. This is where online social media managers come into picture.

Social media managers develop brand awareness, build present and potential client relationships and promote products and work from home services online.

How to start:

If you are good with building online relationships, you can straight away start looking for simple and small works on freelancing a work from home websites.

Observation of the trends and users is the best way to learn. The more you observe behavior of your fans, friends, customers and others on social networking websites, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll learn, the better you can earn.

Reading views and experience of other social media managers will also help in understanding opportunities and issues. Several online articles list the best practices and common errors for social media managers. In order to reach them you will need to search the keywords on search engines.

Business 5: General Transcriptor

General transcription is simpler than legal and medical transcription. It includes transcription (making a copy) of business meetings, conference calls, interviews and other documents.

Skills needed:

Good typing speed (minimum 60 words per minute), English language proficiency, proofreading skills, online research skills, listening skills, Knowledge of Microsoft office.

How to start:

You don’t need a degree or certificate to start general transcription work. Transcription work can be started simply by brushing up your vocabulary, grammar, typing skills and spellings.

For doing the transcription work, you have to download the digital audio file given by your client. Once you have downloaded the file, load it into the transcription software (Express Scribe is widely used free transcription software). Now with the help of headphones and foot pedals, you need to type the conversation in Microsoft Word.

If you have training or experience in transcription services then include the same in your resume. Otherwise mention in your cover letter why you would be appropriate for the job you are applying for.

Business 6: Designer

There is an upcoming trend of design for work at home websites on the internet. The designs made by designers on their websites are used on T-shirts, mugs, hats etc. You can set your free online shop with them. Logo designs and cover designs have high demand. For the last two you might have to consider self learning or a short-term course.

Similar to writing, designing work also has various avenues. You can work from home and design brochures, business cards, newsletters, catalogs, menus, business form, business reports, scrapbooks, greeting cards, banners, signage etc.

Just do a Google search for “work from home” and you will find thousands of home businesses you can start or join. Lots of ideas for running your home business.

7 Things Every Home Business Entreprenuer Needs To Know

Looking back on many unsuccessful attempts at home business, we wish we had received guidance from someone who had already been down the road we wanted to travel. We had so many failures that we were starting to doubt that success in a home business would ever happen for us.

Thankfully, we didn’t give up and through perseverance we were able to achieve the success that had eluded us for years. Along the way we discovered many things that we wish we had known when we started this journey.

Our success has literally transformed our lives. We believe that to whom much has been given, much is required. Consider this information our gift to you. If we can be of assistance please, do not hesitate to fill out the contact form at TheHomeBusinessPodcast.

1. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

For some reason people think that they should become rich in a few months with their new home business and some people believe success should happen within weeks or days! We introduced a man in his early 50′s to our business and he was excited. When we first met he complained that he had been working hard for more than 30 years and he was broke.

He said he never had any time for himself or his family. We told him what it would take to become successful and he agreed to do it. Then, he disappeared. A few weeks later he called to tell me that he was quitting. He hadn’t even started and here he was ready to give up.

We asked him if he would be better off quitting his full-time job and keeping his home business! Of course, we didn’t really mean that he should quit his job, but he had been working full-time for more than 30 years and he was still broke. He started his home business just a few weeks earlier and he never gave it a chance.

Why is it that so many people think that they should become wealthy in a few weeks? The answer probably lies in all the get rich quick schemes that are so prevalent in our society today. You’ve seen the emails or read these lines in your junk mail. No Selling, We Do All The Work For You, Make $30,000 in 90 days and on and on.

Those get rich quick scams cause people to think that every home business is a scam and that’s not true. We just got off the phone with Doug, a nice guy who is seriously considering our home business. During our conversation we made it clear that he wouldn’t be rich in 60 or 90 days and his response was the kind of response we hear often, “Thanks for telling me the truth. I’m happy to know that I’m dealing with people of integrity.”

