One of the best parts of running your fashion business from home is freedom. Your time is your own and that’s something that most people can’t say. But that freedom can foster a lack of productivity that will inevitably lead to a flailing business.
While I’m a big believer in doing things your way and creating the life and work environment that you love, here are…
6 Tips for Running Your fashion Business From Home
Set a schedule
Though flexibility is usually the name of the game, it’s a good idea to have a basic schedule in place that helps you organize your day and stay productive. Something as simple as having a regular wake-up time, and allotting certain hours to office work and other hours to studio time, can keep you on track when you start to feel overwhelmed with everything you need to get done.
One of the things that it took me a while to learn but am so glad that I did, is creating the habit of taking breaks. When you work form home and there are no colleagues asking you in you want to go get some lunch or stopping by your desk to chat for a few minutes, you can find yourself hours into work without having taken any break at all. Breaks are important. Maybe take a walk, or even just get up and stretch for a few minutes.
Break the Rules
I’m a huge fan of going to the grocery store on a Tuesday morning. Or doing the laundry on Thursday at 3pm. The point is that you can set up your week in a way that works best for you and not feel guilty. I used to worry about missing emails or not being “available” for a chunk of time in the middle of the day. Ridiculous! This is a perk and you should embrace it.
This also rings true for the sporting of pajamas. A lot of business people will tell you it’s best to get up and get dressed before embarking on your day, as it makes you feel like you’re going to the office. I just don’t subscribe t this idea. Sure, some days I’m excited to get up and get dressed but some days are just pajama days and, as long as I’m getting my sh*t done, who cares!? Confession: I have been known to take a Skype call in business from the waist up, pj’s from the waist down. Whatever.
Something you may find helpful is scheduling your meetings in blocks, whether that’s all in one day or back to back for a few hours two days a week. The thing about working from home is that you have nowhere to take business meetings so no one is ever coming to you, you’re always going to them. That’s time consuming. Try to schedule your meetings back to back so that you’re not in and out all day long. And remember, Skype is your friend.
If possible, have a space that is all your own, preferably one with a door you can close. Now, as someone who understands the square footage of a New York apartment, this may not be possible for a lot of you. But if it is, designating a space that is “all business” is so helpful in allowing you to focus on your work. When your office is the kitchen table, it can be distracting (there’s always seems to be a reason to stroll over to the fridge). It’s by no means impossible, it just means it requires more discipline on your part.
Change It Up
With all this talk of working from home, I will throw in the option of changing it up. A new environment every now and then can do wonders for your creativity. I am a lover of the neighborhood coffee shop. I live and work out of Hoboken, across the river from Manhattan and my neighborhood coffee shop has become my office away from home office. When you settle into a new environment for the day, you tend to get a fresh perspective on your work. And the productivity-sucking distractions that can live in your home are no where to be found.
I have strong fashion background of 20 years. Have been out of the field but want to get back in through an at home career. Going back to college is not a option. How do I get started?
This is great advice, also I was hoping for a little guidance on how to start up… would greatly appreciate any help x
I concur with evevery point in the writeup and comments especially Mary’sknowing when to stop. I’m guilty of that can get all worked up about work so much so I lose weight from stress.
I second the tip for knowing when to stop. Everyone needs a weekend, it doesn’t have to be the same days. Also, it’s easy to feel guilty when working from home, and taking time for yourself during traditional office hours. It’s very tempting to work long, late hours to make up for it.
Agreed, being able to relax is totally necessary. And ultimately, it tends to lead to more productivity and creativity during work time. 🙂
Working at home also requires the discipline to stop working. Sometimes it is difficult to tear yourself away. Studies have repeatedly shown that people who work at home work longer hours than those in an office. You need some time for yourself, and a chance to recharge your batteries. Take a lunch break, even if it is a short one. Get up and walk around for a few minutes. If you can, go outside. You will find your are more productive, and creative, after a break.
Great point Mary!