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Running a business from home – 7 tips to avoid isolation

February 13, 2013

As technological advances and work practices enable it, more and more small business owners are deciding to work from home.

Dedicated business premises can also be a big outlay for a cash-strapped startup and coupled with the long-term contracts often required, it’s not surprising so many startups are choosing to start their new business from home.

On the surface of it, starting a new business from home sounds like bliss – you can work the hours that suit you, fit in household chores round your work schedule, and you’re also saving money and travel time.

6 Tips to avoid isolation when working from home

On the flip-side, many business owners find that you need to be very disciplined and ensure that you are not distracted from your work, and that you don’t feel isolated by working from home. So here are 7 tips to help you avoid becoming isolated when working from home;

1. Variety

Sometimes working at the same spot each day can become tedious. Why not venture out to your nearest internet cafe once a week for a few hours. Alternatively, take your laptop to a local cafe for an hour or two. You certainly won’t be the only one there taking advantage of their free wi-fi.

2. Hot Desking

If internet cafes simply won’t provide you with the environment you need to get away from your home office, why not try hot desking.

Often available with few contractual ties, you can book professional office space by the day (or half day). This is also handy if you need to meet clients, as most business centres will also provide access to meeting rooms for a fee.

3. Create your own support group

If you’re working alone in your business it can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and support. The solution is to create your own support team that you can tap into when you need some advice, a sounding board, someone to listen to your ideas, or maybe just for a little friendly encouragement.

You can find out exactly how to do this in our dedicated guide on; How to create your own support team and increase your startup’s chance of success

4. Fresh air and exercise

It is essential that you get out for a walk or other exercise every day. Without the structure of a traditional working environment, it is easy to work way into the night, and even skip meals.

5. Network

With the rapid increase in homeworking, there are thousands of other small business owners in the same boat. Find out if there are any business groups in your local area you can join.

If you attend trade shows, you will also find further networking opportunities. Try our essential guide to the key networking groups for more ideas.

6. Interaction

As the web continues to take over every part of our working lives, it can become quite easy to run a business with virtually no face-to-face interaction with clients. Not only can this make homeworkers feel isolated, it also removes an important element of the business process.

Building “real” relationships with clients can only be good in the long run. The same goes with everyday communications – try using the phone rather than email sometimes. A lot more can be achieved with a few phone calls than a day’s worth of emails.

More help on workspace and offices

For more on working from home and business premises, try some of our other guides;

Working from Home

Offices

More on starting and running your own business

ByteStart is packed with help and tips on all aspects of starting and running a small business. Check out some of our most popular guides;

Starting Up

Funding your business

Promoting your business

Hiring and managing employees

Legal issues