How to Work from Home
Many mums are looking for ways to work from home, but not everyone has a clear idea of how to work from home. Keep reading this post to go through 6 core tips you need to consider if you want to know how to work from home.
So you’ve made the decision to work from home, that’s great. It is such a bold step and a life-changing opportunity for you and your family.
Perhaps you are a working mum.
You can finally say goodbye to those long drives during rush hour commutes. You’ll save pennies on buying lunch 5 days a week. You can say no to the work that doesn’t excite nor appeal to you. You gain quality time with your children that you so desire without having to compromise your income.
Maybe you’re a stay at home mum.
Perhaps you are looking for a way to find yourself again and do something for yourself. You’re looking for a way to contribute to your household income, but without having to send your kids to daycare or nursery, were near, if not all, your day job would pay towards. You don’t want to sacrifice that precious time with your kids in exchange for a standard 9-5 job.
Whichever category you presently fit into, I can tell you now, it doesn’t have to stay this way. You CAN earn an income working from home and online.
It is 100% achievable. I myself do, and 1000s of other mums have taken the plunge too.
But, now what?
How do you work from home?
How do you make the change from saying you want to work from home to actually succeeding?
Here I take you through 6 core tips for you to put into action to help you succeed with your career working from home:
Choosing a Career You Can Do Working from Home
If you are going to start anywhere, choosing what work you can and want to do from home is the best place.
Although you cannot possibly do every job from home, there are 100s of ways you can work from home.
A few popular ways to work from home are:
- Becoming a Virtual Assistant
- Starting and monetizing a blog
- Teaching English Online
- Social Media Management
- Graphic Design
With so many choices of how to work from home, it can be a challenge knowing what to choose and which career you will enjoy.
Here are some things to consider:
Think about the skills you have.
Everyone, no matter their previous job experience, can offer different skills. Perhaps you are a busy stay at home mum and can organise and prioritise tasks, carry out research for days out, and are good at budgeting. These skills could match quite a few careers such as a virtual assistant, bookkeeping, online business manager, and even social media manager.
Another example could be that you have marketing experience within your current role. This could lead to all sorts of careers from home. Whether this be marketing your own blog, offering marketing services, virtual assistance specialising in marketing, or, combining your skills with a service such as Pinterest VA.
What would you enjoy?
It’s one thing to have experience within certain fields, it’s another to actually enjoy doing those tasks.
There really is no point starting to work from home doing something that eventually you are going to resent and hate.
For example, I’m pretty good at managing my own income and expenditure for business expenses. I can work my way around spreadsheets and can set then up easily. However, I would DETEST having to do this for other people. It isn’t a task I enjoy doing, but it’s something important I must do as part of running my business. (I look forward to the day I can hire my very own Bookkeeper to do all of this for me! #businessgoals)
So as you’ll see even though you might be good at something, it doesn’t mean this is what you should focus on as a way of working from home.
You need to enjoy, not all, but at least most of the tasks which will be part of the career you choose to work from home.
If you enjoy what you do it won’t feel like work, it will show in the quality of work you produce, and you’ll be even more motivated when you come across challenges to keep pushing forward.
If you find you don’t enjoy what you do, you’ll lose motivation and drive incredibly quickly. More than likely, you’ll give up at the first hurdle of working from home and end up back where you started.
Now, this isn’t always the worst-case scenario if you end up back at the beginning. Sometimes it can be a godsend. If you’ve tried one career and it didn’t work out for you, it isn’t the end of the world.
The great thing about working from home is the flexibility. You can always go back to the drawing board and try something else. If money is a concern, you can keep doing career A, whilst you build up your experience and client base or business for career B.
Is there a demand?
This is what really matters when it comes to matching your skills and enjoyment with your earning potential.
Is there a demand for what you can offer?
Do people need those services? Are people interested in reading your blog articles? Is there a demand for your product?
You need to dedicate time to researching the current market and whether there is a need for what you can offer.
For example, let’s say you enjoy writing and want to start a blog. You have a passion for and enjoy learning about Giant African Snails. That’s great and it is awesome to have such a unique hobby. But, are there enough people looking to learn about Giant African Snails who would come across your blog? How would you monetize your blog?
There probably aren’t that many people interested in a said topic or want to learn about how to take care of Giant African Snails. Hence, this niche is too niche. It is too small to be able to monetize and grow into a successful income working from home.
