Working From Home: The Good, The Bad, and 6 Rules to Make it Work

Lacey Welborn

Lacey Welborn

Lacey and her brother Zeb Welborn founded Welborn Media. She has designed and launched websites, several projects, marketing materials, a podcast, a book and more. Her passions include her family, her friends, creating things and helping businesses grow.
Lacey Welborn

One of my favorite things about my job is that I can work from home.

Here’s the good and bad about working from home.

It’s GOOD because…
you have a flexible schedule.
you can sleep in.
it’s easier and often healthier to eat at home.
procrastination often leads to doing the dishes, cleaning the house, or doing laundry.

It’s BAD because…
there’s no one to keep you accountable.
it can be hard to get work started.
it’s easy to procrastinate.
there’s no interruptions to provide needed breaks.
you don’t spend time around other people.

There are definitely good and bad things to working from home. The important thing is to find solutions to the bad side of things. Here’s how I have found the balance to get all my Social Media work done on any given day.

#1 Create a Schedule
I decided this was necessary when I began postponing my start time for work every day. I tend to be more of a night owl. The main problem was that I would stay up later and later every night, then I’d sleep in more and more every morning. A big problem! I have set a schedule for myself. Even though I work from home and I could wake up whenever I want, I set my alarm clock. From the time my alarm goes off till I start working I have one hour to eat breakfast, check my personal email and social media accounts, anything that I want to do before I get to work. For me, an hour is a good amount of time to get everything sorted out before my work day begins so that I don’t feel stressed throughout the work day. Then I start my work schedule which lists each of my tasks.

#2 Follow the Schedule
You must follow your schedule. One of the benefits of working from home is having a flexible schedule. However, it is way more important to get everything done that needs to get done on any given day. For me I have written a schedule that includes how long each daily task takes. If I have a meeting to go to I can push some tasks back, but I still have a very clear idea of how long everything takes and how much time I will be working on any given day.

#3 Take Breaks
I mean short breaks. They really don’t need to more than 5 minutes long, but you should take a good amount of them (this is not including a longer lunch break). Preferably, you will use these short breaks to get up out of your chair and give your body and eyes a break from staring at a computer screen. This might be a good time to grab a glass of water. Or to quickly tidy up your room. Or perhaps to take a shower. If you work from home I highly recommend working a shower into your schedule.

Working from a coffee shop.

#4 Work Outside Your Home
Another great thing about working from home, is that often you don’t actually need to work from home. If you have tasks you can do on your laptop make yourself mobile and work from a coffee house or some other establishment with WiFi. For me, it can sometimes be helpful to work when there are other people around, even if I don’t know them. Also, ordering a drink from the Barista or striking up a conversation with a stranger in the coffee shop is a good way to make up for human interaction that you may have been missing out on.  Also, there is the chance that it will be a good networking opportunity.

#5 Know When To Stop
This rule is very important, but it also is the one most likely to be broken. The truth is, you need to get all the necessary tasks done every day. If you’re not going to be able to finish before your self imposed ‘quitin time’ then you need to work after hours to get it done. There are two key things to understand when it comes to following rule number 5. One: you must know what counts as a necessary task and what doesn’t. Two: You need to make sure necessary tasks don’t flood your schedule. Leave room in your schedule for things like self education (reading blogs, talking to colleagues, doing research in your field), random work related tasks, making new contacts; things that will help your business, things you maybe could do daily, but are not absolutely necessary. These tasks are what make your schedule flexible, if you have to cut back on them one day it won’t set you back for the next day.

#6 Love That You Work From Home
Working from home provides so much freedom and convenience. While the freedom could let you start work at 8am, or 12pm, or 2pm, or even 5pm; and the convenience makes it easy to eat a snack every fifteen minutes, or to watch just this one tv show, or to do your laundry and then iron everything and then sort everything so you know what you’re wearing for the next two weeks; freedom and convenience also let you meet up with friends at any given time, they let you travel and work from your laptop, they can make it easier to be healthier and they save you from sitting in traffic.

Embrace the good! Find solutions for the bad! And, be glad that you can do whatever you want so long as you do awesome work and make all your clients happy!

-Lacey Welborn

Should My Business Use Social Media?

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

When I first talk to business owners about Social Media, most realize Social Media is benefiting other businesses, but do not understand how it can help theirs.

Each business is unique and it is important for each company to determine whether or not to use Social Media based on the goals it has established for its business.

If you’re looking for the quick answer to the question, feel free to scroll down to the bottom, but I would like to share with you some examples of how and why businesses started using Social Media.

Example #1 – Grandma C’s Cookies

My sister met Grandma C at an event put on by the Arizona Small Business Association in Tempe, Arizona. She was very interested in the possibility of using Social Media to promote her cookie making business.  Grandma C was retired and wanted her business to earn some extra income.  She loved baking and built her business in her kitchen.

The Goal:  Grandma C had no desire to expand her staff. She wanted to be making cookies and sharing her baked goods with the local community.

The Answer:  Lacey suggested that using Facebook would be a great way to develop a relationship with the local community. She encouraged Grandma to try and get each of her new customers to join her Facebook page.  Then, when she had free time, to post photos and share her thoughts, ideas or inspirations regarding her baking.

Example #2 – System 1:  Acoustic Ceiling Removal

Richard McKinnon III, the President of System 1 Acoustic Ceiling Removal fell on rough times when the economy started to nose dive in 2007.  Richard was a fixer and when he started getting less business, his solution was to invest more in advertising to generate new business, cutting into his bottom line.  The money he spent in advertising for his products was not coming back to him the way it did pre-recession. Richard does not have time to devote to increasing his Social Media presence because he is constantly out on the road giving bids to home-owners across Southern California.

