If You Intend To Work Alongside The Public Sector, You Need To Read This

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Public-private partnerships are all the rage these days. And the fact that they are so popular should come as no surprise: both forms of economic activity have things that they’re good at, and areas where they need improvement.

Take the public sector, for instance. Public services have a reputation for being inefficient, slow, and low-quality. And while some of this might be stereotyping, there is undoubtedly a lot of evidence the public sector is not nearly as efficient. The public sector just doesn’t have the same motives as its private sector counterpart to provide high-quality services at low cost. Inevitably, some aspects of its public-facing operations suffer.

The private sector isn’t perfect either. Private companies have a reputation for putting profits ahead of the needs of the wider community and employees. Firms operating to make money often don’t care about the social ramifications of their products and are instead more interested in shareholder bank balances.

Public-private partnerships are a kind of “middle road” that hopes to take the best (but not the worst) from each sector. The idea of PPPs is to meld public-sector objectives with private sector efficiency, creating a world-beating combination.

Thanks to the popularity of public-private partnerships among policymakers, there are growing opportunities for firms to work with the public sector as partners. Doing so effectively can be highly profitable, but you also have to know what you’re doing. Working with a municipality is very different from working with a regular supplier. The local authority is just as interested in the effects of your services as they are in providing excellent value for taxpayers.

So how do you work effectively with the public sector as a private enterprise? Take a look at some of these ideas.

Consider Taxpayer Value For Money

When pitching to a private business, your focus is almost exclusively on how you can help improve their bottom line. Although the public sector gets paid no matter what, they still want value for money for their stakeholders – in this case, taxpayers. Taxpayers can exert significant influence on local authorities so it can help put your company at an advantage to point out how your particular product or service represents good value to local constituents.

For instance, suppose you have a software product that will help the local authority process emergency telephone calls more efficiently. The software costs money, obviously, but you could provide evidence – perhaps from other local authorities who have already bought the product – that the total cost of taking calls falls using your software. Falling costs represents good value for money for taxpayers and doesn’t threaten the livelihood of people already employed by the state.

Offer Planning Assistance To The Local Authority

Local authorities and municipalities often don’t have the in-house expertise to put into operation major new projects. Instead, authorities rely on the dynamism and “can-do” attitude of private entrepreneurs.

As a business leader, you’ll need to take the lead on projects, organizing surveying for municipalities as well as creating project timetables. Remember, the people you’re working with in the public sector will not have much experience working to strict project deadlines or undertaking new construction projects, so you need to be there, offering support and guidance. You can help give your public sector partner peace of mind by regularly reviewing progress and providing essential updates. Also, don’t forget to indulge their bureaucratic sensibilities with a healthy dose of attention to regulatory compliance. That sort of thing will send them wild.

Get A Payment Schedule In Advance

Although it’s called a “public-private partnership,” you still fundamentally rely on taxpayer money to fund your assistance, even if you end up selling something to customers at the end of the project. Because of this, it’s important to get a promise for payment in writing that’s legally-binding before committing to a project. Public officials have been known to change their minds about paying companies in the past if new politicians get elected, and so you want to make it as hard as possible for them to back out once committed.

Take your service-level agreement to a legal specialist and make sure that you get paid should the political leadership at the local authority change.

Advertise Innovative Ways To Provide Public Services

Although incentives don’t work in the same way in the public sector as they do in the private, you do occasionally get people who really want to make a difference to their constituents’ lives. These people are an opportunity for businesses, thanks to their forward-thinking ability and willingness to try new things.

Businesses, therefore, should advertise ways of providing public services in a better way. Marketers should try to win the support of the people and influential local politicians to put their products into effect. Just putting your ideas out there can act as powerful leverage, showing people that there are better and cheaper ways of doing things.