We were frustrated so many times in the first year of our home business that quitting seemed like the sensible thing to do. After all, these things don’t work. Who do you think you are? Why don’t you just get a job like everybody else? These thoughts and many like them nearly kept us from success.

If you already have a home business, perhaps you are facing the same thoughts. Don’t let the negative thoughts crowd out the life changing success that a home business offers. Sure, we struggled at first, but after 20 months we were making $100,000 a year in lifetime residual income! When you find yourself facing bankruptcy and foreclosure as we were and then apply for food stamps you have a firm grasp on the tough times life can bring.

Occasionally, we’ll say “What If?” As in, what if we hadn’t stuck it out through the hard times? What if we had taken the advice of supposedly well meaning people who said that we would never have success in a home business?

What if it took you two to four years to become successful in a home business? What if you could make $100,000 without a boss and a job to go to? What if you could actually be home for your children and know them as people instead of looking at them as the little people who live in your house?

Most people who start a home business quit in their first 90 days and go back to their dreadful lives of desperation. Most people aren’t really living. They are only existing. They’re going from one day to the next without any hope of a better life. Benjamin Franklin said “most people die at 18, we just don’t bury them until they turn 65.”

2. Success doesn’t happen without work.

I talked to a woman who said she was interested in changing her life. When it was time for her to make a decision she asked me, “Do I have to do anything?” “No” I replied, “once a month we just back the money truck up to your house and unload!”

If you had a traditional business you’d have to open your business every day. If you have a job you’ve got to show up if you want to get paid. When you start a home business you can’t simply sign up and expect the money to start being deposited in your bank account. There’s work to be done.

Is it hard to become successful in a home business? Compared to giving all of the best years of your life to your employer and missing birthdays, anniversaries, your child’s first words, your child’s first steps and realizing that life is nearly over and in your golden years you don’t have the money to do the things you want to do, no it really isn’t that hard at all!

If you’re in a business like ours when you employ leverage, getting paid for other people’s efforts, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor so much more. Even if you have a home business where you do all the work it’s better than working for an employer.

We are convinced that to live a great life your home business must employ the leverage concept. It’s the only way you can have money and the time to enjoy it. The wealthiest people in America became wealthy by owning businesses. The businesses that created great wealth were out in front of a trend and the business owner got paid based on the efforts of thousands of people. We wouldn’t be enjoying the life we live today if we were getting paid only on our own efforts.

We worked really hard with very little success in our first year. Our 2nd year was the breakthrough that we were looking for, success was on the way. What we failed to realize was that during our first 12 months we were improving our skills and our confidence and that’s when success started to happen.

So, how much did we work in our first two years? We worked as much as it took. How much should you work your home business? That depends on a variety of factors. How bad do you want it? How fast do you want to achieve success? We recommend that you work your home business a minimum of 7 to 10 hours a week, and do it consistently for at least two years.

Success doesn’t happen without work and it isn’t limited to working your business. Are you committed to improving your skills and working on you? Read at least 10 pages from a great book every day. Books like “Think and Grow Rich” will change the way you think and when you change the way you think you will change your life.

Expecting success without work from your home business is like expecting a paycheck from a job that you never started. It just doesn’t make sense.

3. You must be disciplined to achieve success.

So, you’re working your new home business and a friend calls offering to take you to lunch. Can you afford to go? Your favorite show is on TV, but you know you need to be working your home business, what will you do? Perhaps the biggest adjustment most of us need to make is to be disciplined in our home business.

Let’s face it in a work environment there is usually supervision. Many people fail in a home business because there’s nobody looking over their shoulder to see that they do what they need to do.

Since most people who start a home business have never owned a business, we must learn to be disciplined, if we’re going to operate a successful home business. There were times when somebody told us no and that was devastating. We’d usually mope around and fail to do anything else the rest of the day. Had we maintained that attitude, we’d have a job right now instead of an successful home business!

