What Are The Key Assets For Juggling Home Life With A Home Business?

Running a small business operation from home has become a very popular avenue for entrepreneurs. Quite frankly, it isn’t hard to see the appeal. Not only is an opportunity to take control of your destiny, but it also enables startups to be launched on far smaller budgets. Moreover, you only need to spend five minutes online to find an array of success stories for continued inspiration.

 

But don’t be fooled into thinking the road to success will be smooth. You’ll inevitably encounter a number of difficult turns along the journey, not least when it comes to finding that balance between work and life.   

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Take note of the lessons below, however, and you should be just fine.

 

  • Create a designated workspace: An effective and lively home office isn’t only the hub of your entire business. It also distinguishes the difference between work and leisure. This can have a telling impact on your personal mentality and motivation. For parents, it also serves as a clear indicator to the kids. If you’re in the office, you’re in work mode. If you’re anywhere else, family time is on the agenda.
  • Utilize your time: When running a home business, it’s easy to believe that the pressure is off. However, the modern world of commerce evolves rapidly. Fail to use time effectively, and you’ll always be one step behind the crowd. Read Arcadier’s marketplace blog to stay ahead of the latest trends, and act upon that knowledge. Otherwise, you’ll find that your time is constantly spent playing catch up.
  • Build a team: Business never clocks off, but it’s important that you do. The best way to do this is to surround yourself with a winning team of remote-based employees. Not only will this increase the overall workflow, but playing to the strengths of each team member will generate far greater outcomes. Most importantly, knowing that your company is in safe hands will allow you to enjoy leisure time too.
  • Invest in the best technology: Whether your venture is a localized operation or a global service doesn’t matter, modern tech is key to your progress. Without the right facilities, progress will be hindered badly. Maintain the health of computers, and always use the best software and accessories for all operational features. The time and money saved will fire you to greater success while the lack of stress will benefit all aspects of your life. Ignoring this would be a major disservice to yourself.
  • Pay yourself: Everyone knows that you need to invest money in the business to help it grow. However, starting a company is meant to benefit your life rather than harm it. Read Entrepreneur’s guide to finding the right remuneration level, and it should encourage balance. Essentially, finance has a huge role to play for both the company and your personal lifestyle. Ignoring this element isn’t an option.

 

Getting those elements in place won’t guarantee success, but they will give your chances a serious boost. And when you do, you’ll be in a far better position to enjoy it. If that doesn’t inspire you to focus on those key aspects, what will?

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The Hidden Side Of Home Maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, most homeowners think that it is about dragging a vacuum cleaner from a room to another. In truth, while keeping a clean house is essential – after all, nobody wants to live in a dusty and messy place – there is more to it to home maintenance than cleaning. Indeed, home maintenance relates to the ability to keep everything in your home and your community working at its best. From your pipes to your next door neighbor, home maintenance is an art that very few homeowners master. Here’s how to make your home safer and smarter for your family and your community.

The secrets of the perfect home maintenance

Maintain Regular Contact With Experts

There are a variety of structural systems and solutions to keep all modern facilities and appliances in your house: You have a water system, an electrical system, and an insulation solution to name only the most obvious. These are constantly used, every day all year long. While you would immediately notice if there were an issue, it’s best to organize regular checks with certified experts to spot problems before they occur. Consequently, you need to have the contact details of your local plumber, certified electrician, and insulation engineer. Additionally, you can also discuss preferred professionals with your home insurance and your local council to make sure that you haven’t missed any possibility.  

 

Maintain Your Household Budget

With every home, there is a household budget to manage. Let’s be honest from the start, the largest part of the budget tends to be dedicated to your energy bills – and your grocery, but this is the type of expenses that is easy to justify as it is visible. As much as you should keep a close eye on your overall consumption habits – and especially on bad habits that are expensive such as leaving phone chargers plugged in for example – you need to compare energy providers regularly. Indeed, when it comes to energy bills, loyalty to a provider is not synonymous with discounted price. Your provider can only offer the price that is has secured for itself.

