19 Oct What I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Home-Based Business
Over the decades I’ve spent consulting and training others to start their home-based business, it is has always been fun and interesting to check back with them and ask them how they are doing. Inevitably, the conversation gets to “what would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?” The responses vary and cover a good range of topics. Here are some of the key ones I thought you should know before you start/as you start your home-based business:
Home-Based Business Owner #1:
Have a clear understanding of what type of business you are in. I started in an experimental way – trying this and that – without really asking myself what was it that I wanted to do, what do I do well and what would make happy doing? I wasted time, money and effort looking at businesses that I knew nothing about.
Home-Based Business Owner #2:
Know your market! It is not enough to know how to make a product or provide a service, you’ve got to see the big picture as where you fit in in the marketplace. It is only when you place your business among the competition do you really get some perspective….sitting at home, you look pretty good – but out there in the real world, you are one of many. Is there a market for your business and if so, is it large enough for you to join those that are already there? How are you going to stand out? What makes you different, better, bigger?
Home-Based Business Owner # 3:
Get educated. I should have taken some classes on running a business that would have made my learning curve easier; at least I could have do some planning and thinking ahead. I also think you have to really know accounting. Cash Flow was a big thing for me. I had outstanding invoices and people promised to pay “at the end of the month”. I had no money coming in during the month so bills remained unpaid, late fees were charges and I was totally stressed. I had no idea about Taxes either, but at least that one was easier to manage because my accountant explained a few things.
Home-Based Business Owner # 4:
I set-up m office in the kitchen. There was a little nook where the computer sat so I thought that would be a good place to work in. Boy, was that a mistake! Husband and child kept interrupting as they came in and out for snacks, drinks or to hang out. I outgrew the space rather quickly. The little cubby holes in the nook don’t hold much, so rather than getting a rolling filing cabinet to keep under the kitchen table (which was my first thinking), I opted to move the office into the 3rd bedroom. It still was a place that grandma slept in when she visited, but overall it fit the desk and filing cabinets and all that I needed to focus on what I wanted to do and to grow my business.
Home-Based Business Owner # 5:
Customer feedback was a real eye-opener. The first time a customer complained I was devastated. I had to learn real fast that taking care of customers is key to what you are doing. They hold all the cards because word spreads pretty fast when they don’t like you. Give a little extra, fix the problem and eat the cost, apologize and send a plant – do whatever it takes to keep customers happy.
All of the above is worth knowing. Be smart and learn from what others have experienced so you don’t make the same mistakes. My personal favorite is # 1. Because it guides you towards my best advice: LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE!
Stay tuned here at www.thehome-office.com to learn how.
The Home-Based Business Expert!