I am currently in the process of transitioning from working an 8-5 in an office setting, to working from home and being able to spend more time with my babies.
I never really pictured myself as a stay home mom or even a mom that would work from home; but after watching my daughter grow up and feel as if I’ve missed so much time with her and now preparing for a newborn, I believe it is finally my time.
We often hear about the perks and freedoms around working from home. I know some of you may think it’s a joke, and no work actually gets done, especially with children, but I am here to tell you that it is possible. More people, not only mothers, are quitting their office jobs to stay home and pursue their careers.
I wanted to share with you 7 vital tools that I have utilized to efficiently work from home as I start my Freelance writing business.
Okay, don’t make that face. Yes this may be an obvious tip, but many people make a mistake and try to maintain their entire business from their iPads or cellphones; while these are great additional tools to have, it does not give you the same selections as you would have using a laptop or computer.
I primarily use an Apple MacBook 2010; yes it may be time for an upgrade, but it gets the job done all the same!
My laptop provides with the ability to roam, meaning I can work from other locations outside of my houses if needed. I feel I can get more work done with that openness. I also use a DELL 1607 when I am stationary and primarily kid free. Although the devices are very different, it does not hinder getting any work completed.
2. Work Space
Although, I started my business by whipping out my laptop on Saturday Mornings while in my pajamas and still in the bed, I quickly learned that is not the most productive environment to get work accomplished.
I am not in the position to dedicate an entire room to become my office space, but I have a central location in my home where I like to work and feel I am the most focused – and no it is not my bed.
Currently, I use the dining room table to work. I am not lounging about on the couch; there is plenty of space, and the sitting is comfortable. I also face fewer distractions, because it is sort of an isolated area in my home.
3. A Task Management System
This step is relatively new to me, and I actually took a step out of another Freelance expert’s playbook, in order to choose the best system that works for me.
Originally my task system consisted of a large calendar that I hung in my closet. This method worked fine when I was just writing for my personal interest, but once I started taking on clients, I quickly discovered I could not continue with the calendar method.
I’ve branched out and started using Trello; since it’s working so well for my needs, and I have added a dashboard for School and Home as well. I place everything I need to accomplish for the week on to the correct dashboard and check things off as I get them done.
It is a lot easier than running to my closet to double check due date on the calendar.
4. A Website
I don’t know about you, but I am not software and technical savvy. I know the basics of computer use. However, I am clueless when it comes down to constructing a website.
After I did a ton of research, I decided to use WordPress, since I already had a familiar knowledge of the tool.
WordPress is an open source that has plenty of free content; however, I wanted to have my own Domain name and OWN my site. To do this I did have to pay an annual fee, but the price wasn’t ridiculous.
There are plenty of other tools and applications available to build websites such as Squarespace or Wix, but I personally found that:
- WordPress is used more than these other avenues
- Relatively easy to customize with hundreds of different themes and plugins
- There is a pretty large community of fellow “Wordpressers.”
In fact, I received an email, and a phone call from WordPress support a few days after setting up my website, without reaching out first. They just wanted to check in and see if they could help me in any way.
If you are like me and started from scratch, I would suggest at least starting with a blog 1st and then branching out to a website once you have a better idea of what it is you want exactly.
5. A Service
How are you going to earn an income while working from home? What service(s) can you provide to make good money and still have your independence?
Initially, I thought I wanted to be a virtual assistant. I was pretty familiar with the line of work, just not in a virtual setting so I thought I would be qualified. As I started researching and trying to brand myself, I realized that wasn’t really the route I wanted to take. I wanted to be more independent in my career!
And I didn’t really enjoy assisting someone.
So next, I started by thinking about what I enjoy doing, such as – working out, reading, writing and then I asked my self – how can I make money based off of my interest?
That’s when I stumbled into the Freelance writing world.
I spend weeks researching the INS and OUTS of freelance writing, and I have barely scratched the service.
However, within 2 weeks of stepping into this new world, I landed my 1st client, and about 1 week later a landed my second client!
- Advertising myself
- Building my portfolio
- Taking Chances
Currently, the services I offer are copywriting, blogging, content writing, SEO writing, Case Studies, and editing. I provide these services in a wide area of subjects although my primary interest is Mental Health and wellness.
Once I have a bit more experience I plan to narrow down the services I offer as well as the subjects I write in.
To be successful while you work from home, you have to be able to encourage yourself to actually work. It is almost always unavoidable to get caught up in being home and enjoying the opportunity to relax when you want and work when you want. However, many people run into situations where they may be relaxing more than they are working, which will lead to problems with your business being successful.
7. Superb Communication skills
When working from home a lot of the communication you will have with your clients will be through email or skype; although there may be a phone call here or there, you will primarily communicate through your computer.
It is just the preferred method these days.
You have to be sure to communicate clearly and effectively when communicating through these avenues. You don’t have the option to recognize facial and body cues; you can also misinterpret the tone of the message being sent to you. Be sure to ask questions, make suggestions and don’t make any assumptions.
It possible to be successful while working from home
It does not take a lot to get started on this journey. If you take a moment to invest in the essential and crucial steps, you will find yourself the success part starts to come easy.
Although I am still relatively new on this journey, I can say I have had promising results and only plan to perfect my business as I learn and time progresses.
So how about it – are you considering working from home? If so, which tool do you think is most important? Any tools that you would like to add?