Archive for October, 2011

Top Three Tips & Tools for Work-at-Home Success

October 5, 2011
Jodie Watson

Jodie Watson

Did you know that according to a recent survey, 55% of small business employees work from a home office? For many small companies, brick and mortar offices are a thing of the past since technology has paved the way for employees to work from a home office.  Also, due to job uncertainty, downsizing and layoffs, Americans are launching part-time and full-time businesses on a shoestring from their basements, garages, spare bedrooms and kitchen tables.  In fact, the number of U.S. households that operate a full or part-time home-based business exceeds 12 percent according to the Small Business Administration and Home Business Magazine reports that 50% of households in the United States are involved in a home-based business.

TLC Network’s Jodie Watson knows the essentials for how to succeed in a work-at-home environment. Not only does she regularly help entrepreneurs organize their home businesses on Real Simple, Real Life, but she has her own home based business. Jodie has a checklist for success.

#1:  Start with Technology. Technology is the lifeline in any business and you want to evaluate what you already have and what you need.  The essentials are a phone, computer and internet access. First, loose the landline since cell phones are mini-offices that handle everything from basic phone calls to emails.  If you don’t already have a computer, a laptop will save space and energy.  And bundle your wireless services like internet and cell phone together to save. 

Another bundled value is a printer that does five jobs in one. The Epson Work Force Pro is not only the World’s Fastest automatic two-sided printer that saves you 50% on paper, but it copies, prints, faxes and scans. Also, it has extra large ink cartridges so you won’t run out of ink in the middle of a work day and with the Epson connect feature, you can print email, photos, and documents directly to a printer from anywhere in the world.

#2:  Treat Your Business Like a Business.  First, you need the right mindset and that’s to treat your business like a business starting with keeping regular business hours so clients can rely on you.  One of the biggest challenges for a home office is getting your work station off the dining room table since you can increase your productivity with a defined work space. You know your local office supply store has items that will help you set up a nice workspace and keep you organized like the ones here from Office Depot. 

Start with a desk like this one from the RealSpace Magellan collection that looks very stylish in your home or office

Not only does it have a large work space, but also a lot of storage to keep you organized.

Regardless of where you work, most people spend eight hours of their day sitting at a desk so look for a chair that has a lumbar feature to help support your lower back. The Thomasville Style@Work collection is accredited by the American Chiropractic Association and is a luxury office chair, but at an affordable price point.  

There are four chairs in the collection that easy to assemble including the Tavelle.  You’ll maximize your productivity with an organized work space.

#3:  Use Common Sense When It Comes to Managing Business Expenses.  Go green and you will help the environment while cutting costs.  Look into smaller computers (i.e. laptops), electrical outlets, and phone chargers that save energy. Don’t forget to turn off lights and unplug chargers when you are not using them, and recycle paper.

Join reward programs and shop the sales at office supply stores like Office Depot that were designed with the home business owner in mind.  You can save a lot money when setting up your home office if you do a little research.

Don’t think you have to hire a staff in order to run your business effectively.  Outsource what you need to as you need it.  You can drive growth entirely through contract labor if it makes sense.

Invest for growth. A home based business reduces overhead, but you still need to put money into the business to keep it thriving. And that’s true no matter where your business is based. 

Jodie Watson is an organizational expert and the Founder and President of Supreme Organization.  Jodie can been seen regularly on Real Simple, Real Life, a lifestyle make-over show on the TLC Network where she helps women identify their day-to-day organizational challenges and offers realistic solutions that save them time, clear the chaos, and make their lives less stressful and more manageable.  After working in the entertainment industry for many years including Joan & Melissa River’s Rugby Productions, she launched Supreme Organization in 2005.  Jodie is a member of the National Association of Organizers (NAPO), Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of NAPO, and has a roster of celebrity clients.