Begin Lobbying

Although lobbying has a bad rap, it’s an essential part of the political process and something which can engender rapid change, if used in the right way. Private companies that lobby tend to get their ideas across better and are more likely to sign lucrative contracts with the public sector. Yes, you may have to compete with other firms for taxpayer dollars, but the rewards and status can be substantial if you win.

Lobbying is also about creating connections. You may already have a public-private project underway in your particular municipality, but you can use your network to attract new business and projects in the future.

Give The Public Sector What It Wants

Politicians ultimately want to stay in power for as long as possible. Smart private companies know this, and so they pitch the products in such a way that convinces political leaders that they stand a better chance of making it through the next round of elections. Of course, as a private company, you can’t promise anything, but you can talk about how your services will improve the lives of constituents, and how they will thank their politicians in due course.

Do You Know The Responsibilities Of An Employer? You Should!

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When you work for someone, it is important that you understand the responsibilities that they hold as your employer. It is their job to ensure that certain things in place to keep your time at work as pleasant as possible. Do you know what the responsibilities of an employer are? Well you should, and we are going to talk about some of them in this article.

Fair Hiring Standards

The first thing that we are going to look at is fair hiring standards. What this means is that you should not be discriminated against at all during this process. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man/woman, black/white, gay/straight etc, you should be given the fair opportunity to interview for the role. Once this has been completed, the company should hire the person who is best suited for the job, not someone that they like.

If you feel as though there has been an issue in which fair hiring standards have not been enforced, you should discuss this with a lawyer immediately. The company could be facing a lot of trouble if they are found to be discriminatory with their hiring practices.

Keeping You Safe

Your employer must keep you safe while you are on business property or while you are completing work under the business’s name. There are a lot of issues that you can face at work, and sometimes the worst happens and someone can lose a life. Wrongful death claims often require legal assistance, and if you or anyone you know has a case involving wrongful death, you should speak to a lawyer about this. Your employer is supposed to make sure that you are safe at work, and if you are not, then you could have a case against the company.

Keeping A Healthy Work Environment

As well as keeping you safe, it is the job of your employer to provide you with a healthy work environment. This means mentally and physically. You should not be in any danger of physical or mental abuse, and there should be no reason for you to get sick. All health and safety codes should be followed down to the letter, but if you think your employer isn’t doing this then you should talk to them about this. See if they will enforce the codes to a higher standard. If they don’t, then it might be time to take further action.

Ensuring A Fair Pay Level

Finally, it is vital that your employer offers a fair pay level to everyone working for them. You should not be paid under minimum wage in any circumstances, and if this is happening to you, then you need to talk to your employer about this. There is a reason that the minimum wage is set, and to be paid under it is illegal. As such, you should take this issue up with your employer if this is happening. It is their job to make sure that you are being paid fairly, and if they are neglecting this duty, then you might have to take further action.

We hope that you have found this article helpful. If you didn’t know what the responsibilities of an employer are, then hopefully you do now.

How to Avert Day to Day Business Catastrophes

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Your ongoing nightmare as a business owner is when things go wrong unexpectedly. When your working day comes to a halt it can be very hard to get things up and running again. If you want your business to survive you always need to be prepared with answers to any dilemma. When a catastrophe strikes you should have the initiative to make things right again without causing too much disruption to your day to day duties. If you’re wondering about the different elements that could go wrong in your business, then you might want to consider some of the following flaws and solutions.

Technology Meltdowns

The moment when the technology in your workplace breaks down is the moment where everybody in the building goes into panic mode. Waiting for glitches to be restored can put a halt on all of your daily duties, putting you well behind of schedule. You should certainly consider professional network monitoring so that the outage can be pinpointed straight away. This will minimize loss and disruption to your working day and it will put your mind at ease, to know that any potential problem can be found and fixed much more efficiently.

Employee Sickness

When a sickness epidemic sweeps through your entire workplace it can become a huge problem on the day. Trying to get all of your jobs done with only half a workforce can be a huge challenge, so you need to have a plan in place in case this ever happens. If your employees work shift patterns then make sure all of your workers aren’t always in the building at all. As long as you have a handful of people on standby, you will always have a plan B to revert to when there is on the day illness.

