08 Nov Home-Based Business Survival
Ellen (not her real name) called me the other day. I contacted her about doing some work for me in an area that I am so confused about (social media!). She told me that she would be able to help me but on a limited basis as she had to take a part-time job to get financially stable. She sounded a bit sad about this. I first met Ellen through a popular business linking program that a mutal friend told me about…she referred me to Ellen as the person who helps people start their own home-based business. So we got together and talked and talked and talked! I gave her the basics and she did everything I told her to do to get her business started. That was about a year ago. She now needs to work for someone else a few days a week to stay afloat….my response to her was Welcome Aboard! Operating a home-based business means you have to do what you have to do to make things happen for yourself and to survive.
I can’t remember how many times I asked my mother to call me, just so I can be sure that the incoming phone line was working….nobody was calling me! Over the last twenty years I have had to take on several part-time assignments to make the income I needed to live on! It happened so many times that I decided to make it a normal pattern in my life as a home-based business owner. It’s a good balance….I have three days a week to promote my business, work on my own projects, work on my “work at home clients”, etc. The other two days I see my regular clients. This formula happily serves two purposes. The first one is that I get a steady paycheck every week! The second one is that it slows me down. When I am in that office, I work on their business only cause that is why they are paying me. I concentrate on them and in doing a good job for their business; this in turn brings me to to yet another good thing for me. Because I am away from my own projects and goals, I gain a bit of perspective. The two days I am “distanced” from my own business, gives me a new set of eyes to look at things when I get back to my desk at home. That is when I put the eraser to good use…I can hone in on what feels right and delete what suddenly looks too unreal or is just not accurate.
Home-based businesses are supposed to be fun! If yours is dragging you down or making you depressed because no one is calling, no one is buying, no one cares – well then, stop what you are doing, take a step back and re-think things. Lots of people make the transition in one step. They quit their full-time job (or it quits them), determing that they want to work for themselves and jump feet first. This is often foolish. Without proper planning they will fail. Businesses need to be planned out, they need to be researched, they need to be tested and they need to be funded. It is far better to start slowly. Get the legal things done first – register your business name, get the license and obtain the seller’s permit if you are planning to sell a product. Now you are ready to begin…grow your business one step-at-a-time….build it on a solid foundation. Nothing makes me more crazy that someone telling me that they tried a home-based business and it just wasn’t worth it….through conversation with this person I discover that they never knew what the competition was doing, never joined a group or networking environment and could not cold-call. Well then, whose fault is it when the business failed? Plan, research and be flexible. Home-based businesses need to be nurtured, just like any other living thing….water often, talk to it and then watch it grow! Good luck, Helene 🙂 www.thehome-office.com