So, you’ve decided to start a home based business. Congratulations! and welcome to the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. While there is a lot to learn, your effort will be worth it. The thrill of growing your business, the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours, and the possibilities of ever-increasing financial rewards are all wonderful reasons to start your home based business. There are many possible pitfalls for the newbie. Following these guidelines here will help to ensure that you are able to work at home successfully from the first day to that day when you achieve you set goals (I will say more about setting your goals in another post).
Now that you’ve decided to start your business, you might be wondering “How can I get it off to the strongest possible start?” These seven tips will help:
1) Set up a separate working space in your home. It doesn’t matter if this is a small bedroom, one part of the garage, or a corner of the living room. The important thing is to have some space that you can designate as your working area. This will give you the space and room you need to craft your dream.
2) Stock your working space with materials. This sounds basic, perhaps, but one underlying element of success is that you have easy access to the tools, materials, and other resources you need. Gathering everything close by also keeps you from wasting time searching for it, so this step can be considered a time management strategy, too.
3) Speaking of time management, your third step is to define the parameters of your business. What days and hours will you work? When will you market? When will you provide services or products to clients? How will you keep all of this straight?
4) Balance action with planning. One of the most common pitfalls to successful entrepreneurship is getting too caught up in action without enough planning. Stated another way, this means that you confuse “being busy” with “working on important projects.” The best approach is to plan your next couple of goals and then work backwards to create step by step action plans to reach them. Once you have the plan, then it’s time to take the action.
5) Network like crazy. One of the fastest ways to grow any business is to make connections with other people. Be sure to share your passion and enthusiasm with others at every opportunity. Let people know who you are and what you offer. Remember, people can’t buy if they don’t know you’re selling.
6) Present a professional image. If you want to be treated professionally, present a professional image. Set up a separate bank account for your business. Install a separate phone and fax line. Create professional marketing materials. Be courteous and pleasant in all your customer facing interactions. Basically, be someone people want to do business with.
7) Automate your business as much as possible. Granted, you are just one person (right now) and might have a lot of extra time to take care of all the details. This might work for now, but won’t work into the future as you get busier and busier. It’s best to set up automatic systems and processes right from the start to free up your time to concentrate on the most profitable activities.
These seven tips will get your home business started (and growing) in the right direction.