Get Ahead VA is very proud to have branches across the country, and the Regional Directors that run them are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today Karen and Allison, who run the Newcastle branch, are here to share more top tips for setting up an office in your home.
Hello! We popped onto the blog last month with our advice about creating a space for working in your home. Today we’ll be looking more at the financial and administrative side of home-working, which we hope you will find useful whether you’re considering becoming a Get Ahead VA Regional Director like us, or you’re starting a new business from your home.
Structure your day
The beauty of working from home is that you get to set your own hours and have more flexibility than the typical 9-to-5. Of course, it’s important to have some discipline, especially if you’re going to be working with another person, so we recommend keeping regular office hours, as this gives structure to your day and means you’re readily available for clients. Having said that, home-working is a great opportunity to create balance – your work hours don’t have to dictate everything else, and you can certainly manage your clients’ expectations to fit around your availability.
Fine-tune your finances
When you’re working from home, you’re paying for all the utilities that would normally be provided for you in an office – water, internet, heating and so on. Paying over the odds for these things can really impact your finances, especially when you’re just starting out, so when you set up your home office, check what you’re paying for all of these things and change providers to get the best deal if you need to. You should also factor other office essentials into your budget, like coffee, tea and biscuits!
Know your area
It’s a really good idea to get to know the area outside your home office, and to understand where your clients are. Fortunately for us, our office is near a business park, so we aren’t too far from our clients if they want to meet face to face. We recommend taking client meetings out of the office, at nearby hotels or coffee shops – not only is this a bit more professional than bringing a client into your spare room, it also keeps your home address private.
Connect with others
For us, it’s really helpful to know that we’re part of a much bigger team in Get Ahead VA. That’s why we’ve added some of the company’s branding to our home office – including stickers and posters, and that eye-catching Get Ahead orange! This reminds us of the friendly and supportive network we have, that we can reach out to if needed. Whatever wider network or society you’re part of, we recommend putting some reminders around your office so that you know you’re never working alone.
Karen and Allison manage a team of virtual assistants in Newcastle, who are ready to help with all aspects of running your business, as and when you need them. You can contact the Newcastle office on (0191) 603 0750 or [email protected] Alternatively, you can get in touch with our head office on 01483 332220 or [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.