 

Manage your budget

Maintain A Clear And Purposeful Structure

Another often forgotten dilemma of homeowners is the difficulty to keep a clear and purposeful decor inside. This is especially true for people who work from home as it can be difficult to create clear boundaries between the private and the professional space in the house. Additionally, by keeping the purpose of each room in mind, you will become able to declutter the house and remove anything that you don’t need. This helps to bring peacefulness into your home.

 

Maintain Your Neighborhood Relations

While you can choose our house, you can’t choose your neighbors. But it remains essential to maintain healthy relationships with your neighbors as much as possible. Often, all you need is to understand their background and react accordingly. Remember that communication is key, so do talk to your neighbors instead of judging them in silence. Additionally, there is also the matter of a healthy neighborhood to take into consideration. More and more communities are trying to develop a safe and environmentally friendly neighborhood by taking action to make it a better and more enjoyable space.

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House Move Disasters You Need to Avoid

Moving house is known to be one of the most difficult and more stressful things anyone can experience. If you want it to go well, you need to make sure that you avoid the disasters that often drag people in tears and have them regretting the whole thing. Read on to learn about some of the common disasters that you definitely need to avoid when you move house next.

 

Getting Burnt By All Those Minor Costs

 

There are so many small and hidden costs that have to be paid when you’re moving house. People often forget to think about these when they are going through the whole house move process. It’s something that you really can’t afford to ignore if you want to come out the other end of this whole process in a healthy financial shape. Many people get burnt by these costs, and they only realise it when they have the bill handed to them. So, do plenty of research and make yourself fully aware of what you’re getting into before you start the house move process.

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Telling Lies and Having Them Come Back to Haunt You

 

It’s so common for people to tell small lies when they are looking to sell their home. This might seem like a good idea because it gets the wheels on the process moving a little faster. But those little white lies can often come back to haunt you. That’s why honesty is always the best policy when you are trying to sell your home. It’s simply not worth considering the alternatives because things can go badly wrong when you lie. It’s an issue that’s discussed in this article. Your whole move could be sent crumbling to the ground if you’re not careful. I’m sure that’s not what you want to happen, so don’t let it.

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Not Getting Insurance for the Move

 

When you undertake the move, all of your possessions will have to be packed up in boxes and loaded into the back of a van. Then they will be driven to your new home and unloaded. There is always a chance that breakages might occur at some point along the way. When that happens, you want to have the right insurance to back you up. That way, any replacements or fixes that have to be carried out will be paid for by the insurance company. If this is something that you forget about, you will certainly regret it if and when something does get broken.

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Insisting on Going it Alone
Going it alone and not using an estate agent to help you with your home move might sound appealing. But in reality, it feels less like a liberation and more like a pretty terrible idea. If you insist on going it alone, you will have to take care of so many minor issues and problems that could arise. It can be a much better idea to get help from an estate agent who knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. Yes, it means spending money. But it could turn out to be money well-spent.

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Times Change; Will Your Business Strategy Change With Them?

The future is coming.

 

As a business owner (prospective or established), you are probably used to thinking far ahead. In the midst of one quarter, your mind is already turned to the next one, and the one after that. It’s the only way to run a business. If you don’t keep your finger on the pulse, then you will quickly find your company being left behind.

 

Mostly, however, you will be focusing on your business. As you do that, with a short-sightedness that intense scrutiny affords, you might not have the opportunity to notice the world is shifting around you too. While you focus on your one sector, everything else might change – and these changes pose just as much of a risk to you.

 

The Future Of… Employees

 

When you’re an employer, you are keenly aware that you are responsible for the livelihoods of many people. In rough times, it can weigh on your conscience. In good times, you are delighted to have a staff of reliable employees who have made this possible.

 

However, employment practices are changing. Contracts are changing; many people want more flexible working than the standard nine-to-five. You need to keep an eye on political changes in case they impact employment law. And you need to be aware of how technology might allow you to reduce your workforce, or at least transfer them into other roles.