The Goal:  Richard has enormous responsibilities to his family and the people he employs; he needs to keep his business afloat and continue to provide for his family.  He knows his business is the best in the area and wants to maintain his business until the economy turns around.

The Answer:  We worked with Richard to create a Social Media campaign that incorporates a blog and Facebook.  The Facebook page is designed to reach out to potential customers who are homeowners and existing customers.  The blog is designed to allow users to find System 1 using search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Example #3 – WireSpeed Systems

WireSpeed Systems buys and sells new, used and re-furbished computer networking equipment to companies and individuals all over the world.

The Goal:  The market for computer networking equipment is highly competitive and WireSpeed Systems was looking for a leg up on its competition.

The Answer:  We worked with them to enhance their Social Media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Any person or business who is in a similar industry or who is interested in the products offered by WireSpeed Systems can find them easily on any of those platforms.  As a result, WireSpeed Systems has generated more leads and a better opportunity to convert those leads to sales.  They are also connecting with their customers in a more engaging and interactive way.

Example #4 – The Tutoring Solution

The Tutoring Solution Logo


I started tutoring students in 2009 and had generated a small clientele.  Tutoring is not the most lucrative business, but I really wanted to help students succeed in school, so it was a perfect fit for me.  At the beginning of the school year in September, 2010, I decided to start a website and try to build my tutoring business using Social Media.

The Goal:  To expand my business to help as many students possible succeed in the classroom in Southern California.

The Answer:  Before I started using Social Media, I had roughly four students that I tutored regularly and all were referred to me by word of mouth.  Today, a little over one year after my Social Media experiment started, The Tutoring Solution has worked with 63 students on a consistent basis.  During that time, I have had to hire 17 tutors and my client base is continuing to grow.

If you want your business to expand, you have to use Social Media. If you want your business to survive, you should use Social Media.  And if you want your business to die, you should stay away from Social Media.

In a chart designed by HubSpot, based off of information from EMarketer, the amount of companies that used blogs has more than doubled from 2007 from 16% to 39% in 2011.  Every Social Media site has seen a massive increase in the amount of companies that are using these tools to generate more business.  If you are not one of these companies, you are getting left behind.

United States Companies Using Blogs | Source: EMarketer, August 2010 by HubSpot

The real question you should be asking yourself is not whether or not you should be using Social Media, but whether or not you should pay someone else to do it.

It doesn’t make sense for Grandma C’s Cookies to pay someone else to do Social Media since she wouldn’t be making enough revenue to pay for someone to do Social Media for her.  Nor did it make sense for me to hire someone to do Social Media for my tutoring business, since I had no money to spend on advertising of any kind.

But, because I took the time and initiative to start a Social Media campaign on my own, my business thrived, just like Grandma C’s will if she does it right.

For any company that spends money in advertising it makes sense to devote money towards expanding your Social Media presence.  Unlike Newspaper, TV, or Pay-Per-Click Advertising, you can reap long-term benefits from using Social Media.  All the “Follows”, “Likes”, and “Connections” your company receives are likely to stay and can be reached out to at any time.  All blog articles that are written will be available for users to find, months, years, and decades down the line.

Should My Business Use Social Media?

The Answer:  Social Media is essential for any business, regardless of the industry and the goals of the company.  Deciding on whether or not to pay for someone to run Social Media for you is the only question your company should be asking.  

We can develop and implement a personalized Social Media strategy for any company.  If you think Social Media is something you’d be interested in finding out more about, please contact me, Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089 or WelbornSocialMedia@gmail.com to discuss ways Social Media can benefit your business.

 

The Story of Welborn Social Media

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

My sister and I were unemployed and living at our parents home.  My life had completely changed, I had gone through a difficult divorce and left my full-time teaching job.  Lacey had been working an exhausting job as a video editor at a local news station when they cancelled her show.

Zeb and Lacey Welborn Barbecuing Our Turkey on Thanksgiving Day

In February 2009, I began tutoring my first student and found I really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that came along with developing students in a one on one setting and experienced a lot of success.  Referrals came freely and my schedule became very full.  I decided to expand.

Lacey went back to school, taking graphic design classes and had been learning website design on her own.

I asked if she would help me with my business.  She created The Tutoring Solution logo and built a website. When the website went up, almost immediately, people began to find us online.

This was cool!

For months we added content to our website; using blogs, pictures and videos.  But, I also wanted to direct people to my website and needed to find an inexpensive way to do that.  Facebook and Twitter provided me with a free way to promote my business.

That’s when The Tutoring Solution took off.

My sister and I attributed our success to our efforts in Social Media. We did more research and began to attend classes, read articles, communicated with successful companies and kept up to date on best practices for Social Media.

Jennifer Davis from Scrapbook Expo was the first business owner we talked to about developing a Social Media campaign for their brand.  Jennifer was already active on Facebook and had generated a massive following.  I asked her if she would be willing to let me run a Twitter campaign for her company.  Welborn Social Media was born.

Many other companies began hearing about us through a variety of different avenues. Currently we do Social Media and graphic design work for the Creative Scrapbook Source, DLT Growers, Los Serranos Country Club, Scrapbook Expo, System 1, The Tutoring Solution and WireSpeed Systems.

Our story has only just begun.

Our mission is to build connections for our clients with potential customers and develop stronger relationships with current customers and to help their business grow.

If you’re looking to expand your business, schedule an appointment with us today.  We will work with you to create a personalized plan designed to help your business grow.

Schedule your free appointment today by contacting Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089 or WelbornSocialMedia@gmail.com