Compare this with a blog about dogs as an example. 100s of people love dogs. But, dogs, in general, is a huge topic and hence a good idea to pick a subtopic to blog about such as :
- Natural dog food
- Training your dog.
All three of these ideas are still broad enough to not run out of blog content. But, can also include a number of ways to monetize your blog such as sponsored product posts, affiliate marketing, and creating your own products such as printables.
So, the first place to start when choosing the right career for you working from home is to ensure your choice is something:
- You have a level of transferable skills or experience
- You will enjoy or are passionate about
- There is a demand for it in order for you to be able to make money from points 1 and 2.
5 Low-cost Businesses You Can Start Working from Home
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The Ultimate Guide to Realistic Work from Home Opportunities
A guide for mums wanting to work from home and online, sharing realistic and legitimate opportunities you can do to earn an income from home.
Create a Plan of How to Work from Home
Once you have decided upon a career to work from home, the next step is to make a plan in order to achieve this.
Those who create a plan are more likely to achieve their goals, compared to those who don’t.
When you set up goals with actionable steps, you give yourself a clear direction of
- what you need to do,
- how to do it,
- and by when.
Without setting up goals, it’s a big jump from saying you want to work from home, to actually setting up your business and earning an income.
In order to create a good, solid plan to help you achieve working from home, ensure to follow these steps:
1. Outline your end goal.
What is it you are aiming for? Are you wanting to earn $2500 a month from a blog? Do you want to gain 5 retainer clients to manage their social media?
Once you know your end goal, you can work backwards and figure out what you need to do in order to hit your personal target.
Let’s take the 5 retainer clients as an example. You know you want to gain 5 retainer clients. The first thing you need to think about is how you are going to find those clients? Where do your ideal clients hang out? Are they mums running small businesses that hang out in Facebook groups? Are they local businesses that you could connect with on LinkedIn?
Once you have figured this out, ensure to dedicate time within those platforms and answering people’s posts. Provide genuine and helpful comments, sharing value and knowledge, which will in time, lead people to want to find out more. This is a good time to also ensure your profiles are up to date and include links to your website or business page.
2. With your goals that you set out, it’s a good idea to turn these into SMART goals.
SMART refers to:
You can read more about SMART goals in this post here.
Setting SMART goals makes your end goal much clearer and helps you to know exactly what it is you want to achieve and by when. Rather than being too vague and not being able to make clear action steps to achieve it.
As an example, a SMART goal might look something like this:
I will be a Pinterest Virtual Assistant with 5 retainer clients paying $500 each a month, leading to an income of $2500 a month by 1st June (in 6 months time).
3. Ensure to give yourself a weekly check-in.
Each week, grab your diary and write down your top tasks to work on for that week. Prioritize them in what must get done no matter what, what you would like to achieve, and what isn’t as urgent.
Being a mum, we are all very busy and life happens. So, it is important to not set yourself 10 big ‘must get done no matter what goals for one week. As it’s highly likely, they won’t all get ticked off. You’ll find yourself feeling stressed out when not everything on your list gets done in the timeframe you’d planned.
When you have written your weekly goals down, try to block out set times during the week to be used only for work and growing your business.
If you use the time-blocking method, you can visually see just how much time you need for each task and when you’ll have time to complete it.
People who time-block have found that when they use this method, they are more likely to achieve each task. They have planned their schedule in advance, worked out how long each task takes them and set this time aside accordingly. Blocking out time helps to keep you focused and minimise inevitable distractions when working from home.
Compared with when they didn’t plan out their week in advance, they found they tried to fit in tasks as and when in between other jobs without a specific focus. Less was then achieved because they were jumping from task to task whilst juggling other aspects of everyday life.
- Write down your task priorities and how long each task will take you
- Block out time in your schedule for your business
- Plan when you will work towards achieving each task for that week within your blocks
4. Remember to be flexible.
As work from home mums, we are often juggling many hats. Being a mum, running and growing a business, household chores, days out, and many of us also homeschool our kids.
It can be a miracle if we actually get around to working on our business after doing everything else, let alone have the energy to do so.
So remember to be flexible and kind to yourself. Growing a business can be IS hard work, especially for mums working from home!
You guys are AMAZING!
Life happens. Kids get sick, you get sick. There’s that activity or appointment you booked that slipped your mind.
Whatever crops up, and trust me, it will crop up, don’t be so hard on yourself if you aren’t working on your business every second of every day.
