Alright! You made the big leap from your 9-5 to working at home. Good for you. Congratulations. You have a great deal to learn and be prepared for some surprises. Your efforts will pay off and your entrepreneurial spirit is going to soar.
There is a kind of thrill to doing this kind of business. Essentially, you now understand that any money or blessing produced is a byproduct of your hard work. The possibilities are endless.
You might be wondering how you can help yourself get off to a good start. These 7 tips will help you do that.
1) Make sure you have a separate place in your home for working. It can be a bedroom, a section of the garage, or a corner of the living room. You just want to make something that you can define as an office or workspace. This is an important practical matter and a psychological one as well.
2) Make sure your workspace has all the materials and tools you need for work. Although this is a very basic idea, it is important. Keep all supplies within reach and provide yourself backups if things break down. Pens, paper, ink, another laptop in case something crazy happens to your desktop, extra light bulbs, etc. Just do what you have to do to keep from driving to a store during a typical workday. You will waste a great deal of time if you have to drop everything and run to an office supply place when you should actually be working on a project.
3) On the subject of time management, make sure you understand the steps needed to define your business. When will you work? When will you engage in marketing? When will you interface with others? When will you talk to clients? What time management tool will you use to keep your daily schedule of work and appointments?
4) Make sure you are balancing your life between planning and money-making activities. The most often misuse of time that happens with entrepreneurs is they take a great deal of action, but don’t plan very well. If I could put it another way, entrepreneurs tend to do things that keep them busy instead of working on important ingredients of the current project. Remember: Being busy does not necessarily mean you are being productive. Tip: Plan a few goals. Work backwards to make a step-by-step action plan.
5) Create a network and work it! Talking to humans that become customers or collaborators is a great use of your time. Sharing your passion and engaging in enthusiastic activities with others creates relationship and sparks creativity. Engage in letting others know what you do. It will enhance your business and your personal life.
6) Work on your professional image. Don’t sit around and worry over why more people don’t think of you as a professional. Show yourself to be a professional and you will be treated as one. Do the practical things like setting up a separate bank account or payment method for your business. Install a separate phone line or get a 1-800 number. Be pleasant and courteous to everyone. Get a professional logo and buy some marketing materials. Be the business person you would like to do business with.
7) Automate your business and buy the tools you need to make it happen. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do all of the separate tasks yourself. As your business grows and each day brings more and more tasks, you will find you will have to automate certain tasks. Set these processes up beginning the first day and you can busy yourself with important money-making activities.
Again, congratulations on making the jump from trading your time for money to leveraging your talent for productivity. You are going to do well. I can feel it.