People often trumpet the freedom having a home business gives you. You get the freedom to set your own hours. If you want time off, you take it.

Now, how many hours does that mean you should be working on your home business?

There really isn’t a right or wrong answer for all people at all stages of running a home business. You have to think about what your need and what your business needs.

Early On

Most home businesses early on need a lot of time and attention. They’re much like babies. Few thrive without a lot of attention.

The odds are very good that you will have to work hard to get your business really moving. That means a lot of hours. How many it takes to reach your goals is a highly variable number. But it’s going to be challenging.

But more important than the number of hours you work even early on is how you use those hours. The faster you learn to make your work hour productive and profitable, the better your business will grow.

Sometimes that means many of your work hours will be spent in learning how to run your business. You may spend hours reading and learning new tips that will help your business grow.

When Income Goals Are Reached

Sometimes you can take it easier when you’ve reached your income goals. Sometimes you still have to work really hard. It depends on your business model.

Some businesses can keep themselves going on a close to passive income level. Not all of them by a long shot, and even relatively passive income usually needs some attention to keep things going. Not to mention that most of us will change income goals over time.

Are More Hours Always the Answer?

Certainly not! Sometimes more hours is the worst thing you can do for your home business.

The trouble with working too many hours is that you burn yourself out. You get stuck. You’re less productive. You can’t see the forest for the trees. You get sucked into misusing social media and other activities that should be used a bit more carefully.

More focus is a much better answer. Focus on activities that will bring more traffic to your site. Focus on building your list. Focus on finding solutions for your customers.

Don’t Focus on the Number of Hours

The number of hours you’ve worked on your home business really isn’t a metric you should be tracking all that hard. More important is how you’ve worked on it. You should be working smart, not just hard.

Figure out what is most beneficial for your business. What’s really bringing the money in? What activities can you work on that bring that money in? That’s where you should be focusing your efforts.

The activities that need to be done but don’t really produce income? Think about hiring a virtual assistant or someone on Fiverr and have them handle it. This is especially true if you know you can work on something that will bring in more money than the virtual assistant costs. This is especially true for things like fiddling with website design and graphics that can probably be better done by someone else.

If you don’t want to pay for a virtual assistant, buy a tool to make the job faster for you. Automating certain activities with software is not cheating or spamming, so long as you use them similarly to how you would do the activity naturally. Use software like Bookmarking Demon or Miracle Traffic Bot to bookmark your best posts. Don’t bookmark the junk, just the good stuff. Programs such as Buyer Keyword Generator are good for finding keywords to use for your articles and marketing.

Any of these tools can be misused. But they’re also great for people who want to use them honestly to improve their business.

The point is to work smarter on your business. If you’re working on a lot of things that have no impact on your income and really don’t need your personal touch, try hiring them out. You might just cut down the number of hours you need to work while improving your income.