I personally find it super helpful when I leave one day a week completely unplanned work-wise. I use this day as a catch-up day so that if something crops up during the week and I fell behind on my own tasks, I can use this day to catch up before the start of the following week.
Let’s sum up how to plan when working from home:
- Set out your end goal and work backwards to create a plan of action.
- Create SMART goals to ensure they are focused and actionable
- Plan out your week with what tasks you want to achieve and when you will work on them
- Be kind to yourself and flexible to allow for life’s unplanned events
How to Set Goals (and Stick to Them)
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How to Successfully Start Working from Home
Helpful tips to help you succeed with working from home from where to find work, keeping productive, and the importance of connecting with others.
Connect with Successful People in Your Industry
You won’t be the first person to decide to work from home nor the first in your chosen career.
The great aspect about this is that, although it can be mind-boggling when thinking about just how you are going to work from home, there are 100s of people before you already achieving this.
They demonstrate that it’s doable, and often, have outlined how they succeed through blog posts, webinars, their email list, or paid products such as courses, Ebooks, or mentorships.
Whichever career path you choose to be able to work from home, definitely check out who is already successful in your industry. You will learn so much from them and it will save you a heap of time from the onset, by avoiding the same mistakes they did when they first started out.
When you first make the decision of what you want to do work from home, I strongly suggest researching and writing a list of at least 10 people who are successful in your industry and where you want to be.
When you have a list list, be sure to do the following:
- Follow them on all of their platforms such as Pinterest, their blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. I suggest all of their platforms as some individuals choose to be more present on just 1 or 2 platforms than others. Plus, they often will share slightly different tips and resources demanding on the platform they are using.
- Become a sponge. Soak up everything they are sharing with their audience. Every tip and trick they share that has helped them get to where they are, make sure to take note and implement this within your own business.
- Tools and Resources. Take a look at the tools and resources they personally use and recommend to grow their business. It’s more than likely these will help you to grow yours.
- Communities. Find out what groups they hang out online. Are there specific Facebook groups they recommend or Pinterest group boards? People don’t just join and recommend groups for the sake of doing so. They recommend groups because they themselves have gained value from those groups. If they are learning and gaining something from a specific group, it’s highly likely you will learn something too.
- Education. You can grow a business without investing in yourself of your business, however, that growth will be much much slower. But, with 1000s of online products to choose from, it is hard knowing which to purchase. A great place to begin is by looking at the courses and Ebooks these individuals have purchased themselves and rave about. Not every Ebook and course are created equally, some are seriously ‘naff’ (putting it politely). So, this is one of the better ways to work out which ones to invest in without wasting your money.
- Connect. The online business community is actually a really accepting and friendly one. Those successful with their business appreciate the hard work and effort it takes to grow a business. Therefore, they appreciate how beginners feel and are willing to share their advice. Of course, they are still incredibly busy with their own business remember. However, it wouldn’t hurt for you to send them a message and connect. Ensure to have followed them first and commented on their content out of respect if not also showing that you genuinely want to connect with them and learn from them. Not to mention when you consistently engage with their content, your name is familiar to them and they are more likely to make time to respond to you.
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Network with Other Work from Home Mums
Following on from the last point regarding connecting with people already successful in your choice of career. It’s advantageous to you to network with others.
Networking with others helps support you and your business in so many ways. Networking can help:
- Grow your brand and business name
- Find an accountability partner
- Support others with their business
- Build your reputation
- Grow your business through referrals, recommendations, and often jobs advertised
- Learn others top tips and the tools they use
- Gain recommendations if you are looking for team members
Working from home can be incredibly isolating. So it is important to build a strong network around you. Finding others who are also growing their business online can be tremendously helpful. They can keep you accountable, whilst sharing the ups and downs of juggling home life and growing a business.
There are multiple ways in which you can network with others. A great way is to look up local networking events near you to attend in person. Attending in person events helps to build stronger relationships much quicker than online.
But attending in person events can be tricky when working around our kids. So, there are other ways of networking online. I personally find networking with people easiest through Facebook groups.
People comment daily within Facebook groups about their business from problems they are facing to their successes. Each group has 100’s of members and hence, it’s highly likely you will find someone to connect with.
Look out for posts which you can either offer support with, or, for those facing similar challenges as yourself. This then gives you a common ground to make that connection and take it further than a simple comment to private messaging.
