31 Aug How to Build a Successful Homebased or Small Business around Your Life
Many of my clients own homebased businesses. If that’s you, then not only are you committed, passionate and serious about what you do, you are also committed to creating a lifestyle that reflects your values. You want to own your time, and be able to carve out quality time for family and friends. You want to work to live, not live to work, right?
It’s often hard to figure out how to use your time effectively when you start a business. If you have small children you may experience frequent interruptions. Family members or neighbors may think that since you’re at home, you’re free to respond to them during the day. Or you may find yourself working too much and feeling guilty that you are. Let me give you some tips that have helped me and many of my clients to build a highly successful homebased business and the lifestyle we want.
Create a yearly business plan and put your vacations and downtime into your calendar before you start.
In the corporate world this would be impossible, but that’s why we don’t want a J-O-B, right? I have been doing this for the past four years and it’s great. As a coach I offer live events, membership coaching programs, and private coaching. All of these require my time and energy so I set up a schedule that leaves my vacation time free of all appointments, promotions and obligations. I’ve never met a client that couldn’t choose to do this. Planning is the key. You cannot run your business by the seat of your pants and accomplish this because you’ll always be scrambling for the next dollar. Think out a yearly strategy and figure out exactly how much money you can make for the year. This is what I show every client how to do.
Set a regular work schedule
It takes tremendous self-discipline to build a highly successful business, especially when you work from home. Often when people are struggling, I have them track their time use for one week. Then we rate their time effectiveness based on a simple formula. This is always a shocking exercise as they see how much time is not being used effectively. Time is a powerful energy and you need to use it as wisely as possible. Look at your life obligations and set a regular work schedule. I don’t care if you work in the early morning or late at night. You need to have time put aside where everyone understands you are not to be disturbed because you are working. You need a minimum of 20 hours a week. If you’re working less your progress will be slower.
Priority based work
Make sure that the minute you sit down at your desk you immediately start working on your priority tasks—the ones that will generate money or leads. If you slip into checking and responding to emails, surfing the web or jumping up to do the laundry, you will find your work time gone with no real progress made. Set a timer to remind you of how much time has passed. Set incremental goals—maybe every 30 to 60 minutes. Do this for one week and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
You are not an island and you are impeding your own growth if you try doing everything yourself. For just a few hundred dollars a month you can outsource many marketing tasks like e-mail marketing, website updates and social media. This takes hours of rote work off your plate so you can work on getting more leads, creating new and better products and services and serving more clients. Within a few months of hiring my first virtual assistant my income grew substantially. Now I have a virtual team and they’re worth every penny I pay them.
If you think you can’t afford help, you need to change the way you think. No business can be built without an investment. You need to invest in your business if you want clients to invest in you.
Get the right support
Working in a very small or homebased business can be isolating. Before I started my coaching business I owned 3 other businesses. One of them involved being with people each day and managing a staff of fifteen. It was fun to be with people each day and I was quite surprised by the strangeness of living in a virtual world.
Since we no longer gather around the water cooler and have lunch with our colleagues, we need to create other types of support. There are 3 ways you can get the support you need so you can brainstorm and stay on track and avoid feeling isolated.
Find someone who is in a similar situation and form a team to hold each other accountable to reaching weekly goals. Be sure this person is motivated, non-judgmental and has a positive attitude so you get the uplifting support you need.
Form a small mastermind group with a few other solo-preneurs. Set a structure for checking in, setting goals and holding each other accountable.
Get a coach or mentor
Finding the right coach can not only help you know exactly which actions to take to fast track your business, you will also be held accountable and skip a lot of struggle. Make sure you chose someone who has already achieved the success you want and make sure you resonate with this person’s philosophy. Also be sure they have had similar success with other clients.
Follow these simple suggestions and you’ll be able to live the lifestyle you want and dramatically increase your income.