Marketing Blunders

Every company has that inner fear of a marketing campaign going wrong, similar to what happened to Pepsi. This can damage your reputation right away and put you ten steps behind where you want to be. Having a good lawyer on hand at all times and make sure all campaigns go through rigorous checks before they are made public.

Product Defects

If you’re responsible for manufacturing a product and they have to be recalled off the shelves, you might start to enter panic mode. This can cause significant damage to your reputation, so you need to put quality control at the top of your priority list. Everyone makes mistakes, but you should never allow anything to slip through the net easily.

When something goes wrong with your business you need to have the confidence to put everything right again, without hesitation. Being an entrepreneur is daunting and you are often left to deal with things that are way out of your comfort zone. There is no shame in asking for help from external sources when you need it, especially when it comes to complicated technical glitches. Keep your business running smoothly and put your mind at ease with these workable solutions.

Taking Your Business National

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A real sure sign of growth in any business is when you are finally able to take it on to a national level, and if you are currently looking at this in your business you are probably pretty happy with it. Of course, as with anything else, there are going to be a number of challenges too, and you need to make sure that you are going to find a way to live up to these if you want to make it all worthwhile and bring about the best results you possibly can. In this post, we are going to look at a few of the concerns you will want to try and get on top of when you are taking your business on to a national level. As long as you have thought about some of the following, you will probably be in a better position and feel considerably more ready to make it happen for real.

Operating As A Network

One of the first things to get your head around is that you will need to make sure you are operating your business as a network, rather than a number of individual businesses. Your locations are nodes on a web, not separate, and the sooner you start treating them as such, the sooner you will be able to really take your business where it needs to go. There are a lot of ways in which you might need to do this, whether that means using the likes of Jayde Transport to help transport goods from one place to another, or ensuring that you keep the lines of communication open between locations. As long as you think like a network, your business will act like one, and you should find that this leads to considerably more success in the long run.

Keeping True

A real challenge here is trying to keep your business true to its actual original intentions and ways of being in such a way that you still feel you are running the same business overall. In order to do this, you need to just be as clear as you possibly can be about what your business stands for, and that means writing it down and making it clear. For a lot of businesses, that essentially takes the guise of a style guide, and you might want to think about producing one yourself so that all arms of your business are operating in the appropriate manner similar to each other. Do that, and you will find that taking your business national is not going to get in the way.

A Strong Base

Finally, it’s important not to underestimate the value of a strong base. Because you never know quite what is going to happen when you expand, you at least need to be confident in the base that your business has, so that you can be sure that you always have that to fall back on in the worst case scenario. Focus on that, and you will feel considerably safer on the whole.

Ensure Outsourcing Success

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If you’re an entrepreneur with a small business, chances are you’re looking for creative ways to grow your business and make it the best you can be for less. If that’s the case, have you considered the fabulous possibilities of outsourcing?

At one time, companies would only resort to outsourcing when they had no other options at their disposal, usually because they did not have the knowledge and skills in-house to complete a complex task. Today, there are more freelancers remote workers and digital nomads than ever before and they are working in every sector imaginable, which means it is far more feasible, not to mention affordable, to outsource anything and everything.

When you outsource work, you can choose the best people for the job every time, and because you don’t have to employ them with all of the red tape and financial obligations that come with it, you save money. It’s a win-win situation, right? Well, it can be, but only if you’re careful and you do it right…

Weigh Up the Pros and Cons

Before you outsource anything, you should first weigh up the pros and cons of doing so. You do this by looking at the task in hand, checking if any of your staff have the time and skills to complete it themselves and how much it will cost you. If on balance, outsourcing seems to make more sense, then go ahead. If not, there’s no point paying more money to someone else – that’s just not smart business sense.

