By Guest Blogger Megan Totka, Chief Editor, ChamberofCommerce.com
For many workers with disabilities, having a home office is simply the easiest route. In some cases, employers may provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities if the job lends itself to working remotely. Other times, a worker may decide it is favorable to go into business on their own and enjoy the perks of self-employment.
If you are thinking about making some changes for the New Year when it comes to your career, consider taking the reins and running your own business – right from home. Here are some practical tips to make it happen:
- Set up office space. One key to success when it comes to working from home is to set boundaries between your work and personal life. With some simple home office organization, you will feel in control of your workspace as well as your family time. Even if you do not have a lot of space, it is vital that you designate at least one area for your business and then keep it organized and free from at-home distractions.
- Stay connected to the outside world. For people with disabilities, a perk of working from home is not having to deal with the hassle of non-accommodating locations. Still, holing up in your house is not the healthiest way to run a business, or live. Join local associations that meet occasionally in order to get some face time with other community business owners. This is a great way to spread the word about your business and make connections.
- Use social media. In addition to face-to-face networking, take advantage of the many social media avenues available to market your business – often for free. More than 60 percent of consumers say that they use social media for purchasing decisions. Check out easy social media tutorials for small business owners and create basic profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and even Pinterest. When a particular post, image or product does well in your social media circles, try to duplicate the style and timing to maximize your reach. Tip: Include pictures or videos when possible because consumers are 60 percent more likely to contact a business that uses images.
- Hire well. Even if you plan to work as a freelancer, there may be a time when you hire someone part-time for administrative or marketing help. Take the time to really weigh the different candidates to determine which person is the best fit for your need. Check up on resume references and use background check investigation services to be sure the person is giving you the full story. In addition to these basic tips, you should also gauge the personalities of the candidates.
- Take time off. When there is no physical escape from your workspace, you may find it difficult to walk away from your day job. Without at least some allotted time off, however, you will quickly burn out and that can mean a loss in productivity and revenue. Schedule entire days off, just like you would at a traditional job, and fit in vacations or staycations too. You will come back to your desk (or workbench, or sewing machine) with a renewed sense of motivation and purpose.
Taking the step to become your own boss is a big one that comes with a lot of rewards if you do it right. If you’ve been thinking of modifying your career direction in a way that puts you truly in charge, the New Year is a good time to make the switch.
Do you already run your own business? What tips would you add?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.