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9 Mistakes Most Home Business Owners Make

9 Mistakes Most Home Business Owners Make

Are you a home business owner or thinking about working for yourself and starting a home based business? If so, then you have to read the following mistakes that most home business owners make. These mistakes can cause many home businesses to fail within the first year.

1. They Treat Their Job As A Hobby

Most people who want to start a home business are looking for an escape of the daily grind. Of course the idea is awesome, but you need to keep in mind that a home business still takes a lot of work. If you are going to treat your home based business as a hobby, then you might as well keep your day job, because you won’t be making a lot of money to cover your bills.

Examples of treating business like a hobby:

– Sleeping in instead of waking up on time.
– Not completing all of the scheduled tasks.
– Going out with friends during set work hours.

2. They Don’t Dress For Success

There are so many people who say how great their home business is because they get to work in their pajamas. Sounds awesome, right? Wrong! Dressing up for success and putting on clothing that you would wear to an outside of home job set the tone for the day. Pajamas and messy hair set the tone of lounging and not being productive.

If your body and mind are in a relaxed state, then it’s likely that you won’t complete your tasks. No work means no pay, so get dressed for success.

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3. They Don’t Set Hours Of Operation

For most people, it’s hard to keep up with daily tasks and chores. Throw a home business into the mix and the schedule gets extremely crazy. Not setting hours of operation is the biggest mistake a home business owner can make.

Instead of randomly working throughout the day, take a look at your schedule and figure out how many hours you can work per week. Then, divide those hours into the number of days of the week that you are planning to do your work. Once you’ve figured out how many hours per day you are working, set specific time frames. If you have blocked off 8am to 1pm, then do not do anything else but focus on your work during that time slot. Of course, schedule your break time as well. Try to take about 10-20 minutes every hour to sit back, relax, take a restroom break or drink some water.

Tip: set your alarm for the time you start and finish work, as well as for all of your breaks in between.

4. They Don’t Set Goals

When a business owner doesn’t set any goals, a home business is doomed to fail. Goals help business owners be focused on tasks. Without goals, they are in the dark about how to run the business, what to do next, and how to reach their full potential.

Every home business owner should set short and long term goals. The short term goals will help to understand exactly what needs to be done each day/week and long term goals will give home business owners a vision and a passion to work towards something great.

Examples of specific short term goals: 

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– Write 2 blog posts per week.
– Share business with five new people per week.
– Sell X amount of products per day.
– Interact with customers on social media daily.
– Read 10 pages per day.

Examples of specific long term goals:

– Earn X amount of money this year.
– Add X people to my mailing list this year.
– Read 10 personal development books this year.

5. They Don’t Separate Work Time And Family Time

If you are a family man or woman, then setting work time and family time is extremely important. There is time for work, there is time for play, and there is time for family. Not separating these different times can lead to a lot of stress and discontent, both for you and for them.

Your family has to understand that when you are scheduled to work, you have to work. Share your schedule with them, so they know exactly when your working hours are. Similarly, when your working hours are over, don’t go running to your computer or making business phone calls.

6. They Don’t Provide Value

Many businesses fail because they constantly advertise, but don’t provide any value. Of course a big part of any business is to advertise and sell products, but in many cases it’s even more important to provide value to the customers.

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Customers are looking for answers to their problems. They are seeking someone to relate to them and show them how their problem can be solved.

Here are a few of ways you can provide value to your customers: 

– Give away a free e-book.
– Shoot a series of “how to” videos and give them away for free.
– Post something useful or inspirational to your blog or Facebook page.
– Ask questions and then answer them in timely manner.

7. They Don’t Grow A Social Network

Any business without a social network is likely not to survive for too long. A good social network is the bread and butter of a home business. A lot of new business owners are scared to get into social media because it’s a new frontier for them.

The more people you know and can share your product information with, the faster your business will grow. The best way to get to know people is to get on one or a few of the social media websites like Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. You can even give out your social media profile information to local people, so they can add you or friend you online.

You wouldn’t call all of your customers to remind them about sales, to give them coupons, or provide them with value on daily basis. Yet, you can easily do all of these things if you are connected to them on a social network, which means more sales for you.

