From the home office in Burlington County, New Jersey, I give you my top 5 rules for home business success. They are in no particular order and have been created through an arbitrary process of my own devising and if you don't like them take them up with my boss, who also happens to be my wife.

  1. No kids -- I don't care who you are or what you do, you aren't going to get any work done as long as there are off-spring roaming your house. Heck, it's even tough to be productive with a dog or cat. Send them to daycare or have a relative come to your home to watch over your bundle or bundles of joy.
  2. Hygeine -- One of the great freedoms of working from home is that you don't have to dress up in fancy work clothes. Nonetheless, you must resist the temptation to work all day in your pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers.
  1. Office hours -- Establish a working day and stick to it. If people -- especially those related to you -- ring you up during the workday just to chat, politely tell them that you won't be able to chat with them until work is done. In addition, when you are done work, leave your home office and don't come back to it until the next day. Believe it or not, people who work from home often wind up working far more hours than people who travel to the office because they forget to quit on time.
  2. Money -- Independent contractors sometimes get lost in the shuffle when dealing with large companies. The checks that you count on can go on a magical mystery tour through corporate bureaucracy. That's why it's vital that you keep track of who owes you what and not be shy about politely informing your client that the check hasn't arrived.
  3. Time -- Make sure that you don't promise too much to too many clients. Focus on doing your most profitable work first. Remember that time is money.
That's all of the tips I have for now. Please excuse me. I've got a meat loaf to prepare for tonight's dinner.

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