Consider setting business hours. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but asking friends and family members to respect your business and your business hours is an important step to success. We’ve got a good friend who makes more than $100,000 a year and when you come over to his house during business hours you can visit with his wife, but he excuses himself and works his business. If you have a small child, work when he or she is napping and when they are in bed at night.

It’s also a good idea to have a permanent work space, so you can shut the door, eliminate distractions and get your work done.

This is a difficult adjustment for some people to make, but your children can learn that when Mommy or Daddy is in this room with the door shut that they are working. You’d be amazed at how many children will respect your space and time if you ask them too. We’ve seen many successful stay at home moms and dads work with children nearby. Don’t let screaming children or children that interrupt you on occasion become a big deal, the person on the other end of the phone may be convinced that your business is right for them BECAUSE they hear your children in the background.

When you promise to call somebody back at a certain time you’ve got to find the time. Children will appreciate knowing why Mommy or Daddy isn’t available at certain times and you can explain to them that it will be worth all the sacrifices once you become successful.

Discipline can be difficult with all the distractions that can occur in your home, but it is one ingredient that you must have to become successful.

4. Who you’re involved with is more important than the business you’re in.

Let’s face it, most people don’t really have a clue how to operate a business, any kind of business not just a home business. When we’re young we are told to go to school to get good grades so we can get a good… JOB! That’s exactly the path most of us start on, get a job, work hard, work long hours and try to get a promotion so we can work more hours and hopefully make more money.

We do that for 10, 20 or 30 years and then realize that we are never going to get ahead. That’s when the idea that a home business could change our life hits most of us. We’ve been told to be good employees and that’s what most of us have done all of our lives.

There is no substitute for leadership. If you are blessed to find somebody who has been successful in a home business and you know that they can sincerely help you change your life forever, you should jump at the chance to work with them. Make sure you’re comfortable with them before you get started. So, what should you look for? You should look for somebody that knows exactly what they are doing. When you ask questions are they comfortable or uncomfortable? Do they have a system that you can plug in to and have immediate success?

One of the reasons I failed in other home businesses is that I didn’t understand the importance of finding the right person to work with. I am not blaming my failures on somebody else, but if I had been associated with people who really knew what they were doing they would have given me guidance that I did not get. Perhaps I would have failed anyway, but there is no doubt that working with successful people will cut your learning curve and save you a lot of time and money. Only you can assure your success, but finding the right person to work with and then listening to that person gives you a tremendous advantage over most people working business from their homes!

Let’s say you have what you think is a great idea and you’ve got a little extra money stashed away for a rainy day. Your spouse isn’t overly supportive, but he or she wants you to succeed. You decide to invest $1,000 or $2,000 in your new business by taking out an ad in a local magazine. You get no response at all. How do you think your spouse feels about your home business now? That kind of mistake destroys most people and they never recover.

Last week I received an email from a so called marketing guru offering his services. I could get his marketing expertise if I paid him almost $800. Almost everything he offered we give to our team members for FREE! We know that what we’re doing works for our business because it has been tested and proven to be successful or we wouldn’t do it. His material, although similar to ours, hasn’t been tested in our business and could prove to be a waste of both time and money. What would happen if you sent that $800 and it didn’t work? How supportive would your spouse be then?

5. Technology has changed everything.

Many years ago you had to get out and meet people and most business was done face to face. You could call people around the country, but if they had any interest in your business you had to send a package overnight. That proved to be very expensive.

When we were broke, I thought everybody that sounded serious, was serious. I was sending out packages several times a week only to find that these people weren’t serious at all.

Then, the internet changed everything. You don’t have to meet people face to face anymore, although I must admit it’s still my favorite way of doing business. Today, you can upload a video in seconds, so people can see you. You can send an email with links to websites, videos and your contact information. Auto responders make you look like a Fortune 500 company, and nobody knows how big your business really is because anybody anywhere can have a great looking website.

When I started my business more than 10 years ago my long distance phone bill was nearly $1,000 a month, today we can call as much as we want for $20! You can use conference calling and web casts to present your business to hundreds of people at a time.

