People all over the world consider starting a business from home. Whether it’s full-time or a supplemental income, starting your own home-based business can be a great way to improve your financial position. There is one catch, though, and that is to be successful with your home business, you need to get a few things right. The following tips will help you do just that.
Now let’s be straight here, selling Tupperware or exotic lingerie isn’t what I’m talking about. These are what I consider a hobby; at any point in time you can just decide, “I’ve had enough” and stop taking orders and move onto something else. When you make an investment of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, when you build infrastructure and purchase equipment, you’re serious about making a go of it. You have something at stake now, you’ve taken a risk, and you need to make it work. That’s the difference.
How to tell the difference between a hobby or business?
According to the Australian Government Business website, there is a significant difference between a home hobby and a home business, and it’s important you know the difference.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you expecting to see a financial return?
- Will you be regularly undertaking your activity?
- Will you be carrying out your activity in a business like manner?
If you answer yes to all three or are still unsure, then I strongly suggest you visit the Australian Government Website and have a read.
Does your skill set match the business you want to run?
Before putting in the hard yards, you need to assess your skill level. In building a home business, friends and family mean well. They will have a hundred ideas for you on what sort of business you should run. Don’t listen to them. This is your business and what will go a long way to making it a success will be how well you know, and love what you do. Regardless of what your product is, you will sell more if you know your stuff inside and out.
If you’re offering a web design service, you better know how to build a website. If you don’t go back to school before you open your doors. If you’re selling a product you make yourself, know everything there is to know about it.
Kitchen table vs dedicated space
If you’re selling a physical product from your home, you need to have your space. But, if your product is a service and you’re selling online, a laptop and the kitchen table can work fine for a little while (few months at most). But as your business grows and your brainstorm more products, you need your space. You don’t want your business to become intrusive on family life.
I could bang on about OH & S all day when it comes to setting up your office but I won’t, you don’t need me to do that. But I will call out a few things you should consider. Great lighting is a must. If you want a full day of productivity, natural light is your best option. Fluorescent lighting promotes drowsiness. Intense colors like orange and red should then be avoided as they can be distracting. For focus and efficiency, choose green or blue. Yellow, on the other hand, increases energy and stimulates optimism. Having an office of any kind will help separate work from your personal life, which in return will maximise productivity.
Don’t lose your mojo
Being self-employed needs a lot of motivation and perseverance. There are several things you can do to remain motivated and focused on your business. One of my key things to do is eat the frog first. I always do the worst thing of the day first. Get it out of the way. It has a two-fold effect:
1. I’ve had a win first off for the day
2. It allows me to focus on other tasks
I find a huge drain on your mojo is the belief that it’s not your job and procrastination. Try these 10 tips to keep you moving forward.
- Stop procrastinating.
- Stop blaming everyone and everything for your lack of mojo.
- Start saying NO.
- Take charge of your personal development.
- Dress for the office as if you’re expecting visitors.
- Schedule in the housework as if you worked outside of the home.
- Become the SME your clients need you to be.
- Get out, meet people, network.
- Read lots. Harry S Truman is quoted as saying, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
- Exercise and look after yourself.
What are your thoughts about your needs for home business basics? It would be great if you could leave a comment below.