For many self-employed people working from home, the feeling of isolation is something that can become a bit of a personal battle. Unlike working in a traditional office or business setting, there is no water cooler to hang out at and talk with fellow co-workers. If your business is not one where you routinely talk with clients or customers, working from home can become very isolating.
This lack of social interaction can become difficult for some people to deal with and can be the result of many failed home businesses. However, there are a few things you can to do break out of your isolated home office and find social interaction.
Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce
For many businesses, becoming a member of their local Chamber of Commerce is a great way to find new customers and give you a bigger presence in the community. As a member, it is also a great way to network and socialize with other business owners. Many will have weekly introduction and networking meetings, as well as smaller business groups which will have luncheons or other networking meetings. Not only does this provide you with a great opportunity to promote your business, but it allows you to get out of the isolation of working alone all the time at home. As a member of my local Chamber of Commerce, I was able to not only grow my business, but get out for weekly meetings and our monthly social networking night.
Look to join or start a home-based networking group
While you may feel isolated working from home, there are more than likely many other home-based people that are in the same boat. Many communities have groups or organizations in place that are designed for home-based business networking. Checking your local newspaper or Craigslist will help you find one in your local area.
If you are unable to find one in your local community, consider starting your own. Setting up a weekly meeting at a local restaurant where you and the other members can meet, socialize, and network can work to build your business, gain clients, and share tips with other home-based business owners.
Find an online community of home-based business owners
Should you work from home and are unable to really get out of the office and meet with people, then consider joining an online home-based business community. These sites are filled with other people working from home and will allow you to have the same socialization and networking opportunities as the others, except through your computer.
HomeBasedBusiness.com promotes itself as “The Social Network of the Home Based Business.” Similar to sites like Facebook, this site allows you to create a profile page, join discussions in the forum section, join business specific groups, and much more.
For those work-at-home moms out there, the site WAHM.com can be a valuable resource to find others who are in the same situation as you are. With articles and tips from working from home while being a mom to forums enabling you to talk with other working moms, this site is a great way to socialize and network with home-based working moms just like you. While working from home allows you to set your own schedule and not have a boss, the downside can be fighting the feeling of isolation. Finding home-based business socialization and networking groups can help you battle this isolation while helping to grow your business at the same time.
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