People can automatically receive your latest Pod cast and watch it in the subway or at lunch. This is the information age and you should capitalize on the shift in technology in your home business. Don’t worry about all the latest gadgets when you start your business because the personal touch will always be important. Even if you don’t have a lot of money technology allows your home business to operate and look like a very big business.

Don’t get too preoccupied with technology. You can, however, use it to enhance your image and your productivity if you know what you are doing. Today, we don’t mail anybody any information regarding our home business. With internet access almost everywhere, we realize that if somebody needs us to mail them something, they probably aren’t the person we were looking for.

6. It’s a home business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a big business.

Most people that start a home business are looking for an extra $300 to $500 a month. What would an extra $50,000 or $100,000 a year do for you and your family, seriously! Maybe it’s because so many of us have failed so many times that we just don’t believe in ourselves anymore.

Once you understand the basic fundamentals of your new home business and once you’ve achieved some success, you’ll understand that the sky is the limit. We make much more money than we ever thought possible and we have friends that are making more than $1,000,000 a year! Hard to believe? Of course it is! Just because it’s hard to believe doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.

After we struggled at so many other businesses I wanted to believe that we could become incredibly successful, but my past was holding me back. Today, we operate a home business that generates almost $10,000,000 in annual sales! Years ago I never knew anybody that made $1,000,000 a year, so it was hard for me to “see” myself ever reaching that milestone. When a good friend of mine did it, I could then start to see that I could have that kind of success.

So, do you really want to struggle all your life? Then why do we settle for mediocrity? Here’s why, we’re unsure of ourselves, stuck in a rut, scared, we lack confidence, we tried and failed and tried and failed, what will my spouse, mother, brother, best friend think? We care too much about what other people say, think and do!

7. As a Man Thinketh…

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Joyce Meyer is fond of saying that where the mind goes, the man follows. Of course, it makes no difference whether you are a man or a woman, you are what you think you are. As we struggled in our home business it was easy to become discouraged. We had always failed. Those constant thoughts of failure surrounded us.

Then, we realized that others had succeeded. Why did they succeed where so many others had failed? Could it really be that the only reason they achieved success was that they thought differently? We were so broke and so desperate for a breakthrough in our lives that we realized that we could not afford the luxury of having negative thoughts. There were plenty of other negative people that we could have listened to, but what was that going to get us?

What if we listened to the people that were positive, which by the way were the same people who were achieving success? When we started our home business we felt like the biggest loser on the planet. If something positive didn’t happen soon we were going to have to move out of state to live with Judith’s mother. How were we going to explain to our children that we had lost our home? If our home business was going to change, we would have to change first.

We couldn’t afford the luxury of one negative thought. We started making good choices. We would distance ourselves from anybody that had anything negative to say about anything! We would surround ourselves with positive, uplifting people who would speak life into our lives.

We didn’t listen to people who laughed at us and yes, there really were people who laughed at us. We believed that we would have life changing success even before there were any real signs of success. Some people call that the “fake it till you make it” concept. While we wholeheartedly endorse that concept we do not recommend that you mislead people.

There is nothing wrong with having a positive attitude. It is wrong to misrepresent your current financial situation. One of the most disappointing things we encounter in home business is the tendency that people have to inflate their incomes. There must be some school of thought that this is appealing or O.K. and it is not.

Once you lose your integrity, you can never get it back. We have done everything we can to make it clear that a home business will not typically solve your financial pressures overnight. We know many people that have made $500 to $2,000 in their first month in a home business. Very few make more than that in their first 30 days. If you think you have to lie to become successful you are wrong. We made just over $300 our first month in the home business that has paid us more money than we ever thought possible.

Negative people tried to convince us that we would never have success. We didn’t listen to them then, and we don’t listen to negative people now. We know that you can have success in a home business. We know that it won’t be easy. We know that if you get guidance along the way from successful people that you will live an extraordinary life.