Here are some favourite go-to Facebook groups I highly recommend for work from home mums wanting to network and connect with other work from home mums:
Keep Consistent When Working from Home
You will come across this word a lot when you are planning to work from home. Consistency is the biggest component for those who succeed with their business.
When working from home you will face so many different challenges. Your kids will get sick, you’ll get sick. You’ll have the usual school runs to do, grocery shopping, not to mention if you are still working your main job whilst launching your new business.
Having some level of consistency will help you to grow your business rather than stop/start pattern or worse, sat at a standstill, not moving at all.
Consistency doesn’t have to look the same for you as it does for others. What’s important is setting a consistent work pattern that works for you and your life.
For example, if you are looking to start a blog, you need to post consistently for your audience. They then know that your blog isn’t stagnant, it’s active. Plus, they know when to return to your blog for new content.
One blogger’s posting schedule might be one 2500 word blog post every Wednesday. Whereas another blogger’s schedule might be 500-word blog posts 5 times a week.
An important thing to note here is to not get distracted by what everyone else is doing. Focus on your efforts and what you are doing to consistently work on moving your business forward.
Consistency in any business leads to growth, progress, and in the end, success.
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Invest in Yourself and Your Business
Here is where I may go against general opinion, but, I truly believe that your ‘how to work from home’ plan must include investing in yourself and your business.
There is only so much you can do yourself or free information you can find on the internet that can help you when starting out.
Speaking from personal experience, ensuring you stick to your budget and what you can afford, you really can grow much faster when you invest.
I first started my blogging journey in May 2018 with my first blog before this one. I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing. But, I am a very passionate and determined, self-driven individual so I don’t give up on the first hurdle. I learnt as much as I could from reading what was available on the internet, through blog posts, taking free webinars, and subscribing to successful blogger’s email lists.
But, even with accumulating knowledge and implementing what I had learnt, I still didn’t grow that much.
Then, I learnt about a blogging bundle that goes on sale one a year and felt like I had nothing to lose due to the sheer value of the bundle. You may have heard of it, the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.
My gosh, I wished I had invested in this sooner!
Once I started going through the courses and reading the Ebooks included, I was able to make so many adjustments and changes to this blog, I actually started gaining traffic. I learnt about
- how to use Pinterest and create better graphics,
- how to formulate a good blog post,
- how to increase my affiliate sales
- How to use Convertkit and grow my email list
You name it, there was a product for every element of blogging and more within that bundle.
So you see, even with a small investment, you can grow your business so much quicker by learning from those already a few steps ahead of you. Yes, people do give out free tips and content. But, generally, they save the real gems for their paid products – which I feel they rightly should when they are trying to make an income from their business.
Generally speaking, try to focus on just one specific area of growth at a time. And, invest in products which have been recommended numerous times by people in your field.
There are a lot of courses for people wanting to become a Virtual Assistant and the price range varies greatly. Don’t just purchase the first one you find. Do your research. Search for course reviews via Google such as ‘course name + review’. This will bring up blog posts which go into detail about their results for taking a particular course. Join VA Facebook groups and ask yourself or search for previous comments relating to a course in that group.
If you are going to invest in an Ebook, Course, tool, or resource, make sure to stick to the rule of thumb of need before want.
Do you really need a paid-for organisation tool, or could you use Trello or Asana instead?
Are you happy using Mailerlite as your free email marketing provider for under 1000 subscribers, or do you have the budget for something like Convertkit with excellent customer service, training, and affiliate program?
I truly believe investing in educating yourself and/or business tools, can make a positive impact on your business, so long as you:
- Always put your budget first. Never invest in something that is more than you can afford and puts pressure and strain on yourself to grow your business faster. You’ll just end up resenting your business and worrying about finances in the interim.
- If you are going to invest, ensure to invest first and foremost with something you NEED not just something you WANT.
- Put into action straight away anything you have learnt from a Course/Ebook into your business. Otherwise, you may as well have not purchased it in the first place if you weren’t going to use it to help grow your business.
It IS daunting figuring out how to work from home. I totally get it. I have been there at the beginning myself, and still to this day have to adjust my priorities accordingly in line with my family and business needs.
Though I cannot give you an exact recipe of how to work from home for you, as your life and priorities will look different to mine. I do hope these 6 core tips will help you to create your own plan and achieve your career choice working from home.