 

The Future Of… Your Business Partners

 

Focused on the immediate business aims, you can lose track of the human side of things. Do you have measures in place to protect your company if something happens to one of your fellow owners? Or, if you’re a sole trader, what happens to the company if you can no longer run it?

 

Uncomfortable as it might be to consider, you should be considering key person life insurance and ensuring your will is up to date. You have a responsibility to your staff to ensure that times may change, but they will always have a job to rely on.

 

The Future Of… Globalization

 

If you import any aspect of your business – from materials to end line products – then you have to keep an eye on political changes. The current force of reform is towards an anti-globalization switch, bringing back home-grown manufacturing and reworking trade agreements. If this happens, are you going to be able to cope? Do you have alternatives in place? If not, spend an afternoon thinking of an alternative strategy – a contingency plan that you might not ever need, but will be glad to have if you find you do.

 

The Future Of… Technology

 

Mentioned above, technology may one day trim your workforce as machines and computers can do the same work as humans but without the need for sick days and money. Are you ahead of the curve on this? Do you know what to expect, and have you considered the legal and ethical implications?

Considering all of the above might sound like a full-time job in and of itself. However, setting aside a few days a month to open your eyes to the rest of the world and ensure you’re ready for what’s going to hit is the only way to ensure your business is in safe hands.

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Let’s Talk About Retirement

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It may seem like a long way off, however retirement is probably going to sneak up on you a lot quicker than you expect.  Besides, if you are really lucky you might even be in a position to retire a little earlier than most.  So, let’s have a quick look at what you need to be prepared for and how to ensure a happy retirement without any major hiccups.

 

Firstly, if you own a business then it pays to have an idea of your business exit plan.  Will you have children who may want to take on your role?  Perhaps you will sell the business after building it up.  Or is your company more of a lifestyle business which will also retire along with you.  Understanding the future of your company and how to retire from it when the time comes, can help you prepare for any tax implications or costs involved.  So get some advice during the early stages.  You can always tweak the plan if things change over the future years.

 

Retirement brings with it a lot of change.  You will, of course have a change to your routine.  You will also have a major change to your income.  However the changes to the amount of tax you have to pay are an area you need to get to grips with pretty fast.  You need to find out how your pensions are taxed and when interest on your savings might be paid tax-free.  There are also increases in the amount we are allowed to save through an ISA too.  So get all your ducks in a row and keep on top of any changes that happen during government change or annual budgets.

 

Working out your income is vital.  So preparing for this at an early age will ensure you have a little extra cash to play with.  Hopefully your outgoings will reduce dramatically.  If you have a mortgage it is a good plan to work towards paying this off 10 years before you want to retire.  This way you will have an asset which could support you should you need any expensive health care in older age.  It will also ensure you aren’t paying out large sums of money each month.  

 

Around 5 years before you intend on retiring it is important to work out a daily budget.  Looking at all your pensions and savings you can roughly work out how much of a daily living allowance you have.  It is also a good time to factor in what legacy you want to leave for your children.  

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Planning for your retirement should be something you bear in mind the moment you start working.  You can pay more into a pension and create interesting investments which will release equity upon your retirement.  So get creative, get advice and get prepared as soon as you can.  Even if you are thirty years away from the big event.

 

Then sit back and work out how you will use up all that spare time.  

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Awesome Solutions to Work From Home Woes

Ask anyone who goes to work in a busy office every day, and they will tell you they are jealous of those that can work from home. And to an extent, they are right – working remotely from the comfort of your home can be a great experience. But it’s not without its issues – and I’m going to go through some of them with you today, and provide a few simple solutions to common work from home woes.

