When Worlds Collide

Written by Elena Fawkner

When Worlds Collide

2002 Elena Fawkner

For many people, working from home sounds like an ideal arrangement. You don't have to waste time commuting to and fromrepparttar office, you can be home for your children when they come home from school, you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself and you can workrepparttar 117585 hours that suit YOU, not your boss. All very well in theory.

Onrepparttar 117586 other side ofrepparttar 117587 coin, though, arerepparttar 117588 challenges of working from home. Working your own hours all too often means working all hours if you don't set a workday schedule, while rowdy children can become an almighty challenge when you need to present a professional image torepparttar 117589 prospective client you're speaking with onrepparttar 117590 telephone.

The fundamental key to a successful transition to a home- based business is to keep your business and personal lives as separate as possible. Decide up front how many (and which) hours ofrepparttar 117591 day you're going to allocate to your business and stick to this schedule. What you don't get done during today's business hours can and should wait until tomorrow. Don't succumb torepparttar 117592 temptation of allowing your business to encroach on your personal and family time.

One effective way to keep your business and personal lives separate is to have separate areas ofrepparttar 117593 house for each. If at all possible, allocate a room of your house or apartment exclusively as your business office. Make sure that all members of your family understand that when you're in that room, you're working and not available except in an emergency. Likewise, don't use that room for any non-work activity such as a TV room (this is also an important point if you intend to claim your home office as a tax deduction).

By strictly separating areas in this way, you'll reinforce in your mind (andrepparttar 117594 minds of other family members) that your office is a place of business and is to be treated as such. Just as your family will learn to respect these boundaries, it will also help you to "switch off" atrepparttar 117595 end of your work day if you can literally shutrepparttar 117596 door of your office and return "home" to your family.

There is one temptation that, if indulged, can easily blurrepparttar 117597 line between your business and personal lives. That's attending to non-business tasks duringrepparttar 117598 hours you have allocated to business. Avoid leaving your office to run a load of laundry, unloadrepparttar 117599 dishwasher, cleanrepparttar 117600 bathroom or organizerepparttar 117601 kitchen cabinets ... any ofrepparttar 117602 myriad of things that can assume an almost overwhelming urgency inrepparttar 117603 face of that business task you're putting off starting. These sorts of distractions will only serve to keep you in your office much longer than necessary.

Get More Clients Now!

Written by Kimberly Stevens

Although David has been a graphic designer for a decade, hes only been a business owner for a little over a year. He was becoming increasingly discouraged with his clientele. I'mrepparttar only person inrepparttar 117584 business, and even though Ive been in business for a whole year, Im still having to spend a lot of time marketing to get new clients. Andrepparttar 117585 ones I do get usually only have one small project for me forrepparttar 117586 entire year. To top it off, I don't even get to dorepparttar 117587 kind of work I really enjoy. They all just wantrepparttar 117588 basic logo, business card, letterhead job. I really want to work on full-scale marketing campaigns where Im designing print ads, direct mailers & media kits. How do I get more ofrepparttar 117589 right clients?

As you are discovering, David, building a stable of long-term clients with needs that match your interests can be a time-consuming and ongoing effort, but it's worth it inrepparttar 117590 long run. It's up to you to build a company that attracts clients with higher-end needs. You can't blamerepparttar 117591 small businesses for whom you are likely working for having a small budget and basic needs. As a sole proprietor, you can certainly understand working on a restricted budget.

Sorepparttar 117592 first thing you need to do is to focus on how you want to position your company inrepparttar 117593 marketplace. What types of work do you want to do for clients? Do you want to avoid business card layout all together or will you do it if it's for a client who does or will have larger needs inrepparttar 117594 future? Do you want to develop a niche in which you specialize in doing full-scale marketing campaigns within a specific industry, such as restaurants or high-tech companies? You getrepparttar 117595 idea - begin by determining what type of work you want. The world of graphic design is big and broad, so it's your job to narrow your focus which will make your company more attractive to potential clients in that field because you spend more time working on projects similar to theirs as compared to a jack-of-all-trades graphic designer.

Next, you need to make sure that everything you use to present your company torepparttar 117596 marketplace reflects your new positioning. This may mean revisingrepparttar 117597 content of your web site and brochures and re-wordingrepparttar 117598 tagline on your business card. If you don't already have a tag line that you splatter on all of your collateral materials, create one. This is a terrific positioning tool. And, as a graphic designer, you know that you can impactrepparttar 117599 image someone gets of your company throughrepparttar 117600 design of your company's materials. Do you want to present your company as high-tech, friendly and affordable, or hip and cutting edge? Create a consistent image acrossrepparttar 117601 board on everything a prospect would see when encountering your business. If you want to do full-scale marketing campaigns, start with your own. Enlistrepparttar 117602 help of a designer friend or marketing friend if you tend to have trouble applying your designer brilliance to your own company as many of us do.

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