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Adding all of your contacts to an autoresponder, such as Aweber, will increase your reach even more because you will be able to deliver your messages straight your customer’s mailboxes.

8. They Don’t Create A Business Website

Although not all home businesses will fail without a website, it’s very hard to grow a business without one local place where all of your your products and services can be previewed. A website can bring new customers who live outside of your town, outside of state, and even outside of your country.

A business website can give you the following advantages:

– Display your products and services.
– Help customers find you on a social network.
– Provide value through blog posts.
– Give away your digital products.
– Capture your customers’ email addresses.
– One local place to send everyone to for more information.
– Access to non-local population.
– A website can work for you 24/7, even while you are sleeping.

9. They Don’t Keep Track Of Their Expenses

Last, but not least, business owner who don’t track their expenses usually fail at running a home business. A lot of people put way too much money into a business, but don’t cover all of their costs by selling products and services. Knowing how much money goes out and comes in is crucial to sustaining a profitable business.

Additionally, every home business owner can write off business expenses. If you don’t keep track of how much you are spending, you may be losing tax money at the end of the year. There are a number of different software and apps out there that you can use to track all of your expenses. Simply type “business expense tracker” into Google and you will be able to find different options that will fit your budget or even be free.

Featured photo credit: elegant business multitasking multimedia man using devices at home via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Delegation of Authority: The Complete Guide for Effective Leaders

Delegation of Authority: The Complete Guide for Effective Leaders

Do you absolutely hate failing? You’re in luck because, today, you’ll learn the art of how to tackle failure in your work life. The magic trick is called delegation of authority.

Failure is often a result of excess burden. When you take on more than you can handle, you are unable to perform well, even if you have the expertise to do it perfectly. It’s demotivating, a waste of time, and extremely annoying.

Let’s take a deep look into the delegation of authority to figure out how to make the most of it.

What Does It Mean to Delegate Authority?

Delegating authority is neither magic nor rocket science. It is exactly what it means: division of workload and distribution of power.

Now, this is where most superiors get worried. They misunderstand the idea and believe that distribution will take away their authority.

However, the division and distribution of authority are like giving the entire team autonomy over their own job, but their control is limited to just that.

The superior still has supremacy over all the employees.

Authority delegation minimizes the workload of the superior. This work is broken down into smaller tasks and spread out into a team so that every member works simultaneously to finish the project in a shorter time.

3 Elements of Delegating Authority

The delegation of authority has three elements:

1. Assigning Responsibility

This is the first step in the process. A person who is in charge, such as a manager or a team leader, assigns other team members certain tasks that have to be completed in a given period. Of course, this is only possible if the superior has more control and authority in the work environment than the subordinates.

2. Granting Authority

The next step is to give the subordinates enough authority and responsibility for them to complete the task and act independently.

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So, let’s say you are a supervisor who allocated one person in your team to do a certain task. This assignment will be useless to you if the subordinate has to come to you every step of the way to get permission and signatures required to fulfill the allocated job.

Unless you’re giving authority, you aren’t delegating. Instead, you’re only assigning a task, and that won’t bring you any benefits.

Also, granting authority puts the subordinate in charge. This person is now responsible for doing what they’re assigned, however they like. It’s up to them how they tackle obstacles. All that you as the supervisor should be concerned about are the final results.

3. Maintaining Accountability

There’s always a risk that some team members may not act responsibly, especially when they have been given authority over the assigned task. This is why you have to make every employee or team member accountable through some rules and regulations.

The superior must always have the right to ask the responsible person about their task[1]. Creating an accountability culture in a company is important, and accountability goes upwards in the hierarchy of a work environment. Never offer any leniency in this regard if you want to ensure quality outputs.

This step of giving and receiving feedback helps improve the future work ethic immensely.[2]

Effective delegation of authority

    Why Is It Important to Delegate Authority?

    Many times, superiors take on all the duties because they have a hard time trusting someone else to do the job as well as they would do themselves.

    That’s a valid concern, and it may keep you from getting the most out of authority delegation.

    But, with this risk comes a long list of benefits. It is actually important to delegate authority for the betterment of your organization and team.

