Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Running your own business

There are thousands of people working from home now, a lot of them running their own business. But what some people don't realize is that running your own business from home takes just as much effort, if not more, than working for someone else. Sure, they may think that running your own business is hard but some see the fact that you're your own boss and believe that it's all roses and rainbows.

Sure, my business is casual and I don't have deadlines so I can sleep late and work when and if I want to. But having success with your business is different than just running it.

If you decide to work your own business from home, keep in mind a few key points. This is your business and you only have to answer to yourself. This means that if you fail, you must own up to your shortcomings. That can be a hard dose to swallow. So treat your business like it's one of the most important things you'll do. Set a schedule for yourself if you are not inclined enough to get up on time. Make sure that you make yourself a goal to follow. Let's say you run a commission type business. You want to set yourself a daily or weekly goal to reach. My goals are daily so I work until I reach that goal or "borrow" from the previous day if I exceeded it.

Stay focused and make sure your work area is clean and uncluttered. Focus can be harder than it sounds. When you're at home, you're always distracted by friends or family calling, children or pets, deliveries, telemarketers, and yes...the television. A good guide is to use your breaks to do something around the house that you'd like to do. After sitting in front of the computer for hours on end, I like to get up and do one chore that needs doing such as putting the laundry up or loading the dishwasher. That gives me a chance to get away from the computer for a few minutes. In fact, if you're a home-workaholic like myself, take a day off during the week just for yourself. Watch a movie, visit a friend, go swimming even! You need that break to unwind and relax so you're not burnt out faster than a candle in a windstorm.

Put money aside. I'm the worst at this part but make sure you do have enough to tide you over in case of some kind of emergency. You can become sick; there can be a natural disaster that keeps you from working, etc. I live on the Gulf Coast so a tropical storm or hurricane can keep my electricity off for days and even weeks. I can't work with no electricity so it's good to plan for those times. You might even decide to take a vacation and will need to have money set aside for those times when none is coming in.

Advertise your business. Spend that extra time when you're not actually selling your product to advertise. I use strictly Internet advertising and business cards but both help tremendously in my sales. And remember, success is not an overnight thing. A lot of people get discouraged. What I encourage people to do is to keep their full time job at first and do their own business part time until it takes off. It took about a year for mine to make me enough money that I can solely work at home. Now I can take days off when I want, go on vacation when I want and not worry that I'll be broke. Thousands are doing it, you can too!

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