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Are You Running A Business Or Playing At Your Hobby

Aug 17, 2007
Working from home is a great way to gain personal time freedom. It also presents lucrative tax savings, earning potential and if you build it right, passive income for life.

Here's a question for you:
Are you really running a business or are your playing at a business and treating it more like a hobby.

To decide which is which, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do I have a plan?

Yes I mean a real business plan, one that includes marketing, promotion, sales, competition, business goals, financial projections etc. It should be detailed and include financial projections as well as the expenditures that you will be making to build your business. Take some time when creating this plan, and review it often. You need to know where you are going if you have any hope of getting there so put it down in writing. It's the best way to start making the plans you have real.

2. Do I have a schedule?

By this, I mean do you work at your business on a consistent schedule. Do you set aside time in your day to work the business. Are you implementing the plan you created above. Set times in your agenda when you will work the business. Remember that working the business doesn't include reading emails. It could include prospecting, sales calls, advertising and other activities that reach your bottom line sales results.

3. Have I set budgets for my business and am I spending within those budgets effectively?

This is a really important factor. Many people start a business with visions of the money they are going to make and get quickly discouraged when they have to make investments to grow the business. If you decide what to spend, how much and where, you are working off a solid plan for growth. Include in the budget things like sampling, business cards, web hosting, leads, promotion, advertising etc. Make sure you include every possible expense that is appropriate in your business. If you know what your business will cost, and plan for it, you are less likely to give up when the going gets tough.

4. Speaking of the "going getting tough" - Do I have a contingency plan if my sales objectives aren't being met?

Think about how to address it, what will I do, who will I call for advice etc.

Lets face it. Sometimes the best laid plans don't turn out the way you expect. Don't give up. Have contingency plans for the business. Have action plans to implement if growth is not happening the way you'd like. Call someone. You may be in business for yourself but you're not in business alone. Brainstorm ideas and then get them moving. It's easy to give up when the first obstacle hits. Don't. Your future success is worth more than that and you owe it to yourself to keep going.

5. Am I investing in my education?

If you read books by business gurus like Trump, Kiyosaki, Bach and others, they are talk about the importance of learning. Learn something new every day. Invest in your education through seminars, courses and magazines or books. You are investing in yourself, your business success and your future when you take the time to continuous learn. It is the best money you can spend. (If you don't have time to take course, there are numerous great online programs that give you short online courses that you can do on your computer in less than 1/2 hour. This is a great investment in your greatest asset ... YOU.).

I hate to say it but if you aren't doing all of the above ... and more you are not working at a business, you are playing. I hate to add that when you are playing at something, you won't realize the success you are hoping to achieve. By taking a few small steps, you can convert that hobby into a real business ... and guess what, you will start to see the dollars roll in, bringing you that much closer to your goals of financial freedom.

Take some time and answer each of these questions. Where there are gaps, start filling them in. This is another great step in your business development.

When you are starting a home business, it is tempting to play and enjoy your new-found freedom but you need to set the solid foundation for your business if you want it to succeed. Build the business on a solid footing and retiring free and early is possible.

Make your business real ... not a hobby and you are on your way.
About the Author
Jennifer Lavoie is a home-based business coach. Using Robert Kiyosaki's teaching, she helping others to build passive income businesses and retire early and free. http://www.retirefree.ws
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