13 rules you should not ignore for running a home based business

rules for home based businesses

Starting a Home Based Business – some rules to follow

1 Do not start the business without a vision

If you have decided to start your home based business, be it small or big, a business plan is a must. Do not take the business plan lightly. Be clear about how you want your business to be run and why.Set your vision and mission for your home based business and 1, 5, 10 year goals .

Keeping a journal to daily record everything you do for the business  will give you clarity of thought. You should have an idea about the market you are going to target, every details of the products, your competitors, your startup costs and monthly expenses and your marketing avenues

2 Do not forget to market

Most of the makers are not good marketers!

They would like to continue making rather than asking others to buy their products. Get help if you do not know how to sell. If you only make and do not sell, after sometime you maynot be able to make. So get aggressive in selling. Learn from marketing gurus and practice what they teach

As a first step tell your close circle of friends and relatives that you are in business. Have pride in your business and talk about it to people. Do not forget to ask others ( existing customers) to recommend your business to their acquaintances. Distributing flyers, advertising, developing an online presence etc can follow.

3 Do not start the business without minimum capital

Unless you are selling services in which case you do not need much money, making and selling products costs some money.

If after 2 months you find yourself with no fund to carry forward the business, you may have to stop the business without having had a chance of making it a success. Also you would have wasted whatever you have already spend on it. So start with a minimum 6 months capital in your bank.

4 Do not listen to naysayers and negative mongers

I had written this quote in a diary of mine from somewhere ; it sums up what you should do –

It does not matter whether others are as passionate about what you are passionate about. It’s your passion that counts and it is your passion that will propel you towards success. Do something you love to do. Make your work your joy and you will succeed

So true. People will talk and project their negative thoughts on to your mind. If their negative criticism and advice make sense, do take it into account but if it sounds like naysaying, discount it or take it only with a pinch of salt.

With proper planning and well thought out execution you can succeed. Always remember that the only limitation in the way of your success is your negative thoughts and others’ if you let them add to yours.

5 Do not underprice your products

This is a common problem with most home based businesses. They consider their business as a hobby business and hence undervalue their products/ services. This definitely creates a rippling effect ( of price instability) on the whole industry as such and the business will close down after some time because it cannot sustain itself because of low prices.

It makes business sense to properly price your product taking into account your expenses and the cost of raw materials and then your profit ( do not forget this)

The customers who are looking for cheap prices are not worth it as they have no loyalty and will go away if someone else offers a cheaper price. So do not undervalue your product/service and underprice.

6 Do not look for perfection

Perfection is not for doers. Especially for women who run businesses. Most women are multitaskers who are compelled to do many things at one time; they don the hats of cook, employee, shopper, tuition teacher, driver and many others.

If your mind craves for perfection you will be in a perpetual state of unrest and dissatisfaction. This will corrode your mind and you will be unhappy all the time. So forget about asking for perfection from yourself and from others.

But that doesnot mean that you should not be looking for perfection in the things/services you are selling. Products should aim for perfection and the processes you follow to make them should be perfect too.A professional attitude in conducting the business at all times, right from the beginning is a must, but that is not an excuse for looking and finding faults with the small unnecessary things and halting the whole journey.

7 Do not succumb to Shiny Objects Syndrome

Shiny objects syndrome refers to the problem faced by many of the business people – the looking out for newer avenues even before you have had a chance to try out all chances at making a success of what you are doing now.Does this sound familiar. I confess  I am addicted to it.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. You will be finding better businesses than yours all the time but once you have started a business, follow it through. Make all efforts to make it a success before starting a new one or even looking for another one.

Chuck all the distractions and concentrate on making your current one a success till you feel you have done all you can.

8 Do not waste time on unnecessary activities

I like the concept of 80-20 rule. It says that most of the time, about 20 percentage of your activities create  80% of the success in your business. So find these 20% activities which are the most beneficial and reduce time on the rest of the 80% – makes business sense.

So time wasted on opening unnecessary emails first thing in the morning is out. Doing the work that requires the most concentration early in the morning ( for owls this might be the night time)  like book keeping is better than working on it by evening when your brain is probably sluggish

Because the home based businesswoman is at home, all the others in the family will find things to do for her. She is at home everyday so she has time – this attitude will kill working time. Set boundaries when working from home and be clear about your working time and family responsibilities.

Keep a journal and record how you spend every hour of the day.You will get an understanding of your activities. You can now organise your time according to your priority.

Doing what you have to do rather that what has to be done is an easy way out. It doesnot make the real responsibilities go away. Procrastination will make matters worse. So deal with the issues right away. Do try to follow your work schedule you have made.

9 Do not forget to follow rules

‘Ignorance of rule excuses not’  is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of it ( wikipedia).

So be diligent in following all the rules and regulations in opening and running a home based business properly. You cannot be too careful.

Ensure that your employees are aware of the laws too.

10 Do not neglect your employees

If you employ others, from time to time you will have to acknowledge the role your employees play in the success of your firm . Let them share the pride of working in your organization just like if it were a big name company. They will feel the ownership and work all the more to make it a success.

11 Do not neglect your me time or family time

Without your own personal health your business is also going to suffer. So keep yourself a priority and get good sleep, exercise and food.

Nurture yourself and develop good qualities like self confidence, honesty, empathy, physical and mental reserve and a good positive attitude by reading good books like  biographies of great people.

I cannot recommend Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich enough – I have since found that it is on the reading list of many great people I follow. No other book motivates a mind to success as much as this one.

Family also should not be neglected in the urge to make your business a success. With a business there is always something to do  every waking hour to make it a success.

As you are solely responsible for the health of your business your mind always dwells on it  – at times to the point of ignoring family concerns. But neglecting your family can have a negative backlash, which may also affect you personally. So find a balance between your work life and your home life.

12 Do not tie your selfworth to the business

In the end all businesses have a 50-50% chance of succeeding. Ok may be not – maybe it is a 20% chance. So do not think that your business failed or is failing because of you or your shortcomings. It didnot.

No way should it lead to bad self worth or worse depression ( It is known to happen more than you know; many choose to keep their depression a secret).

You should bury the dead horse and look for the next winner; If you have done the best, and learned your lessons the next one will definitely succeed.

13.Do not forget to enjoy what you do

You probably started your home based business as an extension of your hobby. But in the worry and hurry of making a living out of your hobby you have started to lose that joy you earlier had. Infact you have started to hate it.

This is a common enough phenomenon among creative people doing business related to their passion.

Delegation of work is one way to take the pressure off you from this situation. Taking timely breaks and taking up other hobbies like reading also work.

Even before starting the business you should ensure that you will be able to deal with doing ( sitting and sewing the whole day, cutting felt day in and day out , fold fabric for hours on end, make endless bias binding strips and keeping and maintain books) what you have to do every day, every hour on a consistent basis.

If you find that you will not be able to cope with this, do not start a home based business based on your hobby. It will probably kill your joy in it

Following these rules will not make your business succeed. Only you could do that – with consistent hard work, good product and great customer care – a bit of good luck. But I hope your journey would go a lot smoother by following these rules

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