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Separating work from home life

 

According to https://www.psychologies.co.uk, one of the biggest benefits of working from home is also one of its most major issues. Working from home allows you to spend a lot more time with your family, and it can be amazing being around the kids, never missing a crucial moment. But at the same time, there are constant distractions to overcome. You need to tidy up before you can get a clear head space to work properly – no office cleaner for you to rely on! The kids can come in at any given moment, and if they are upset about something, no project is more important than dealing with that. The solution? Be vigilant with your time, and ensure that everyone knows that work time is precious. It won’t always work out this way, of course, but if you can get into the right routine, you should overcome all of these issues.

 

Isolation

 

Loneliness quickly becomes apparent when you start working from home. You might miss the camaraderie of office life or the water cooler chats and jokes with many different people. Working from home alone is a little like being in solitary confinement, and it can cause problems for some people. Make sure you are getting out whenever possible – attending networking events and meeting clients, for example – if you want to avoid isolation issues.

 

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It can be hard to be taken seriously when you work from home. Can you guarantee that your clients will offer you business when you are competing with more professional operation based in an office? It can be a tough sell, and in many cases, you have to work extra hard to prove yourself. If this is a big problem for you, consider getting a more professional business address – in a coworking space, for example. According to www.hoxtonmix.com, not only can coworking space give you that critical professional business address, but it can also give you access to a community of people. Plus, of course, if you need help with a particular aspect of your business, you could find it within the hub and get aid and assistance for anything.

 

Discipline

 

When you don’t have a line manager of boss physically breathing down your neck, it can be easy to take your eyes off the ball with work. Perhaps you are doing something boring, and fancy a nice cup of tea. Then you might read the newspaper, or open a few emails. By the time you start work again, you’ve lost 60-90 minutes – maybe even more – and have achieved nothing. Make sure you are focused and working efficiently and remove all distractions as much a possible.

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Training Employees: It’s About Skills, Not Traits

Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on training in the hope that it will make their staff more productive. But a lot of that training, according to training and sales guru Duane Sparks, goes to waste. The main reason for this, he says, is that companies fundamentally misunderstand what training is.

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People who have been in business a while know the wisdom of hiring personalities, rather than skills. Sure, it’s helpful if a person has the right skills, but what really matters, especially if it’s a long-term job, is the personality of the individual. A worker who has the right personality  – or traits – can learn pretty much anything and be an amazing employee. A worker who doesn’t have the right personality can only go so far.

 

Companies need to realize that a similar principle applies when it comes to training. There’s no point training an introverted person to be more extrovert to generate more sales since this advice fundamentally opposes their basic personality – something that can’t just be wished away. If you’ve got an introverted person on your sales team, Sparks says that it is a much better idea to focus on selling skills that they can develop, like being a good listening and working out which product the customer wants.

 

Teach Appropriate Skills

 

Another mistake that businesses sometimes make is not teaching the appropriate skills. If you’re a private refuse collection firm, it’s far better to train employees to use a Dumpmaster bin tipper than it is to teach them about the virtues of internet marketing. Equally, if you’ve got different types of employees in your business – some who go out and sell and others who develop existing relationships – there’s not much point teaching both how to sell. Limit your training so that it is appropriate for the task that you want various members of your staff to perform.

 

Implement Skill-Based Metrics

 

In business, it’s often said that what gets measured, gets done. There’s a lot of truth to that. When employers can’t monitor worker productivity, it becomes very hard to tell whether workers really are working as hard as they could, or whether they’re slacking off and hiding behind other members of their team.

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For this reason, says Spark, it’s imperative that companies find a way to measure employee progress, based on the application of their new skills. For instance, if you’re trying to measure the performance of a new safety procedure, measure the number of injuries caused by a particular department. Another example might be sales. You might have done some training with your sales staff on how to convert customers at a particular point in your conversion process. So a good yardstick would be to measure their conversion percentages at that stage before and after training to see whether it made a difference.

 

Reinforce Skills

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Finally, skills only get better if they’re constantly reinforced. It’s the way our brains work. Ideally, you want to turn new skills into habits, so that your employees do them automatically without thinking. Coaching is, therefore, essential.

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