Over four years ago I sat down with my laptop and started writing with no intention that I would still be doing it over four years later and in no way did I think it would also be my job too. Not only that, I have recently started my own online store, Freddie and Co. It's on hold at the moment as I am so busy with personal life- but I'm also preparing for Christmas stock. Working from home is great if you have kids of any age, but it's not easy. You hear a lot of people saying how great working from home is when you're a parent, as you get to work around the kids- which is true. But you need the time to work, you still need similar hours that you would have if you were to work from home. A great bonus from working from home is you get to set your own hours, and as a parent, you don't have to miss those meetings in school such as parents evening or any events the kids may have. 

A business won't work overnight- I have learned that myself. You can't expect your business to grow overnight- it will grow if you put hard work into it. Here are just a few of my top tips for setting up your own online business from home; 

★ What
First thing first, you will need to think about what you want your online business to offer, whether it's party products, a blog, clothing store etc. 

★ Get your UTC
Be sure to tell HMRC that you are self-employed. It's best to get this done as soon as possible so it is done and you don't have to worry in the long-run. Remember to keep all your receipts and write down all your outgoings and incomings. 

★ Buy your domain/Set up your website/social media
The next thing you will need to do is think of a business name and see if the domain is available. I would advise you to set up an automatic renewal with a domain (from experience it's worth it). You will need to think if you want a website or do your business through social media such as the most popular ones: Facebook or Instagram. There are other sites too such as Etsy. You will need to think which one is best for you. For my online business I use Woocommerce- if you do this, you will need to patient and follow step-by-step guides as it can be tricky but worth it.

★ Courier
If your online business is selling products, it may be a good idea to find a courier to pick up your parcels and deliver them to your customers. This way it's easier for you and also cheaper. TNT offers a special service if you have a large item that needs delivering or if you have products that are awkward, fragile, valuable or time-critical parcels, TNT will be more than happy to safely pick up, ship and deliver your items to the customer- which is great for your business.

★ Make a plan - Be Organised
Although working from home can be great if you're parent as you can in some sort work around the kids. However, from experience, I do believe it's always best to make sure you make a plan for the week ahead and try your best to be organised during the week. Whether it's writing a list down on a pad or using Excel. It's also a good idea to have set times to work during the week, whether it's the mornings, daytime or evenings. Making sure you have those hours are essential to make your business work.

★ Find your customers/advertise
Once your business is set up, and you're ready to start, you need to find your customers. For sale groups on Facebook is a good start and if I would advise making a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account specially for your online business. Make sure to write your website in the boxes when you set them up so people can find your website. 

★ Be patient
An online business will not be successful overnight. You need to work hard and put passion into it if you want it to work. It can take days, months, years for a business to be 'successful' and it can take you to the best places if you keep working. So, my biggest tip is to be patient.

* This is a collaborative post with TNT

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