You’ve already cemented the foundation of your business -- the business name, the logo, the tax filing details, the mission statement. You have your home office space, your desk, your computer, and you’re ready to go! It can feel a little bit like your first day of school again -- you show up nervous but prepared, waiting for the teacher’s instructions. Only this time, there is no teacher. So what comes next for your business?
One of the most rewarding things about being your own boss and working from home is the ability to determine your own hours. The how, when, and where of your business are all determined by you! But with that freedom comes the sole responsibility of motivating yourself to manage your own time. Take some time to ask yourself these questions when determining your schedule:
On the first day of school, you were most likely prepared for the day with pencils, paper, notebooks, and a backpack. You had the necessary tools to succeed, even without knowing what the day would bring. Managing your business works the same way -- you need the necessary tools to succeed, so prepare for this ahead of time. Do you prefer mostly digital tools, or do you feel more in control with pencils, paper, and notebooks? A few tools you will need for your business include:
Your elementary school teacher didn’t teach you the ABCs without a goal for your future. The goal was for you to read, of course, and every day she (or he) had a teaching agenda to help you reach that goal. Running your business without any goals -- even with the right time management and the right tools -- can prove to be fruitless in the long run. To combat this, set your goals for the week, the month, the quarter, and the year.
At the end of each period, schedule time for yourself to review what your goals were and determine whether or not you accomplished them. If you did, identify the habits that contributed to your success. If you did not, identify the habits that contributed to missing the goal and what you can do (or not do) that might help in the future. Identifying all of these things will help you focus on your future goals, learn what works and what doesn’t for your business, and make consistent progress.
While running your own dream business in the comfort of your own home can have many benefits, it’s vital to organize, plan, and manage your time to create your future success. There are pitfalls to avoid in working from home just as there are pitfalls in working outside of the home. Keep track of the lessons you learn along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes twice (or more!). Try to schedule time for keeping a daily journal of how things are going in your business. Write down what your successes are and what areas need improvement. Most importantly, no matter what kind of business you have or what your future goals are, maintaining your gratitude and vision for your business is one of the most important things you can do.
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