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Your Home Business Is Not A Hobby

May 6, 2008
Your home business is just that: a business. The reason for the failure of so many people who start working from home with great expectations is that they do not approach it as a business, but more as a hobby. It is important that you have the right attitude, and the hints and tips provided here will help you to approach your work at home opportunity in a way that will help you to succeed rather than hinder you.

Set Your Goals

A very important aspect of working from home is to set your goals. The main goal is what you want from success. What is your ultimate aim? Is it to make $50,000 in your first six months, to buy that new sports car or to build a strong and stable business that will provide security for you and your family? No, it's not a trick question with the obvious answer - any of these options is a good answer. The most successful entrepreneurs had specific goals in mind and worked hard to achieve them.

However, goals are not only long term: it is the shorter term goals that are more important and if you set and meet the short term goals, you will find that your ultimate goal suddenly appears more achievable. Set yourself monthly goals, weekly goals and more specific daily goals. Once you have set the targets then plan to succeed.

Plan to Succeed

You might have heard the hackneyed saying: 'Plan to succeed, don't plan to fail'. Hackneyed, but true, and unless you have a plan you will find it difficult to keep yourself on track with whatever it is you think you are on track for. Without a plan there can be no track. So, set yourself a time-limited goal and plan to achieve it. List tasks that must be done each day and don't go to bed until you have completed them.

A Business, not a Hobby

Do not regard your home business as a hobby. Neither should you take advantage of not having a boss. I know it's not easy to stop to watch that TV program in the afternoon, and one of the benefits of having your own business is that you can take time off whenever you need it, but remember the operative word: 'need', not 'want'. Stick to your plan, and if you take an hour off for that TV program then work an hour later at night. Your plan is important to your goal - if you fail to stick to the plan then your goal will recede into the distance.

Use Shortcuts

You can make best use of your time if you use the labor saving devices that are available online. Let's assume right now that your home business is internet based, which is a reasonable assumption or you would be unlikely to be reading this. Are you aware of all the keyboard shortcuts available with most word processors, including Microsoft Word? You can save a lot of mouse work by using these, and can even set up your own shortcuts. When you are typing and want to make your text bold, for example, don't stop typing and go for the mouse, but press CTRL and B at the same time, and do the same to get back to normal type density.

You can set up shortcuts for your address at the top of letters, for your email address - type it with two keystrokes - and can also set up macros for more complex repetitive text such as your author's resource if you write articles, your signature for emails or even to set up specific page formatting. Do you know that you can get password security systems that can hold all your login details as well as your personal details, and fill in logins for those pages full of boxes for your personal information with one click? What used to be an annoying chore can be done with a single click.

Meet Orders Whilst You Sleep

Use auto-responders to answer your emails, take orders, deliver electronically deliverable goods, accept payments and send receipts and thank-you notes - all while you sleep!

Although these appear to be simple things, and indeed they are, they save a lot of time because you should not be spending the bulk of your time with mundane tasks. Your main tasks will be to meet your daily and weekly goals, which must include an element of traffic targeting. In fact more than just an element, since traffic is the life blood of any business.

Spend your personal time on the important tasks in your plan and automate the rest. That is the way to keep to plan and meet your goal. Your home business will then be the success that it deserves to be with you in control, running a business and not a hobby.
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