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Posted on Jan 02, 2011

Running a Home Based Franchise Effectively

Crying kids, constant nagging for chores around the house, unexpected visitors dropping in and uncertain job hours are a few of the numerous problems which plague people who run their own home based business while having no clear plan on how to do this effectively.

The idea of working from home seemed like a blessing since it would save you commuting expenses and money on office rent, and you would be able to work around the clock without any distractions. Christopher Capelle discusses various techniques for how to effectively manage one’s home based franchise so that they can balance their work and personal life properly and manage to create the perfect balance.

STEP 1: Do your homework

The first step in starting your home business should be in identifying the type of business you wish to get into. You have to ensure that the business you are entering does not have any legal or community barriers which would cause it troublesome to operate from home. The business should be viable to run from home and should be legally permitted.

STEP 2: Plan on the “How”

After identifying the business you need to effectively plan “how” you need to work. There are numerous miniscule details which need to be sorted out beforehand. These include identifying where deliveries are to be made, where the storage of inventory would be placed, whether you would be working alone or if you would have employees working under you, assessing the zoning issues, the change in any insurance policies, disposal of excess garbage, etc. These all need to be addressed while a chart is also suggested detailing the typical business week. The work timings and patterns would need to be identified so that you would be prepared for everything when you launch your business.

STEP 3: Spare no expense

Now that you have decided to start your business, it would be foolhardy to start being miserly. You should recognize some areas where money needs to be spent to ensure a healthy work environment. Rather than not spending at all, spend wisely. This would mean buying a new computer system dedicated for office work, bringing in telephone and fax lines, getting a telephone which allows features such as voice mailbox and recording services. This kind of investment leads to a professional experience for the customer and ensures that you have one dedicated channel to communicate with them even if your wife is busy on the line talking to her mother.

STEP 4: Your work life should separate everything from personal life

When we say everything… we mean EVERYTHING. Your workspace should be clearly separated from your home, such as a separate room or den and it should be acknowledged by your family that during your work hours you shouldn’t be disturbed. Similarly you must have separate phone lines, fax lines, e-mail accounts for your business. It not only is beneficial as it divides home life and work life, it also acts as a good psychological motivator since you would be clearly separated from your home life and can work in a more dedicated manner than if you were using your living room as your work space.

STEP 5: Outsource your useless functions

Outsourcing is the recognized norm as its proven to be more effective and in the long run it helps foster relations with professionals in certain areas. The suggestion here is not to have the others do your work, instead rather than taking on all aspects of the work, recognize and outsource functions which are wasting your resources. An example would be to move away from storing inventory in your home, by identifying distributors who can directly send your merchandise from the supplier to the customer. This way you have free space and are saved the hassle of forwarding the material from your personal address. Outsource non-core tasks whenever the option arises and seems feasible.

STEP 6: Tweak your business model whenever necessary

The beauty of owning a business is that you can make alterations whenever the need arises. Therefore if your franchise is up and running successfully, you can clearly make alterations to save your costs and expenses. You could have your graphic designer or architects work from home and telecommute. This would help free your time and your work hours can easily be reduced significantly while the same function is being completed.

If your family is supportive than you can clearly enjoy the best of both life at work and at home. It simply takes a little foresight, planning and communication of your ideas to your family so that they can respect your work boundaries. In the long run, it might even become beneficial as you may have more time to dedicate to your family.

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