Check References and Reviews

Whether you’re looking to outsource your SEO to a digital marketing agency, you want to hire a freelancer to write your web content, or you need a bookkeeper to ensure your accounts are up to date, you should never outsource to anyone without first checking their references and/or reviews. Good freelancers/contractors/agencies will all be transparent and they will all have reviews to be seen, If they do not, go elsewhere, and if they are poor, steer clear. Outsourcing is only the best option when the job gets done well, on time by someone who really does know what they are doing.

Look at Samples

Ideally, you should also ask to see samples/look at their portfolio, to ensure that they really do know what they are doing before you hire them, too. This is the best way to see exactly what they are capable of producing day to day, and combined with reviews and references, should not steer you wrong.

Be Clear About Your Project

Of course, a poorly delivered project isn’t always down to the freelancer. Sometimes, it’s your fault for not giving them a clear enough statement about the project and what you expect them to deliver. You need to lay out as clearly and concisely as you can what they need to deliver and when, how much it costs and even how the project needs to be delivered. The more specific you are, the better the results will be.

Everything You Need To Know To Enhance Your Video Marketing

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Have you started to use videos in your marketing yet? You might think that producing videos is only suitable for certain types of businesses in specific industries, like tech and media. However, that isn’t really the case anymore. More and more companies are looking to use video in their marketing campaigns because it has been proven to really engage with customers. Most people will stop and take notice of a video whenever they stumble across one that looks interesting online. They are a lot more likely to take notice of it compared to some plain copy or an infographic, that’s for sure!

So, as you can see, it is very much worth your time to think about setting up a video marketing campaign, no matter which industry your company is based in. These next few tips can help you make the most of all your videos.

Consider Hiring Help

If you are completely new to making your own videos, it could be worth hiring a video production firm to take care of this for you. You will be able to work closely with them to ensure that the videos they create fit you and your branding perfectly. Even if you would like to bring your own video production in-house in the future, it’s still a good idea to work closely with a specialist firm to start with. They can show you the basics and offer you plenty of essential tips and tricks.

Think Of The Story

One of the main things to consider for any video that you create is its story. No marketing video should be just a cold sales pitch. You need to come up with a story so that it entertains those watching it. This will also make it a lot more relatable, and it won’t feel too sterile and corporate. If possible, try to think of a human story so that it appeals to people’s emotions. It doesn’t matter if your video isn’t obviously selling something; as long as it has a good story at its heart, it should still make people want to buy whatever it is you are trying to sell with it.

Make Sure It’s Mobile Friendly

All videos need to be mobile friendly these days. Now that the majority of web users are viewing the internet on their smartphones or tablet devices, you need to ensure that the videos you create can be easily viewed on these small devices. As well as being able to be viewed on mobile devices, you should also make it possible to download the videos on a tablet or phone as well. If you don’t, and you restrict your videos to desktop formats, then you might find that you get hardly anywhere near the views that you had expected.

Don’t Forget About SEO

You should also double check that your video is all ready for SEO before you publish it as well. This means that it will be optimized for search, so more people are likely to come across it. One of the best ways to improve a video’s SEO is to tag it with some appropriate keywords. That way, if anyone were to search for any of the tagged keywords, then the video should come up towards the top of their search results. You might also want to embed a few external links into your video description. That should be another way to send more people to your video.

It Needs To Be Informative

What message will you give the video? If it doesn’t have a clear message behind its story, then it won’t be informative and many viewers might end up switching off. Similarly, you need to make sure that your viewers will finish the video having learned some important facts and figures. But not only will an informative video be a lot more entertaining for viewers, it will also be extremely memorable, meaning people will remember what you have to say in it for longer.

Create Some Tutorials

Many business owners find that tutorials can work very well as marketing videos. If you can make a tutorial for something that is relevant in your business’s niche, then you will find that they have the potential to travel very far. That’s because people will share them to spread the knowledge which, in turn, can quickly spread your company’s name. Plus, people are a lot more likely to return to a tutorial video and watch it repeatedly compared to a standard marketing video.

