Schedule Success When Starting Your Own Home Based Business
By Jeff Schuman 16 Comments
Would you like to start a home based business online?
A lot of people dream of starting their own home based business.
They dream of setting their own hours, working when they want to
work and with whom. The reality is that very few of these people
ever take the time to ensure that they have the right skill set
- the right tools - to make the leap to a home-based enterprise.
The first major pitfall that most new home-based business owners
face is a lack of scheduling discipline. They just don't plan
out their work days. This can cause problems in two ways,
under-working and overworking.
Let's look at the first one, "under-working." It's very easy to
sit at home, on the ol' PC surfing the web. You might intend on
working on your new website or putting up auctions on eBay, but,
before you know it, you've spent the entire day reading email
and surfing for the latest news and gossip. Sure, you were
online and you were doing something, but the things you were
doing are not the things that will put a dime in your bank
Overworking is pretty easy to understand. Some people simply
don't know how to keep business hours. When they work from home,
the temptation is there to "work 'til you drop." That's not
good, especially if you start a home a based business online on
the side and still work a day job. If you spend all your time
working, you'll soon feel that you're never getting any "down
time," and burnout is sure to follow. Believe me, I know all
about this one.
Here's the solution. You must be very disciplined in planning
your day. Write down what you need to accomplish every day and
how long you will work on each item. Be sure to include downtime
in your plan - time for your family, relaxation, exercise,
whatever. This is important. after all, you're starting a
home-based business to build a lifestyle, not to become the
richest person in the cemetery!
Your daily plans and goals need to be very specific. It won't do
you any good to write something like, "work on project x." What
does that mean? How exactly do you "work on something?" Your
plan needs to include a definite finishing point, such as "write
a new article on dog grooming for page one of the website." See
the difference? You can "work on" a project for years and never
reach a point where you've had any success. By contrast, when
you "write an article on x," you know you're done as soon as
you've typed the final period.
If you're in a marketing business, try to farm out as much of
the non-marketing related work as you can afford to do. For
example, if you sell products or services, it might be
beneficial for you to hire someone to help build and maintain
your website. The money you'll spend to have someone else do it
will be more than offset by the amount of time it will free up.
Other areas you can outsource for your home based business
online might be bookkeeping, mailing, etc.
Be realistic when planning your day. If you're still working
your day job, schedule that from the time you get up in the
morning until you get home from work. Don't forget to include
commute time. Then, plan out your evening accordingly. Don't
schedule a four hour task to be completed in one hour. It won't
happen. If you have huge tasks, break them up as much as
possible and schedule your time accurately. This will allow you
to have a feeling of accomplishment and you'll get a lot more
done in the long run.
Don't multi-task. I know that this is the latest "buzzword,"
but, in reality, multi-taking is one of the leading killers of
productivity for most people. Schedule only one project at a
time. You can work on more than one project during the day, but
you shouldn't work on more than one project at a time. It's very
difficult, if not totally impossible, to serve to masters at the
same time. Give one project your undivided attention. Once
you've completed that task, move on to another tasks on that
project or to another project.
If you start your home based business online with tunnel vision
on a daily basis you will accomplish more and become more
successful in a shorter period of time.
You should also be a little flexible in your scheduling. In any
business, there are bound to be interruption s that you couldn't
possibly have planned for. In home-based businesses, the chance
of distraction goes up exponentially. You'll be working on that
hot new project, only to have the toilet overflow or a neighbor
ring the doorbell. Plan on it. There will be things that happen
that you can't plan for. That's why your schedule needs to
include a little cushion.
What I like to do is plan out the items I want to get done and
overestimate the time it will take to do them, by say 10%. Then,
I have other items which are "on deck." These items aren't quite
on today's schedule, but I want to do them soon. If I complete
all of my scheduled tasks for the day, I simply look to see
what's on deck and start on one of them. It's a bonus.
Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, you just won't finish
what you schedule. It happens to everyone. That's when you
simply revise your schedule for the next day to include the
missed item(s). Don't get hung up on the fact that an item or
two didn't get done as planned. Just take it in stride and keep
on moving forward. Now, if you find yourself routinely missing
your deadlines, you'll need to reevaluate your scheduling. Are
you being realistic in your time allotments? Probably not.
Here are just a few tips to help you maintain sanity and get
your work done. With a little planning and a little effort, you
can balance your home life and start a home based business
online and literally schedule your way to success.