Being able to make a full-time income working from home might seem like a pipe dream to some, but there are more Indians than ever working from home and starting successful businesses. Home-based businesses used to be somewhat looked down upon not too long ago, but they’re now one of the fastest-growing business sectors in the country.
What you should know, however, is that only a minority end up succeeding. And in many cases, failure could've been avoided if the owner had a few pointers on how to run a business better. Here are some helpful hacks for people trying to start a successful business from home.
Get Two Monitors
This might seem like a minor thing, but having a second monitor could make a huge difference in your productivity. As a matter of fact, according to data from Jon Peddy Research, you could improve your productivity by as much as 42% just by making this small adjustment.
One of the biggest benefits of having a second monitor is that you can easily access resources and research. Having a second monitor will reduce the number of tabs on your screen and make retrieving information much easier. This is a particularly great option if you were thinking of working as a copywriter, author, or independent journalist.
Having a second monitor will also reduce the number of errors you make, and could bring back thousands in ROI according to a Pfeiffer Report. While most computers today allow you to split screens, they can be a distraction, even on a large screen.
Delete Apps on Your Phone
Authors John Zeratsky and Jake Knapp gave some bold advice in their book How to focus on what Really Matters. They suggest that you should delete as many apps as you can from your phone. That includes email, games, social media apps, and even your browser.
This might not work for you if you have to travel often and are dependent on your phone for messaging. But, if you’re mostly operating from home, you should check out how you’re using your phone, for how long, and if it’s really necessary. Unless you’re working from your phone, these apps are nothing but distractions, so it’s better if you get rid of as many as you can.
Turn Off Notifications
If you think deleting your apps is too much, then you could at least turn the notifications off. There is no need to be “on” 24/7, and there are very few businesses who operate that way. This is why it is also important for you to set clear boundaries, and respect them.
And when you’re working on your business, it should be getting your complete, undivided attention. The last thing you want is to get distracted by a Facebook message or fall into a YouTube hole because you got a notification from your favorite guru. You can take things a step further by putting your phone on airplane mode while you’re working so you can block out phone calls as well.
Unsubscribe and Unclutter
Is your inbox full of ads, newsletters, and more? Then, you should think about cleaning it out. You should also start unsubscribing to the newsletters you aren’t reading. No need to waste your time on resources that are not relevant to you anymore.
Unsubscribing to each and every newsletter can be a chore, however. But you can use a tool like Unroll Me that will allow you to easily unsubscribe from the newsletters you no longer want and organize all the useful ones on a nice daily digest for you.
Use Tools to Stay Focused
Entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary once said that the single most important trait for success is having an unshakeable focus towards a goal. And if you look at most successful entrepreneurs, you’ll notice that they all have that trait.
This is why you should also work on staying focused, and use the right tools to help you if it’s a challenge. Some tools will allow you to set a timer that will make it impossible to do anything else but work for a set period of time. Some you could try to include StayFocusd and SelfControl.
You also have to be creative when brainstorming business ideas. You want to find business ideas that will actually solve a problem. You could either start making an inventory of problems that you have or get active in a community and listen to problems other people are having.
It’s also a good idea to look at home business idea lists. You might come across business models you never knew existed. You can find tons of small business ideas online, and check which ones could actually be feasible in your location and with your budget.
Automate What You Can
One of the first things you should do is find a way to automate your social media. If you post regularly, there is no reason to do it manually with all the automation tools available.
However, even with the proper tools in place, managing social media can still be time-consuming. This is why you should look at your current social media plan, and see if you’re using it and your tools the right way.
You should also stop trying to take a shotgun approach to social media. There are very few businesses that benefit from having an Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, social media strategy all at once. You should focus your efforts on 2 or 3 that are actually getting you the bulk of your results, and only see the others as the cherry on top.
Once you’ve narrowed down your most profitable channels, you can start looking at tools. You can find tools that will allow you to load posts automatically in bulk, scheduling, reposting popular and evergreen content, browser apps that will allow you to easily share across platforms, and analytics reporting tools.
Make Your Website Work for You
There are tons of ways that you can make your website work for you. While you always want to be able to have direct contact with your customers, you also don’t want to spend half of your time answering questions you did a thousand times already.
One of the simple things that you can do is have a clearly defined and extensive FAQ section where people will be able to get quick answers about their most pressing questions. You could also start looking at chatbots and have some of the answers loaded.
Make Your Apps Work Together
You should also start looking at integration tools and see how they could help. Some tools out there could allow you to automatically upload a picture you received through your Dropbox, for instance. Others will allow you to gather contact information from your phone and various other communication tools straight into your CRM. Having your apps working together will make your operation leaner, and make organization that much easier and time-efficient.
If you’re serious about starting a home base business and want it to be a success, we strongly suggest you try these few hacks. This will help you take your business to the next level, and help you be more productive as well.