Publish It To All Your Social Media Platforms

Once you are ready to publish a video, you should link to it on all of your company’s social media profiles. This includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. This should increase the number of people who see it, as it won’t just be people who click onto your website. Plus, you will get the chance to post the link to the video alongside some hashtags, which can increase its viewer numbers even further. And if someone enjoys the video, they will hopefully interact with it, which will share it to their own followers.

Keep It Light And Entertaining

No matter what the topic of your video is, it always needs to be light and entertaining. If it is too professional, it could come across as extremely boring and people would be very likely to click away from it. In order to keep hold of your viewers’ attention for as long as possible, make sure that there are is plenty of humor throughout the video and that the tone isn’t too serious.

Edit Them Well

Sometimes it really pays off to be a strict editor. Effective editing can help to shorten the video so that it doesn’t become too long-winded. Not only that, though, but it will also give you the chance to cut out any filler moments that may be weighing the whole video down. Some video producers say that the more editing, the better!

Good luck with all your future video marketing campaigns!

All Business Relationships Survive & Thrive In The Following Ways:

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Businesses are known for acting in a relatively selfish manner. We all know that while a business might exercise goodwill and be ran by profoundly decent people, the structure of a business must be geared towards survival if it hopes to continue. Even non-profit organizations in pursuit of a great cause will need funding to pay salaries, office rental, and a range of logistical costs to ensure their work can be achieved. This means, just like people, our businesses can be friendly up until a point, as long as their basic needs are met.

However, just like human relationships, sometimes a firm can help itself survive by allying itself with those around it. Businesses can thrive on goodwill just as human partnerships can, and not only survive, but thrive. It can be essential to know where to begin if you hope to establish yourself as more of a reliable force in the market.

Consider our advice:

Goodwill Between Firms

Goodwill often comes in the form of little actions. For example, you may decide to forgo a current small debt thanks to a large upcoming order, or perhaps deliver the goods for free despite the relative cost incurred to you. You may send free sample or full products to their office. For example, if you supply a firm with computer parts, you may send a batch of branded mouse-mats for free to help them set up. View this guide to nurturing your supply chain relationships for even more advice regarding upstream and downstream business connections.

Goodwill can also mean referring them to another firm who could better settle inquiries you can’t quite manage, putting in a good word for them. It might be that you offer free training, or something simple. A restaurant might offer discounted delivery lunches for staff of an office responsible for handling their marketing. This kind of goodwill connects firms, people, and helps out in small ways. It is akin to having a friend. In such a competitive industry, this can feel like a breath of fresh air.

Take Care Of The Customer

The customer isn’t always right, but they are always valuable. This means that taking steps to take care of your customers will often help them take care of you in kind. Remaining honest about how products are made, honoring long-term customers with loyalty rewards, celebrating customers with an outreach program or generally doing everything you can to keep quality high will result in a carefully considered relationship that helps honesty travel in both directions.

Remain Transparent

Remaining transparent is the easiest method of gaining trust. Let’s say one of your business partners commits a PR nightmare, such as posting a tweet that has vaguely abhorrent political undertones. This sounds like an unlikely scenario, but it happens. Your connection to a firm like this can be a PR nightmare for yourself also, so disconnecting from them but doing nothing to hide your previous relationship can show you are committed to living by your values. Or, it might be that you believe the firms intention was mischaracterized, and sometimes sticking by them can show rationality and dedication that both customers and other businesses may appreciate.

With these tips, we hope your business relationships remain worthwhile.

