Kelly Spors on Home-Based Businesses Needing a Plan

Kelly Spors is the founder of Home Business Coach, an online coaching service for home-based entrepreneurs. She believes that in order to succeed, small business owners must have a plan and be prepared with the necessary tools.

In Run Your Home Like an Office: How to Make Your Home Work for You, Kelly Spors, a New York Times small business writer, cites Alvah Parker, a Swampscott, Massachusetts, job transition counselor.

She advises at-home entrepreneurs to create a comprehensive business plan that includes not just financial forecasts for the company, but also details on how you’ll handle working from home. Laying up a regular work schedule and outlining how you’ll handle particular situations in advance, such as if a friend or relative calls during working hours or your kid interrupts an essential phone conversation, are all examples of this. You might also set aside time throughout the day or evening for home chores, errands, or leisure activities that you would otherwise undertake during work hours.

Keep your expectations in check. You don’t want to create a company strategy in which you prepare for more work hours than you can manage or where you ignore apparent disruptions that will take time away from your job. One alternative is to assume that periods when small children are awake will be less productive, and schedule your work around nap times or when someone else is watching the children.

Now comes the difficult part: adhering to the plan. Keeping distinct to-do lists for business and household duties helps many entrepreneurs manage their time and keep the two mentally separate.

— Tim