4 Mistakes Home Business Owners Must Avoid
We’re all part of a very special group, us entrepreneurs. Yet, we don’t all enjoy the same level of success. Why is that? We’d like to believe that the rich and successful have secrets that they’re keeping from us, and if only we knew them, or fortunes would be transformed!
Well, there is no magic secret. Sorry. It all has to do with discipline and following a system. With that said, there are some very common mistakes that people make in the day to day functions of their business. These mistakes doom them to a life of mediocrity. They choke the life out of the efforts. Below are four of the most common:
1. Not Scheduling
The apparent freedom that comes with working from home can be a double edged sword, especially if you’re just breaking free from the shackles of the corporate world. Unfortunately, whether you’re working from someone else or working for yourself, you must have a schedule. Time is the scarcest of commodities, and you must treat it as such. It is the most valuable thing you’ll ever have to manage, it is priceless.
If you allow yourself to just ‘figure it out’ each day when you wake up, you’ll never get anything done. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize this. With no scheduling and planning, you don’t know what you’re working towards and you don’t know what you’re accomplishing. Most likely, you’ll end up spending most of your time doing tasks that do nothing for the growth (money) of your business. Tasks such as filing, cleaning your workspace, bills, calling customer service for that issue that ‘has to be taken care of today’.
True, all these tasks are in some respect important. But they fall under the category of ‘Operations’. They do nothing for your bottom line, and therefore should be relegated to either someone else to do, or to a block of time where they are addressed together and quickly.
Pick a day during the week – I use Sunday evening – and every week sit down for 20 or 30 minutes and plan out that upcoming week. Based on the goals and stepping stones you have set for your business, what needs to be done this coming week to reach your 1 month goals, 3 month goal, 1 year goal? If you have this process in place, your business will run smoothly. Also take this opportunity to look at the week passed and to review it.
2. Not Prospecting
For most businesses, you have to prospect. Just because you’re now working at home does not mean that you do not have to associate with the outside world anymore! Quite the opposite – the very existence and success of your business depends on it!
I have my own preferred methods of prospecting, but I won’t get into that here. There are various methods to use: be it cold-calling, search engine marketing, email marketing, offline marketing, etc. You have to do your homework and pick a mix of marketing methods that will supply you with prospects. Then you have to prospect them.
You need to take the time to learn and refine your communication and prospecting skills. It is an art and skill to be able to prospect and close someone effectively. Learn this, or your business will suffer.
3. Momentum – Not Running Through the Finish Line
So you now have goals and schedule – great. But what do you do when you reach a goal, especially at the beginning stages of your business? You absolutely should celebrate your successes, no matter how small – but then get back to work! Watch a race, any race. It could be swimming, running, motorcycles, or car racing. How do these people finish the race? Do they race to the finish line, or do they go full speed right through it?
Treat your business the same way. One mistake I see too many people do is celebrate and relax too much at every little sign of progress. Give yourself a pat on the back and a smile and keep going. Building momentum is so key to making things happen in business. Every time you stop, you kill any momentum you have built and you have to start over. Keep refining your goals and adding to them so there is always a next step. Don’t kill your momentum. Make sure you run through the finish line.
4. Marketing – Not Enough Of It!
Ah, the big one. Let’s put it very simply: If no one buys from you, you have no income. If no one knows your business exists, then no one can buy from you. If you do not market, then no one knows your business exists.
Therefore, if you do not market your business, you have no income. Agreed?
If you don’t like marketing – start liking it. There are so many ways to do it, find a few that you enjoy and make it fun. The fact is, the majority of your time should be spent MARKETING. At least 60% of your time, if not 80% should be spent marketing.
Go through your typical day and think about what you spend time doing. How much do you spend marketing? If you’re like most people, you probably spend less then 20% of your time marketing. Therefore if you’re like most people, you’re not making any money with your business and like most people, your business will fail.
Get the word out! Find the people that already want what you have, and get in front of them. There is not a lack of ways to do this, so get out there and learn and MARKET. Agreed? If you need ideas or you’re struggling with this, just get in touch with me and I’ll help you out – that’s not a problem. Just get out there and Market Your Business.
To Your Success