In the beginning of my career as a freelancer working-from-home, my focus was to get clients, learn about their business and produce compelling work. I was too caught up with the daily grind at times (always) the admin side of the business is neglected. But that’s not all, learning continuously about the services I offer like digital marketing and the latest trends took a backseat too.
I know most freelancers or solopreneurs get this struggle during the startup phase. So, without clearcut goals, this whole work-from-home dream could quickly turn into a massive burnout.
Listen, writing your meeting schedule with a client and project deadlines are not precisely the kind of goals that I’m about to discuss. The goals you want to set are usually what a smart business person would write on a business plan. A goal is your ambition, your aim or the result you want to achieve from your efforts, in this case, from working-from-home.
In a survey conducted by Buffer, 90% of the 2,500 respondents said yes to working remotely at some point in their careers.Buffer is a productivity application software for social media.
Here is a list of goals that you may want to consider when setting up a business from home:
Enhance your management skills
When we work-from-home, most of us struggle in managing our work and personal lives. Some of us, including myself, often gets distracted with things to do at home. Sometimes we focus too much on the daily hustle of working on projects, client meetings, and so on that we neglect other matters at home. Here’s what you can do. Start with managing your time well through calendar blocking. Set specific times of your day to accomplish different tasks. There is a time management system to solve your time management problem, the Pomodoro Technique. It helps you get more things done by segment your workday into 25-minute with five-minute break interval.
Upgrade your work area at home
You might be thinking your dining table is enough for you to accomplish your work-related tasks at home. It’s okay for a few weeks or maybe a month or two. But, as soon as you get to save a portion of your income, you must buy yourself a decent home office desk and chair that has the right lumbar support. It will help you accomplish more things when you have the right tools at your disposal, plus your back will thank you!
Need tips on how to start working-from-home? Check this list.
Create your online presence
I know you are handling multiple accounts or probably too busy getting more leads. There are just too many tasks that you have to do and so little time to do them. Thus, creating your online presence is impossible at the moment. Well, guess what? Creating your online presence is one way to showcase your skills and talents to get continuous or future leads. You don’t have to post or create a content every day a scheduled post will do for as long you are posting regularly. Once or twice a month isn’t bad but make sure to produce quality content.
Maintain a growth mindset
When you enter into a work-from-home setup, chances are you’ll become too comfortable with the whole situation. It’s possible to forget that there are ways to take your career or business into the next level. Why? Because no one is around to mentor you like an HR staff or a manager would typically do. These people could discuss career options or share ways to grow your business further. Luckily, we got tons of resources online to keep you motivated. Everything is just a Google away.
Looking for ideas on how to write effective proposals? Get some tips here.
Improve your skills
Improving your skills would be one of the apparent goals that anyone would have, but unfortunately, it is also the easiest to skip. Strive to be a better worker or take steps to improve your business. When I was starting, I don’t know anything about the photo and video editing because I was the PR and accounts person in charge of moving things around. But things changed when I started my business from home. All of a sudden, I became the all-around-person handling client meetings, producing content and analysing data. If I didn’t choose to learn copywriting, set up websites, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to be where I am now. Writing and editing my travel vlogs from home.
In Carol S. Dweck’s book Mindset The New Psychology of Success, she shares to two types of mindsets that people unknowingly practice in their lives. The fixed mindset and the growth mindset. If you believe that you can cultivate and improve your basic skills to become better, then you have the latter.
Consider having a team
Well here is the fun part. When you think you’ve done it all, there is another role that you must do – be a hiring manager. Once you have the system and funding to take your work or business an extra mile, you must consider getting yourself a reliable team under your wing. After a year of working alone with about five to seven projects, I was continually getting sick. But that didn’t mean I get to sleep the whole day. I continued my daily grind but would sound off during client meetings. When I noticed that my work’s quality was suffering, I decided to hire people and work together.
Learn how to spot legit online projects in this post.
Find ways to network with like-minded individuals
The truth is working-from-home is fantastic. You skip the commute, which saves your time and money to get money. But, there are cons to watch out for. Since most of the work-from-home community are miles away from you, you might feel disconnected from the rest of the team. It happens all the time. Instead of staying 24/7 at home, scour the internet for a meetup, join a conference or schedule face-to-face meetings with your clients.
Meet your clients and visit their business locations at least once or twice a year
One of the things I learned in managing multiple accounts in advertising is to have a first-hand experience of the products and services that your client’s business offers. It gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of my client’s business. Not only that, but I also get to meet the people behind those emails and Skype chats. Our online transactions finally had a human element to it when I met my clients in person.
How about you?
What was the strategy that took your work-from-home business or career into the next level?