    Superiors Can Perform Better

    The most important benefit of delegating authority is that the manager divides authority and gets the time to do their actual job.

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    As a supervisor, your first duty is to maintain the flow of your team. With your workload minimized and more time at hand, you can pay attention to the minor details.

    It gives supervisors the time to look at the more important stuff. Simultaneously, they get a chance to test which team members are most efficient. In case of any problem, the delegator has enough room in their schedule to sit down to figure out a solution.

    All in all, it leads to a more efficient performance from the supervisor’s side.

    Subordinates Learn With the Flow

    With a degree of authority in their hands, the subordinates begin to feel useful and important. This feeling is the most important route to improvement.

    As your subordinates work independently, they not only improve their existing skills, but they also perform better. Since they are ones in control, they are the only ones accountable for everything they put on the table. This sense of responsibility provides the mandatory boost of motivation[3].

    Moreover, with the delegation of authority, the superiors and subordinates work on the same level to a certain extent. This allows the team members to learn from their supervisors while also polishing their knowledge practically.

    Leads to Better Relationships

    If you’re in charge of any team, work as a manager, or own an organization that you run, you already know why employee-employer relationships are vital.

    The same applies to every workgroup.

    So, even if you’re just one small group of 5 people in a multinational organization, the rules are coherent.

    By letting go of some responsibilities and giving individuals a chance to grow, you’re spreading positive work vibes. It all works in a cycle where you give the team some authority, they feel important and outperform, your trust in them strengthens, and you continue to delegate authority moving forward.

    5 Tips to Delegate Authority Effectively

    There is a whole mechanism that supports the delegation of authority.

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    If done right, this concept has numerous advantages. However, the key is that it’s done right.

    1. Choose the Best Person

    It’s not easy to trust another person to do something that you would have preferred to do yourself. That is why it is crucial that you only delegate a task to someone that you have full faith in.

    The easiest way to do this is to pre-asses every team member’s skills and qualities. In your mind, have a clear idea of who does what best. So, if there is one particular individual who excels at technology, you will know where to go every time there’s a job related to that skill.

    Once you’re satisfied with who is in control, more than half of the issue is resolved and things will most likely go smoothly.

    2. Offer Enough Autonomy

    One huge mistake you may make is to break down tasks too much.

    Let’s say your team of 10 people has to arrange an office party for 100 people. You have to manage the location, decorations, food, and furniture.

    You can either assign 4 individuals each of the 4 main jobs, or you can divide each component further into small tasks.

    In the case of the latter, tasks will overlap, things will get confusing, and none of your team members will have full control over their assigned task.

    This generally leads to a final result that is extremely non-coherent.

    3. Clear Communication

    A major aspect of delegation is the availability of clear instructions. From details of the task to deadlines, the person who has to fulfill the job should be clear on every single detail.

    Unless they know what’s expected from them, they will never be able to satisfy the delegator.

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    You can learn more about effective communication in this article.

    4. Avoid Unnecessary Pressure

    Yes, diamonds only form after the charcoal is put under immense pressure. But, honestly, you don’t need to implement that strategy in your work environment when implementing delegation of authority.

    Offer plenty of time and flexibility for each individual to be able to offer their best performance.

    Some people may work better under pressure. In that case, let the individual make that decision for themselves.

    5. Offer a Helping Hand

    Just because you’ve given someone else the task and power does not mean you have to back off completely.

    In fact, you should try to be a part of the process, but only from outside a defined boundary. This is something you’ll have to figure out practically as per the needs of your work environment. However, it will ultimately lead to you being a more respected leader:

    The important point is that if someone is facing an issue with the delegated task, do not refuse to help. Offer advice and support readily so that your team can learn from you. It will end up benefiting your organization.

    Final Thoughts

    Conclusively, it is safe to say that the delegation of authority is a very helpful technique to adopt in workplaces. It allows for a positive working environment as well as fruitful results.

    It’s something that all leaders should implement to achieve a time-efficient and productive workspace!

    More on the Importance of Delegation

    Featured photo credit: Dylan Gillis via unsplash.com

    Reference

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