Being able to work from home all these years has ticked so many boxes for me. I didn’t thave to send the children to childcare in the holiday which they hated. I don’t feel so bad on day sI can’t work from being ill ( I have M.E). Plus the feeling I get each morning when I get up knowing that I work from home still is a mixture of immense excitement and that feeling when ou stands at the edge of a cliff.
But there are a few things I never really truly anticipated when I started and a few I am still battling with today.
I wasn’t, at all, flexible. Well, I was in the sense that in the summer holidays I would switch to working in the evenings. My clients knew this, understood this and totally fine with it. But because I have worked in an office for so long I was very set in my days. This isn’t a bad thing, though, I would get up the same time and be dressed just like for the office but I would feel guilty if I even thought about putting the washing out in my work time.
It’s all about balance. Yes, you need a schedule. Yes, its better to keep set hours and get out of that PJs. But have some perks too.
Value Your Work
The second thing I had huge problems with and still battle with today is charging enough. When someone would ask me how much something was I would mutter …oh just ….as I thought quickly about which household bill was coming up next and how much I needed to cover it. This isn’t the way to work it.
When you buy a scarf off one of the craft sites or your friend you know you are paying for the wool and their time and skill it took to make it. Your brain might even factor in some pennies for admin costs. Simple. But when you offer a service where there isn’t a physical item you are charging for your time but more so for your skills. (I’m not saying knitting a scarf isn’t skillful, I know as I haven’t managed to complete one yet) Skills you invested time in to learn. Skills that took awhile to learn and perfect. They are willing to pay for that because they don’t have your skills.
On a side note – Sadie from Rocking Virtual Assistants ( affiliate link) teaches in her course that when your new or faced wth lots of competition don’t lower your prices. You are undervaluing yourself and others in your niche. Instead, add value. That has got to be the best advice ever.
Track Those Expences.
I use to work in accounts. I know the importance of keeping accounts. I lived and breathed numbers for far too long. But the big tip here is, don’t leave them to the end of the year. Nothing more daunting than seeing a box of receipts and invoices that span the previous 12 months. Guess what’s on my list to do in the next few weeks? Print off all my receipts and invoices for the year. Don’t do what I still do. I haven’t mastered the art of doing it regularly. Don’t be like me.
Weekly or monthly Don’t leave it any longer than that. It will help you keep on top of things and you will know where you stand throughout the year instead of it being a nice little surprise at the end.