Print Products That Are Still Effective Today

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Print marketing still has a prominent role to play in the modern day. Whilst online advertising has been generating a wealth of attention, it would be extremely naïve to neglect your print strategy. When you consider the fact that print marketing is tangible and highly targeted, you see that it boasts two qualities that online marketing will never be able to rival. Because of this, both types of branding must be used if you are to market your company effectively. This post reveals the wealth of products you will have at your disposal when working with a high-quality printing company. You should give each of these products careful consideration before deciding whether they are right for your company or not.

First and foremost, let’s begin with those print items that have been designed in order to stand out from the crowd. This includes the likes of posters, display materials, flags, and teardrop banners. These items are generally big in size and thus they will typically be placed in a prominent area in order to generate attention. You could place a large poster in your shop window to advertise a discount you have running at present. This will draw people in off the street into your store. Moreover, you may place flags in a busy city centre to market a particular event. With these sorts of products, location is everything if you are to maximize the impact of your marketing material. The great thing about large promotional items such as these is that your ROI is generally very high, as one banner will be seen by a huge number of people. These products are ideal when you want to appeal to a mass audience rather than a targeted one.

In direct contrast to the items that have just been mentioned, you then have those that are ‘letterbox perfect’, i.e. they can easily be posted through your letterbox. This includes the likes of leaflets, flyers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and catalogues. These are designed to have a greater pull on the reader. Whereas posters and banners contain little information but have attention-grabbing value, leaflets and newsletters contain much more detail and are designed to engage with the reader. These items are a lot more targeted. They can be used to advertise several different items from your company, an array of promotions, various events, and so on and so forth. In fact, a lot of companies are embracing the prospect of having their own magazine. This works in a similar fashion to online content marketing. You are empowering the customer with knowledge in the hope that they then buy from you. This is indirect marketing and it works extremely well.

Last but not least, what about promotional items? This encompasses everything from t-shirts, to pens, to bags, to USBs, and so on and so forth. These items will contain your company’s logo and any other relevant details, such as your website address. These work to create a loyal consumer base. You are essentially giving someone a gift and this generates a connection between you and your potential customer.  They will then feel somewhat obliged to use your business whenever they require the service you offer. Moreover, by providing them with an item they will use a lot you are constantly advertising your services again and again. It is also worth considering the fact that an item such as a bag will be seen by a wealth of other people too. Therefore, the recipient of the item will be advertising your company for you.

Clever Tips For When You First Go Into Business

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The world of business can be a scary one, and if you’re only just going into it, you’ll know this more than most. How are you supposed to be successful, turn a profit, make everybody happy, gain new clients, plan out your days… the list goes on, and it seems to never end when you’re trying to make it as an entrepreneur. There are some things that you should remember, however, if you want to ensure that you make your hard work turn into a great success, so read on for some business tips for newbies.

You’ll get things wrong. Accept it

As somebody who is new to business, the first thing that you need to accept is that you’ll get things wrong, and that’s OK. As with anything that you go into for the first time, you need to make some room for errors, as they’re going to happen. It’s all part of learning how to be successful in business.

The key thing to make sure of is that you don’t go too hard on yourself because of it. Allow yourself the creativity to do what you think is going to work, and if it doesn’t, then at least you tried it. Nobody came up with great ideas without trying out many things that failed first.

There are perks to being a business owner out there

Sure, when it comes to the way that your business works, you can give yourself as many perks as you like. You can wear what you like, do whatever hours you want to do, and you can pay yourself a wage that you think is appropriate. But your perks aren’t limited to those inside the office.

In fact, there are many of them out there for people who work in specific fields. If you work in the motor industry you can get reduced car garage insurance, and if you work in other trades you could get cheaper supplies. Make sure you remember about these perks, because they will help you when you first start out.

Money isn’t everything

When you start a business, you do so on the understanding that it is going to earn you a fair bit of money, and ultimately, that is the aim. However, there are other things to business that make it worthwhile, and if you get hung up on money you’re going to forget the other important elements.

