I am really keen to start my own business, but I am concerned about feeling isolated and missing the buzz of working in a team. Have you got any tips or experience you can share on this?
Yes – I can really empathise with this feeling and it’s also a common concern I hear from a lot of the mums I coach. Working from home on your own can sound like the perfect solution to flexible working – however the reality can feel quite different.
When I first started my business I definitely suffered from ‘cabin fever’ if I didn’t get out the house and when I spent too long on my own I struggled to keep my motivation and energy levels high.
Five steps to beat business loneliness
Based on my years of experience, the best way to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working for yourself is by following these five practical steps.
1) Break up your work day
Try to proactively manage your week so that you aren’t sitting alone at home working by yourself for long periods of time. Break up your day by attending networking sessions, meetings with potential clients and don’t forget to have coffee with friends.
2) Find a sounding board
Have someone – a friend, business partner, ex colleague – who can act as your trusted sounding board when you are considering important decisions such as target market, marketing plans and pricing strategies.
It’s really helpful to talk things through and hear some objective opinions.
3) Hire freelancers
As soon as you can, build your team in a low risk way by taking on freelancers to help you build your business and plug any gaps in your knowledge and experience. You can’t be great at everything so recognise where you need help!
At Inspired Mums I now have freelance help with PR and comms, fellow coaches and a virtual assistant and I love the feeling of being a team!
4) Build relationships
Build relationships with businesses that have good synergy with your own. That way you can refer business to each other and discuss ideas and strategies for working together.
5) Create a portfolio career
Consider a portfolio career – this is when you earn money from different sources and can be a great way of getting balance in your life.
Think about how you could work as part of a team as well as being self-employed – for example could you work freelance for someone else as well as running your own business? Or maybe have a part-time job? Taking the occasional contract within a business could give you the social contact and interaction you desire.
Answered by our monthly career agony aunt Fiona Clark from Inspired Mums. If you have a question you’d like Fiona to answer, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07789 597209.