With the high cost of renting shops, especially in cities like Abuja and others, many people are running their businesses from their homes.
If you are an event planner for instance, you can work from the comfort of your home. When you don’t want to bring clients to your home due to security reasons, you can book appointments with them at restaurants and gardens.
Be flexible but disciplined
Working from home allows you greater flexibility. However you have to be disciplined to focus on business when you have a client and allow someone else attend to family issues. This will enable you to be more productive and run a successful business.
Create a space to work
When you need to do intellectual work, think about the best space to work in your home. Where will you be able to concentrate without any distractions? Is there an area where you will be able to focus on work and make phone calls without interruptions?
This accomplishes two things: You know that when you walk into that room you are there to work until you are done; when you shut the door all family members know that they should respect your work space when you are in it but when you cannot spare a room, create a corner in your sitting room where you will have a table and chair to work on.
Invest in equipment
You can also invest in a good office chair to increase your productivity, effective storage solutions to keep organised and making sure that you have reliable technology such as a computer, printer and scanner.
Invest in a Smartphone
A Smartphone can help you run your business from anywhere. Smartphones can create flexibility and accessibility to the internet where you can receive emails, Whatsapp messages and generally increase your online presence.
The fact that you are at home does not mean you will not do paper work. So, get organised. Get a cupboard to keep hardcopy of documents. Also, organise your files on your computer as well. Statistics show that the average executive spends three hours a week looking for things.
As your own boss, you cannot afford that. You can use colour coding for file folders and flash drives to keep important documents which will be handy when you need them.
Are you a good salesman?
The word ‘salesman’ conjures a mental image of someone at the door/phone or the internet trying to sell something to you. We believe salesmen are folks who work in the Sales and Marketing Department.
We are all into sales. Everyone has something to sell, ranging from goods, services, opinions, ideas, beliefs etc. We all need to persuade someone. It happens everywhere; in organisations, businesses, marketplaces, homes, schools, places of worship, political rallies, you name it. Someone is trying to persuade someone; someone is selling.
Most start-ups, small and medium business owners, believe their biggest challenge is raising capital. As important as capital, ideas and products are, if you are not making sales, you are soon out of business. Banks prefer giving money to someone making good sales than one who does not, no matter how beautiful your business plan is.
Best sellers are not necessarily the best products in the market. They are the ones that sell the most. You need to know how to sell or have someone in your team who does. Your selling skill may be a better indicator of future success than product development or fund raising skills. This is one critical area you need continuous improvement.
The salesman is not that guy/lady with a fitted suit and weather beaten briefcase. It is me and you. The better a salesman you become, the better results you get both at the marketplace and at home.
Usiere Uko is author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom & Independence and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.financialfreedominspiration.comtwitter @usiere