You have made the decision to start working from home and are eager to get started. But how do you begin? Everything we do in life begins with an idea and those that come to fruition typically evolve through some sort of plan. Your home based business is no different!
Some people have a hard time figuring out how to make their dreams a reality when it comes to business endeavors. They have the ideas, the passion to work, and dreams for success but lack the knowledge of where to begin.
What do you do?
Putting all of the thoughts in your head together, identifying your challenges and any obstacles that might get in the way, and determining the “how” of your dream is vital to your success. You need a business plan! With a plan you can meet obstacles head on, overcome them, and solve problems. Because you have a clear picture of what your business is going to be and how it will operate, you can follow your plan and know your dream will become a reality.
The following is a step-by-step guide to help create a business plan for your home based business:
Step 1 – Why are you doing this business?
Clarify your purpose (your “why”) and put words on paper explaining why you are starting your own business. Dream about what you want. Don’t restrict yourself with what you feel is “realistic.” Set your sights high and picture success! This is the first step on the path to success. Believe in your dreams and write them down.
In addition to writing it down and making it something “real” by seeing it on paper instead of just in your head, use visuals to help make your dream tangible. Find pictures that represent your dream. Post these pictures where you see them while working. Having your dream before you as a constant, visual reminder will help you be more motivated to work harder. If your goal is to stay home with your family put up a picture of you with your family. If you are working to save for a new car put up a picture of the car of your dreams. Do you want to go on some exotic vacation? Post pictures of the dream destination. If you have dreams then put them in front of you. Look at them daily and think of the steps you need to take to get there.
2 – Make a step-by-step road map.
Recall the purpose you stated above. What will it take to make that happen? Determine the monthly income you will need to transform your “why” into a reality. With this number in mind, begin to think realistically of what you need to do in the next one to two years to achieve your goal. If one to two years seems too long range, think of what you need to do now, tomorrow, this week. Small goals translate into long term realities. Write down what you need to make daily, weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly to make this happen.
3 – Determine behaviors you need to perform.
What specifically do you need to do to meet the goals you outlined in step 2? Determine the income-producing activities you will need to do to earn your target income each month. Be specific. If you know you need to plan 2 home parties a month, then start trying to schedule. If you have to make at least 50 phone calls a week, put the names and phone numbers on paper and chunk them in to groups you can call each day with the date next to each on when you will call them.
Give yourself a specific timeline. Assigning a timeline to your behavior will help you work towards achieving that goal. Saying “I need to call 50 people this week” with no scheduled goals you will most likely not get through it. Instead say “I am calling the first 10 people on Monday. The next 10 people will be called Tuesday.” Think about what knowledge, time, and assistance you might need to accomplish them.
There are tools and resources in the downloads section of this site. Use these tools to help you plan, set goals, identify obstacles, and track your efforts.
4 – Visualize and BELIEVE in yourself!
Continually visualize and believe in your ultimate success while you work your plan. Remind yourself of WHY you are doing this. Look at your reminders from step 1. Picture yourself living those dreams! Tell yourself “I CAN do this! I WILL be successful!” Say it out loud and say it often. Program your brain with positive affirmations of your success. Cross off your work as you do it and look at how much work you have completed. Chart your successes and review them often to see how you have found success through your actions.
5 – Set a schedule.
Successful workers know what is expected of them. If you worked in a traditional job you had outcomes and expectations for each day. Teachers have pacing calendars they have to abide by. Sales and commission based workers have goals to meet in their sales funnels. Expectations are clear as to what is expected from workers each day.
Working from home should be no different, other than the expectations are being set by YOU. Schedule daily actions you need to take. Stick to your schedule the best you can. Push to get as much done each day as possible. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done. Just revise your daily schedule for the next day and keep going!
6 – Don’t give up.
It is going to be hard. There is no “easy” business out there. Every successful business person has made it to where they are through hard work and perseverance. And many have wanted to give up at some point. Don’t fall victim to your own self doubts or insecurities. Don’t let fear or lack of immediate success put an end to your business dreams. Push through it and keep on going!
7 – Seek support when needed.
Though you are working on your own business, you are not alone. There are many wonderful support groups and networking opportunities you can seek out to help you in your business. If your business is part of a larger company seek out your sponsor, mentor, or people in your upline. If you are starting a brand new business on your own look to others who have successfully started businesses and learn their secrets.
Look at networking opportunities and events in your area. Your local Chamber of Commerce will have plenty of opportunities to help you grow. Many host monthly networking events, as well as business development and training. Local Meet Up groups do the same, as well as groups like Toastmasters. Check the newspaper and local events listings in your area and see what options you have. Go to EVERYTHING, whether to network and expand, or simply to grow. Don’t think that you know everyone there, so there is no need to attend again. Continue going, get support, build relationships, and know you have accountability if you continue to attend.
And don’t forget the Internet. There is a wealth of support available online! You never have to be alone, even when you are working on your own home based business.
Remember: The first two letters of ‘goal’ are ‘GO’ – You have a plan. Make it happen!