Today, I’d like to share some of my best advice for new work from home entrepreneurs.
A work from home entrepreneur is anyone who owns a home-based business and conducts MOST of their business operations out of their own home. This could include a network marketing business, consulting business, gift basket business, freelancers, eBay sellers and hundreds of other types of businesses.
If this is your first time working from home and/or your first time as an entrepreneur, you will quickly discover that working from home has its pros and cons. It is much different than simply going to a job each day. It requires hard work, discipline, good time management, a sound business idea, and even a little bit of luck.
I’ve been fortunate to work from home for many years now. The tips you see below are my best advice for new work from home entrepreneurs. These things will help you survive your first year in business. Keep in mind they are listed in no order.
Advice for New Work from Home Entrepreneurs
Let’s get started.
# 1: Do Something You Love
Obviously, a business idea must make sense. Just because you love something does not mean there is a legitimate need in the marketplace for it. However, if you pursue a business you do NOT enjoy, the likelihood of you sticking with it during difficult times is slim to none. So, make sure you do something you love that also fills a viable need in the marketplace.
# 2: Develop a Written Game-Plan
You need a WRITTEN business plan and marketing plan. This document will outline your goals, vision, mission, unique selling proposition, marketing plan, daily routine and more. It will also help identify your strengths and weaknesses and evaluate your competition. A good business and marketing plan are no more than 1-2 pages long. Refer to it daily and adjust as needed. Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail.
# 3: Start Part-Time
Contrary to what many people might think, starting a new business can be risky. I really recommend you start part-time an keep your day job for as long as possible, so you keep your spouse happy, your bills paid, and prove that your business idea makes sense. I also believe that if you can’t build a business part-time, the likelihood of you ever succeeding full-time is slim to none.
# 4: Know Your Role
Do not fall in love with your product or service. Instead, fall in love with MARKETING and SELLING your product or service. Your job as an entrepreneur is to make the cash register ring. You must spend most of your time selling, advertising and marketing your products or services so you can generate sales and stay in business.
# 5: Change Your Mindset
If this is your first time owning a business, because you’ve always had a job before, it’s vital that you change your mindset. Starting a business to make immediate money is an employee mindset.
Instead, you need to understand that entrepreneurs are building an ASSET (their business). And guess what? It takes time to build an asset, normally several years.
The goal your first year in business is to learn and survive and test your business idea, not to make money. Also, the role of the business owner is to work on their business, not in it. This means you learn how to outsource and delegate and focus on the most important things: MARKETING, SELLING and developing and fine tuning your systems.
# 6: Open a Separate Checking Account
Do not try to run your business finances out of your personal checking account. Ever. This is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Run all business finances out of your business checking account. This makes it easier for you to track your income and expenses. It also makes tax time a lot easier.
# 7: Pick Your Team
No matter what type of business you own, you need some type of support team. At a minimum, you probably want to team up with a good insurance agent, lawyer and CPA. They make sound advisors. If possible, you should also try and find a mentor in your proven field and form your own mastermind alliance. Whatever you do, don’t be a lone wolf. Two or three heads working together is much more powerful than one person all by themselves.
# 8: Designated Workspace
As a new work from home entrepreneur, it’s vitally important to have a designated workspace. If you have the luxury of having your own home-office, that’s great. If not, perhaps you can set up a desk and chair in a corner of one of your spare bedrooms. When it’s time to work, go to your designated workspace. When you are done working, you can leave your workspace and chill out in other parts of your home. It’s important to maintain this separation of space.
# 9: Launch Your Business Properly
It’s crucial you launch your new business properly. You can have a grand opening, or you could at least notify your contacts to let them know about your new business, and potentially ask for referrals.
# 10: Evaluate & Adjust as Needed
Nothing will ever go exactly as planned. Ever. There will be ups and downs, zigs and zags. Keep and open mind and keep learning. Fail. Learn. Fail. Learn. Tweak as needed. Press on. Fail quickly and fail forward! That is the formula for success in any business.
# 11: Put Money Away
When you work for yourself, you might not always have a steady paycheck. Plus, you are responsible for your own taxes. Since most businesses have ups and downs it’s extremely important that you put money aside for your taxes and bills. Whenever you get paid from your business, put money aside. Also, don’t be too quick to spend your business profits.
# 12: Keep an Idea Journal
I can’t speak for you, but I have moments of greatness. There are times when I come up with some of the best ideas, and normally when I least expect it. Always carry a notebook with you so you can write down your new ideas when they come to you. If you don’t write it down, you will more than likely forget.
# 13: Be a Student of Your Business
As a new work from home entrepreneur, you should be a student of your new business and profession. Attend events, find a mentor, listen to tapes, read books, and focus on your continuing education. Also, study sales and marketing so you can improve in that area as well.
# 14: Have Realistic Expectations
The goal your first year in business is to learn and survive. It’s important that you have realistic expectations, or you will be disappointed. Think of your new business as a newborn baby. It needs a lot of love, nurturing and attention in the early years, but as it gets older, it becomes more independent. If you think you’re going to start a business and the money is just going to start pouring in on day one, get ready to eat a big lunch!
Remember, you are building an asset. Assets take time to build. You are not trading hours for dollars like you do in a job!
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# 15: Time Management
As a new work from home entrepreneur, this might just be the most important tip on this list. Time management is key. Many people think that working from home is easy. It’s not. You will still have a lot of distractions. You must create a work schedule and follow it. Many people are not disciplined with their time and they quickly discover that working from home is nightmare, not a dream.
In summary, this is my best advice for new work from home entrepreneurs. What are your thoughts? Which piece of advice is your favorite and why? What tip did I leave off this list that I should have included? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.