Advertising
Advertising

Warning: Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Building a Home Based Business

Warning: Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Building a Home Based Business

Building a home based business, or an online business, around your passion is tough. There are a lot of mistakes you can make. And some of those mistakes can end up costing you thousands of dollars. On top of that, some of the things can lead to hundreds of hours of frustration.

I know, because I’ve been there and done that.

I banged my head against the wall for several years. Eventually things did click, and I am now making a living doing what I love, but it wasn’t easy. That’s why I want to share some of the most common mistakes with you, so you don’t have to make them.

So let’s jump right in.

1. Where’s the Problem?

Even if you find your passion, you still have to provide value. You have to help people in some way. You have to find the intersection between what you love to do , what people are willing to pay for, and what you’re good at.

In short, you have to find a problem to solve.

Advertising

People don’t really care about you, they care about themselves. They are constantly asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” If you can answer that question, you’re on the right track.

2. Fear

You’re too old, too young, your voice is weird, you can’t write, you can’t market, whatever it is, it’s in your head and holding you back. Fear holds everyone back.

And fear can crush your dreams, if you let it.

Fear held me back for years, until I got so sick of it that I took action anyway. I was willing to at least try and see what would happen. And do you know what happened?

Nothing.

The fear eventually disappeared as I moved forward. The key is to jump in before you’re ready. Don’t wait for the stars to align.

Advertising

Start now.

Not tomorrow. Not someday. But right now.

3. Technical Mishaps

The choice of software is huge when starting a home based business around your passion, especially an online business. Picking the wrong software can cause frustration down the line.

For example, you need a website to attract customers, and that means you need something to run your website, unless you’re proficient at HTML and want to do it the old-fashioned way. The best option for this is WordPress.

Then you need to build your email list. The best option for this is Aweber, although there are a few others out there that are solid as well. The best way to pick the right software is often to go with what is the most popular. However, beware of spending too much time trying to get things perfect.

4. Impatience

Then we have impatience.

Advertising

You’re most likely not going to build a 6-figure business in 6 months, no matter what some marketers promise you. If you want to build a real home based business, you have to be willing to put in the work. This is a long-term game, and if you’re looking for a quick-fix, you’re reading the wrong article.

Focus on building a business that sustains you, not on making a quick buck.

5. Not Seeking Help

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

If you want to make rapid progress, find a coach or join a training course. Learn from those who have gone before you and know what they are doing. I’ve worked with people in every field I’ve gone into. When I started off as a professional poker player, I read books, I took courses, and I worked with successful poker players.

When I ventured into online business, I made the mistake of trying to learn everything myself at first. I eventually came to my senses and found someone I could learn from. Invest in your education and progress. You don’t have to spend years banging your head against the wall.

6. Lack of Focus

Another big mistake is not knowing what to focus on.

Advertising

This is one of the reasons I recommend you learn from someone who knows what they are doing. They can help point you in the right direction. They can help you focus on tasks that give you the most results.

When I work with clients, the first thing we do is simplify everything. We eliminate what isn’t necessary, and we focus on what produces results. For example, when you start your business, you need to focus on one metric, and that is revenue. You need to bring in more money.

Obviously, you can’t focus everything on making more money, because you’re dealing with human beings. But that’s a topic for another article.

7. Fear of Failure

Last, but not least, you have to fail in order to succeed.

You cannot figure out the perfect formula before you start, so don’t even try. You’ll drive yourself insane. Most successful entrepreneurs aren’t better or smarter than you are. They just don’t give up. They keep trying until they succeed.

And that’s exactly what I did. I spent the first 2-3 years failing until things clicked. If you want to build a successful home-based business around your passion, you have to be willing to fail, and you have to be willing to take action.

And most of all, you have to be willing to face your inner demons.

Featured photo credit:  Young man at home using a computer via Shutterstock

More by this author

How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business Warning: Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Building a Home Based Business 8 Simple Tips for Eliminating Excuses When Starting an Online Business Around Your Passion A Simple Guide to Find Your Passion (And Building a Business Around It)

Trending in Work

1 How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work 2 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding 3 10 Business Networking Tips: Grow Your Professional Network 4 4 Effective Ways to Motivate Employees During the Busy Holiday Season 5 8 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

Advertising

3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

Advertising

Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

Advertising

  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

Advertising

If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next