With corporate downsizing and the strong desire to be in charge of our own destiny, many people have pursued turning their interests into an income making machine. If you are one of these people, here are 5 tips for making your passion a reality.
- Evaluate if you can make money on your new venture. This tip goes without saying, but serves as a gentle reminder to consider the finances of owning a business. You’ll need to survey your competition, determine your margins, and understand what your start-up costs and day-to-day operating costs will be.
- Lay out your business plan. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking because your business is your passion you’ll remember your goals, but with stress, other people’s opinions, and personal goals it’s easy to lose sight of the foundation. Memorializing your business plan is crucial to being successful. Your business plan is your vision, ideas, and overall strategy for making it happen. A visual plan can be a key component that allows you to monitor your progress and stay on track. As your business expands, you’ll be grateful you have this plan so you know you’re moving in the right direction.
- Treat your business like a real business. I know this might sound redundant and quite obvious, but the skill of differentiating between work and home may be more challenging than you think. The lines get blurred and often either your personal life or your work life, and maybe even both, take a back seat. Setting boundaries is a great way to make sure your business is not suffering. It might be as simple as talking to family members or roommates and explaining the importance of not being interrupted during your scheduled work hours.
- Brush up on those organizational skills. Technology gives us the opportunity to work from home. Cell phone apps are great for setting reminders. Use your Outlook or Google accounts to schedule events and prioritize tasks. These are simple ways to physically display tasks that need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and so on. Schedule all meetings and obligations in one calendar location, even personal obligations. Having two separate calendars potentially leads to missed appointments because you’re looking in two places for your schedule. Having reminders and calendars prevents you from playing the guessing game and saves your energy for focusing on the actual business. When you own a business you are likely responsible for overseeing many, if not all, aspects of the business. Your responsibilities range from marketing and selling your products to ordering the office equipment and supplies. Keeping structure is imperative to staying on top of things.
- Secure your assets. Don’t forget about having appropriate insurance coverage. Many business owners that work out of their home mistakenly assume their homeowner’s policy will cover them in the event of a loss. Homeowners’ policies are generally not intended to cover business property such as office equipment and inventory. Additionally, whether your clients visit your home office or you work with clients at locations other than your home office, you’ll need to consider a commercial general liability policy. A business owner’s policy, or BOP, is a good place to start your research.
While the success of your business depends on staying focused, try and have some fun too. By planning and having patience, an idea hatched in your kitchen or basement can develop into a treasured income. Learn more about getting your home based business up and running.
- 8 Tips for Starting a Home-Based Business
- 10 Tips for Home-Based Businesses