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Starting a home business pitfalls to avoid.Starting a home business often means a radical change in the work environment for most people. This is especially true for those who come out of corporate  or professional workplaces where there are inherent disciplines that keep everything business-like. In fact, the prospect of being freed from some of these workplace disciplines is seen as a major benefit by those thinking of starting a home business. But environment is a powerful influence. In a corporate office, a factory, or a store there is expectation that work is accomplished in these places. In a home, the expectations are quite different. The home is a place where family life happens. The normal work in a home is housework, homework, and yard work. Home is a refuge where one can relax and be rejuvenated for another day in the business world.

Can Your Castle Survive Starting A Home Business

When you make the decision to bring your small home business into your home there are some disciplines necessary to keep you from making a mess of both. Terra Bohlmann, founder of, offers some helpful advice in her blog, 6 Do's and Don'ts of Working From Home. Let's take a look at some of them...
Do: Stay in the land of the living What does this mean? This means getting dressed instead of staying in your pajamas all day. You don’t have to dress up, but you need to change your clothes to switch out of bedtime and into the work day. Secondly, open the curtains. Let the natural light in. Don’t stay cooped up in the dark all day long. Natural light will help keep your mood up and keep you alert. If the weather permits let the fresh air in too. You’re a writer, this doesn’t mean you have to hide yourself away and become a complete slob.
My recent blog post, Are Pajamas Proper Attire For Your Home Business, questioned whether your attire in your home office can be detrimental to your productivity. Here is another I liked...
Do: Take a lunch hour Working for 8 straight hours straight and alone might start to drive you a little nutty. Take a break for lunch each day. Get out for a short walk. Eat lunch in the park. Do some personal reading. Do anything but work. You deserve a break. If you can swing it, meet up with someone else who works from home so that you both get out and have human contact. You’ll feel better for it.
And closely related is this word of advice from Terra...
Don’t: Overwork If you can manage to work efficiently during your work day, you won’t have to work after hours or on weekends. You can spend that time with family and friends. Getting out of the house during your off hours will also help you to work better at home, because you won’t feel as isolated when you are working inside for 8 hours. Staying home and working 24/7 is enough to make anyone crazy.
There is a sense of urgency in starting a home business successfully that drives us to work long hours and the proximity of our home office makes a bit too easy to overdo it. Taking breaks and balancing your work schedule and home life is essential to your health and sanity. The next one is not only important for your productivity but mandatory to satisfy IRS requirements for home office tax deductions.
Do: Have a proper workspace Placing your workspace in the perfect place can make a lot of difference in how productive you are. If you are in or close to the living room or kitchen you may end up doing things such as dishes, vacuuming, watching a little TV, washing windows, laundry. It always seems to be during the work hours that we “remember” all the chores we need to do. Fight this urge by placing your workspace away from tempting areas. No matter where your workspace is though, remember to keep it your workspace. Do what you can to keep it free of unrelated items (I.e. clothes/toys). Get others into respecting your work area as well. You want this to be the place that you feel good going to every morning.
Terra also has helpful tips regarding interruptions that are commonplace for those of us with a work from home business - specifically, personal phone calls and e-mails. I highly recommend your reading Terra Bohlmann's entire article, 6 Do's and Don'ts of Working From Home. To your home business success, Bob Young  
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