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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 August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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