For example, in business you will make connections with people all over the world, you’ll get to travel, and you’ll get to be your own boss. Slow down once in a while, and appreciate all that you’ve done. Sure, your profits aren’t where you want them to be sometimes, but you’re still doing great!

So…

If you’re just starting out in the world of business, there are some important things to remember. Ultimately, you just need to accept your mistakes, as they will make your business stronger tomorrow, you need to know and embrace the perks of being a business owner, and you should remember that money isn’t all that business offers!

5 Challenges For Home-Based Businesses

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For many, the idea of working from home is synonymous with freedom. The typical cliché is to work from your bed in your best PJs. In truth, the work life of home-based business owners couldn’t be further from that. Indeed, when you remove the office environment, you can encounter a variety of new and complex challenges that affect both your work routine and your everyday lifestyle at different levels. Perhaps, for home-based workers, the real path to success is to learn how to identify and manage these obstacles before they impact on their health, productivity and earning abilities.

The liberating world of pajama work is nothing but a rose-tinted cliché. Indeed, to benefit from the freedom of your remote arrangement, you need discipline and effective management of tasks and processes. Here are the top 5 obstacles you need to be aware of and prepared to address as you establish your business.

#1. Where does work end?

Picture the scene. Your work commute is only a few seconds, as you make your way from the bedroom to the home office. You don’t even need to worry about what to wear or whether or not to do your hair. Admittedly, while working from home can shorten your prep time in the morning, it comes at a significant disadvantage. You lack closure at the end of the day. While when you’re office-based, you need to leave the office to get back home physically, it’s not something you need to do when you live and work in the same place. Consequently, you can struggle to leave work behind at the end of the day. Sticking to a scheduled time in a separate space is a difficult discipline to develop. Indeed, many home-based workers are tempted to stop working when they’re done for the day. If you’re running a small business, it’s fair to say that you may never be done. Instead, for your sanity, stick to fixed working hours.

#2. Thinking you have to do it by yourself

We get it. You’ve launched your own business, and, consequently, you need to run it alone until you can afford to hire a team. Multitasking is a common approach for home-based business owners, but it’s not half as effective as you might think. For a start, the brain is unable to multitask successfully. Additionally, multitasking implies that you master most business elements and can happily perform all tasks. In truth, you need to delegate some of your jobs if you want to keep your business afloat. Successful solo entrepreneurs rely on outsourcing advisory services to identify areas that can be delivered by external suppliers – such as IT. You can find experts to advise and guide you through your outsourcing journey.

#3. Feeling lonely and sad

Entrepreneurship is a famously solitary journey. For home-based entrepreneurs, the feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming and lead to serious cases of anxiety and depression. With almost a third of sole traders and solo entrepreneurs claiming that isolation is a big problem, you can’t ignore the way working alone affects your mood. You need to create a network of connections you can rely on at the start of your journey. Whether you meet people through online communities or you surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are experiencing the same thing than you, is up to you.

#4. Staying on top of your health

Contrary to the common belief, being at home doesn’t mean you’ve got more time. On the contrary, home-based workers struggle with time management and tend to work longer hours which makes it difficult for them to focus on their health. In an office, you can plan a visit to the gym after working hours. But when you work from home, you might lack movement. However, if you can create a work schedule, you can make time for your workouts. More importantly, you need to stock healthy food only, as one gets easily tempted by sweet treats — if they’re readily available.

#5. Missing the latest trends

Regular training and business talks are an everyday occurrence in an office. At home, keeping up with the latest industry trends can prove difficult – especially as your time is precious. However, to stay relevant in your market, you need to use smart tools to update your knowledge regularly. Google Trends can help you to monitor what your audience is searching and to identify trends on time. Something as simple as tracking social media mentions can provide enlightening insights on what people are talking about.

Working from home is a disruption to the typical office environment. However, it’s a disruption that comes at a cost, your mental and physical health. Looking after yourself and using smart strategies and tools can ensure you remain on top of your field at all times.