Does a Home Business Need Regular Business Hours?

One of the reasons owning a home business is many people’s dream job is the desire for flexibility.  Working 9 to 5 or longer, plus the added time of commuting means a large chunk of time daily is spent either going to, coming home from, or being at work. In fact, many individuals spend way more time at work than they do at home.  This is probably why so many of us set regular business hours when we launch our home businesses.  But should a home business set business hours?

Like so many things, it really depends on your business.

If you’re providing B2B services, then it might be wise to set your business hours so they coincide with your clients. It makes it much easier for them to reach out with projects or issues if you’re in the office when they are in the office.  If you’re a products driven business, you still may want to set a more traditional schedule, especially if you’re doing a lot of shipping.  Trips to the post office can only be done when it’s open right? 

But…

And this is important to take note of.  There is no hard and fast rule that says you must set regular office hours. In fact, the beauty of being your own boss is having the flexibility to work when it suits you best.  If you’re someone who is more productive after noon, then it makes more sense to work then.  If you have days when you prefer to work from 8 until 5 and others where you prefer only working until noon, you can set that as your schedule.  If you only want to work 4 days a week, it’s your business after all, run it your way.

It’s not so much what your business hours are set at, it’s more about your customers and clients knowing you can be depended on to get the job done. If you’re up front with them about your daily work schedule, they can plan around it, no matter what it is.  After all, many business people work with freelancers who are on the other side of the globe and they make it work just fine.

The most important part about business hours is communication with your clients and customers. As long as they are aware of your availability, it will work just fine. 

Over the years I’ve come to realize that I needed more flexibility in my business hours.  Since 2007 I’ve been available 9-5, Monday through Friday.  In the past few years, I’ve worked in more flexibility.  I start my workday at 8:30 am, something I was already doing as I sipped my first cup of coffee.  This allows me to stop working at 4:30 pm and make it to the gym every day.  I’ve also started using my breaks to do errands or attend doctor appointments. I often schedule local client meetings around those errands and appointments, which allows me to get out of the office business done directly before or after. In the summer I implement Summer Fridays, half days that let me start my weekend a few hours earlier.  I’m able to do all of this while still providing my clients with stellar service.

If you’ve locked your home business into a regular 9 to 5 schedule, you may be missing out on one of the best perks of owning a business. Flexible schedules allow for better work/life balance. And that’s something we all want and need.


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TMarieHilton

Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.

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