Solving a Common Home Business Problem

Small business owners know that when you work for yourself you usually work harder than those who work for someone else. This point is often lost on the friends of such business owners - they sometimes think that working at home means you sit in your bathrobe and play video games all day.

Many work-at-home business owners complain that their friends don't understand why they can't drop everything and run out for a long lunch several times a week. Others say they are asked to pick up kids from school or wait for the cable guy.

While many small business owners do have a flexible schedule, they also work more hours on average than those who work for someone else.

Here are some tips for managing unreasonable requests on your time.

Work Phone vs. Home Phone

Have a work phone that is just for work, and don't give the number to your friends. During your workday, do not answer your home phone.

Set Hours

Give yourself set hours, just like you had when you worked for someone else. When someone asks you for a favor, simply say, "I can't. That is during my working hours."

Eventually, they will stop asking.

Just Say No

For some who have never run a business, it's difficult for them to understand the demands such a venture takes on you. The bottom line is that your small business is more important than your friend's cable - and they would find a way for their kids to get picked up from school if you weren't readily available.

The simple answer is that you've got to learn to say "no" to requests that take you away from the task at hand.

If someone has no consideration for your needs, then it's safe to say you probably don't owe them any favors. Your real friends will understand and want you to succeed.