Happy #WeddingWednesday, Planner Friends! Today on The Bridal Society‘s blog, we have another piece of our contributor content brought to you by our blog manager, Cathy Nugent of A Hosting Home. Read what she has to say as she shares her sweet secrets on how she works successfully from home as a Designer, Blogger, and Certified Wedding Planner.
Tips for Working Successfully From Home
When it comes to owning your own wedding planning business as a certified wedding planner, you may find yourself working from your home (when you’re not visiting venues or meeting clients at local coffee shops). Today on the blog, I can’t wait to share with you some simple yet important tips on successfully working from your home to better grow your business.
Have a Designated Office Space
While this may sound simple and obvious, it could not be more important. If you’re running your wedding planning business from your home, it’s incredibly important to have a designated office space for your business.
Your designated office space should be:
- Permanent: When it comes to designating a work space for your business, it needs to be permanent–not the kitchen table that you have to clean off for lunch and dinner. Whether you convert a spare bedroom into an office or put a desk in the corner of your living room, designate a space in your home where you can go every day to focus on nothing but your work.
- Yours: When designating an office space in your home, it’s also extremely important that it is solely yours. Make your office space strictly for your business rather than a place for your kids’ school papers or your spouse’s junk drawer–and have your family respect those boundaries.
Not only will having a defined office space help you to stay organized by having all your business-related work in one place, it will also help you to be more productive and efficient in your work. One thing I personally love about having a designated office space in my home for my business is that it’s easier to log off for the day–by literally walking away.
Set Office Hours
It’s no secret that one of the perks of owning your own business is the opportunity to dictate your own schedule. In fact, it’s a prime reason why a lot of people go into entrepreneurship. While this opportunity may allow you to schedule midday outings, it’s extremely important to set definite office hours for yourself in order to work on your business. Make a schedule that works for you–you know your own level of ‘busy’ and the lifestyle that you want to live–and stick with it!
Still, as a passionate business owner, one of the most important things to know is when to log off at the end of the day. With your commute to and from your office likely not exceeding the length of your hallway, it’s important to respect your hours like you would at a typical 9-5. While your work day may look more like 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM as an entrepreneur, having those specific hours in place will help you to turn it off at the end of the day. Not to mention that it will actually help you to be more productive and efficient while you’re working, knowing that your day will ‘end’ at a certain time.
Cut the Distractions
When I was in the process of starting my own business, one of the best pieces of advice I was given was that people were going to take my business only as seriously as I did. That’s why it’s so important to treat your business like you would any other career. Your time is extremely valuable–and it’s likely that you are not only the wedding planner, but also the CEO, accountant, administrator, business strategist, and everything else it takes to run a business. Nothing will work unless you do. Put the phone away (unless it’s to take business calls), turn off the TV, and dig in and do the work. While it’s okay to take breaks (seriously, it’s okay!), it’s important to treat the office hours you set for yourself like you would if you were on the clock for a 9-5. This will only help you to get things done so you can turn it off at the end of the day.
Create a New Morning Routine
When you feel put together, you feel more confident and equipped to take on whatever that day throws at you. While you may be tempted to stay in your pajamas all day when you work from home, it’s important to get ready for the day like you would for any other job.
Your mornings may not look like they would if you were getting ready for a typical 9-5, but you should still create some sort of daily routine that works best for you. Even if you prefer to keep it casual in jeans and your favorite blouse instead of dressing up in business attire, you’ll be amazed at the difference a face of make-up and fixed hair can make. Not only will you feel mentally ready for each day, but you’ll also feel ready to take on anything (or go anywhere!) at a moment’s notice.
Remember to Practice Self-Care
Your to-do list is a mile long, and your body is currently made up of 90% caffeine. You bend over backwards to take care of your clients. But who is taking care of you? When you’re taking care of everyone else’s needs at the expense of your own, it leads to burnout. There’s a reason they say you can’t pour from an empty cup–you’ve got to fill yourself up first if you expect to ‘pour’ into and serve others. Designate a day off each week to have coffee with a friend (free from conversations about work), wander around your favorite store for an hour, or even find yourself a new hobby.
Most importantly, schedule your self-care! You’re a planner for a reason–you live by your calendar. Scheduling time for yourself to rest and recharge will help you to better serve your clients, and it is just as important as the work you do for others. Chances are, if you see something on your schedule each day or week, you’ll do it. For example, I signed up for a gym membership, and I actually schedule the time that I’ll be going to the gym each day in my calendar. It’s even better when I’m able to schedule a fitness class for 5:30, so I’m forced to power down for the day. By scheduling ‘me time’ in my planner each day, it has become part of my daily routine that allows me to serve myself so that I can better serve my clients.
I hope these five simple tips for working successfully from home will help you in your own life and business. Do you have any more tips for working from home as a wedding planner? Leave them in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!