6 Easy Steps to Separating Your Personal Life from your Business
If you work from home, chances are you already know that you’re really pulling “double duty”. You probably work on your business while doing the laundry, corralling the kids, or fixing dinner… and let’s not forget all the phone calls from family and friends expecting you to run errands or just “go out” for an afternoon of fun.
One of the hardest parts of running a home business is separating your work from your family and social life. Here are six proven ways to keep your home life running smoothly while keeping your business on track.
1. First, create a work schedule and stick with it. It may be tempting to answer personal calls during the day or take business calls after-hours, but doing this actually shows that you’re expendable – not dependable – and people will take for granted that you’ll “always be there” for any little things that come up. Even though family comes first, stay true to your business hours and resist the urge to chat with friends or pick up groceries during working hours.
2. Your friends may consider “working from home” an invitation to chat during the day or just go out for coffee or shopping for an afternoon. Make it clear that your business hours are just that – for business. Leave personal calls for after-hours, and you’ll find that your friends will gradually accept your schedule without feeling slighted.
3. Just because you have to set up a work schedule, doesn’t mean that you have to keep the same hours as everyone else. One of the benefits of working for yourself is setting your own hours to fit your most productive times. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll find that you’ll get much more done when you’re attuned to your body’s own natural rhythms. Some people work in the morning, take a break in the afternoon when the kids are home from school, and work again in the evening. Schedule your work time when you feel the most productive and you’ll find that things get done easier, faster and better than when you were dragging along during those same rigid work hours that everyone else has.
4. If getting after-hours business calls or work day personal calls is a problem, it helps to have a separate business phone line, or at least an answering machine or voice mail, to take the incoming calls. This also gives your business a more professional appearance to clients than if you and your family make and receive calls from the same phone line.
5. If at all possible, try to separate your “home office” from the rest of your home. If you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, a room partition or screen can be just as helpful. This also serves as a visual cue to family that you’re working and shouldn’t be bothered.
6. Dress and act professionally while working. Some people find it helpful to dress in casual business attire during their working hours. This reinforces that just because you’re working from home doesn’t make you any less of a professional. Answer the phone with your name, or business name, and keep your children off the phone during business hours. Also, spend money investing in the tools you need to do your job right. A cell phone, fax machine or even a budget computer can help turn your home office into a true workspace.
If you follow all of these tips and stick with them, chances are you’ll find a routine that not only makes you feel productive and active in your business, but also projects the message that you mean business – literally!
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PC To Phone Using (VoIP) With Dial-Up
Have you heard that you can make phone calls over the internet cheaply? Have you had a chance to try it? Most people that have had a chance to try it have experienced hit or miss quality, dropped calls as well as some speech delays. But there are some steps that you can take to really improve the quality and consistency of you VoIP calls over your internet Connection.
There is a lot of buzz these days around Internet based communication, VoIP, replacing regular/traditional telephone service. Much of the buzz has been created by/around a company called Vonage, who’s motto is “Leading the Internet Phone Revolution”.
Even if you do not have a broadband connection, you can still save a fortune by using VOIP service for long distance calls. A broadband connection will give you more consistent, reliable call quality, but similar results can be obtained using a dial up account if some guidelines are followed.
All VoIP service providers are different, they do not all support dial-up users. Companies such as Vonage happens to be one that backs away from dial up connections. The providers that do support dial up usually only support dial-up above certain speeds. The two most popular companies that do support dial up VoIP are Callserve and Go2Call.
If you close programs that are running in the background, you will get higher call quality. If you are using windows, just right click & close all open non-essential applications that are shown in your taskbar at the bottom right of your screen. If you are using windows XP & there are other users logged on, be sure they log off before trying to make a call.
You also need to be conscience of what you are doing while you are on the call. If you overload the limited data capability your call quality will suffer. Other activities that will compete for bandwith are: Instant Messaging, checking your email, web cameras, surfing the internet or downloading anything.
Scan your system frequently for Viruses and Adware, these programs can tie up your browser and internet connection, slow down your system and affect your call quality.
Make it a habit to scan your system every month so your virus software remains uo to date. McAfee or Nortons are good programs, Spybot – Search & Detroy is good for removing spyware.
Use a headset with a boom microphone and this should eliminate annoying voice echoes often associated with VoIP phone calls. If you use a headset, voice signals are limited in volume and thus the chances of your microphone ‘re-transmitting’ those voice signals is greatly reduced.
So if you have dial up you can still enjoy the cost savings of making PC to VoIP call.
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How Do I Compare VoIP Providers?
It’s actually quite easy to compare VoIP (http://ift.tt/2j3MOwP) providers because the technology is so new that the features that each provider offers differ quite a bit. Just like any service, you want to be sure that you get the best deal, and a program that will fit your needs and desires. Luckily, comparing VoIP providers will be quite simple and you’ll quickly be able to select the provider that is best suited to you.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you want to compare VoIP providers is find out which ones offer services in your area. You may be able to eliminate a couple providers just by looking at their areas of service. Once you eliminate the providers that just won’t work out, you’ll have to look at features and price.
One of the biggest differences between VoIP providers is the features that they can offer. Many have very easy to use routers that allow you to use a regular analog signal and digital signal when it’s suitable. Some VoIP providers only allow calls to other VoIP users, and others allow you to call anyone, anywhere, anytime.
If you make a lot of long distance calls you’ll really want to pay attention to the plans and the provider that you go with. Some VoIP providers don’t distinguish between local and long distance calls, so you basically get all your calls one month for just a service fee. Other VoIP service providers don’t allow you to make long distance calls, or they charge exorbitant fees for them. So, the amount of long distance phone calls you make may be the deciding factor in your choice for a VoIP provider.
Do a lot of research, just like you would when you are looking into any service. If you know whom you are dealing with it’s a lot easier to make an educated decision. When you determine exactly what you need then it’s just a matter of matching your needs with what is offered! Good luck, VoIP is definitely the wave of the future and it will only get easier and more advanced!
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