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So you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve been running your business out of your house.
The new normal of working remotely from home has certainly thrown a few challenges at you, but you’ve taken them straight on thus far. However, the next challenge is identifying how to grow and scale your business while working in the confines of your home. As you likely know, successful business owners are the ones who look to strive as opposed to survive. Working from home can be a hurdle, but can also be your greatest asset to grow.
Take this time being at home to strike a work-life balance, set your goals, network with the right people, and organize everything from finances to paperwork. From banking to managing customer relationships, every little detail can help you toward a successful summer and strong second-half of 2020.
As a business owner, you wear dozens of hats. From being the face of your business to running marketing, staffing, training, and all things in between, it can be tough to separate business life from family life, especially if it’s a family establishment. With all the running around, it’s easy to lose track of when payments are due, invoicing, and other financial obligations.
A digital small business bank may just be your new best friend, with options to invoice suppliers directly, deposit checks, and keep track of your business’ financial health all from your phone. Mobile banking not only offers convenience, but it also eliminates time wasted traveling to and from a branch. With this saved time you can better focus your efforts on more pertinent tasks that help you grow your top-line revenue.
With your banking all squared away, you may be asking yourself, “Now how do I better separate my work life and home life?” There’s no doubt that working from home can be difficult to balance, especially during these times when the house may be full of your family. So, how do you separate your at-home business from enjoying time with family?
Start by asking yourself when, where, and how you work best.
From there, communicate with your family on a regular basis about how you’re doing, how the business is doing, and the tools you need to succeed. For some actionable tips on improving your work-life balance while working from home, check out this article from Forbes.
While your mental health is vital to your business and work-life balance, the same can be said for your employees working at home. Using a platform to track working hours can help you keep tabs that people are getting their work done, but also not letting it consume them.
We know “cutting costs” tends to come with a negative connotation, but it can go a long way in helping your business reach revenue goals and stay profitable. Cutting costs doesn’t necessarily mean laying off staff, but instead, looking at what you have that is excess, or that you used to utilize and no longer have a need for, and deciding whether or not it is helping you reach your goals.
If your business has an expensive office space you’ve been renting and you’re now realizing you can transition much of your business to remote work, make a change. Negotiate the terms of your lease to downsize your office space and offer employees the ability to work remotely. Not only will this help you save on overhead, but will also show them your trust in their abilities to keep performing with more freedom.
Or, if you are subscribed to multiple fee-associated software programs, consider using a subscription tracking platform that links with your accounts and gives you a heads up on upcoming payments. Platforms like this can save you hundreds of dollars a month in automatic subscription payments you may have forgotten about, or free trials that upgraded without your knowledge.
Invest in yourself
As a business owner, you likely started your business out of one of two things: a passion for what you do, or seeking an opportunity to jump in the market and offer a product or service that people want. You know by now that opening a business is a challenge, but growing your business and continuing to attract a loyal customer base is equally challenging.
When you put together your budget for the quarter or year, be sure to set aside money to invest in your business, whether that comes in the form of training employees, hiring the best talent around, marketing your business to new and existing customer sets, or even taking off-site company trips to mentally refresh. Investing in your business, yourself, and your employees is a wise financial decision and has the potential to pay off with a big return down the road if executed correctly.
Obviously, it’s nearly impossible to plan for a situation such as the pandemic we’re getting through, but planning must be on your mind as a business owner. For example, if you are a seasonal business whose sales peak during the summer months, consider bringing on extra part-time workers for the busy months, or cutting marketing spends during your non-traditional season.
Keeping a rainy day fund just in case normal business strays from the mean can be the difference between paying rent on your space and losing your spot on Main Street. Not only is planning and budgeting wisely a part of your personal life, but they are also equally as important for your business when you have others that rely on you.
While these uncertain times are presenting unique challenges, take it as an opportunity to double down on your business and prepare for a return to the hustle. Taking control of growing your business from home is just one of the many ways you can help set yourself up for success and make sure you come out of this hitting the ground running. Remember, tough times don’t last, tough people do, and strong business leaders who take responsibility and challenges head-on lead to great things.