Tip #2 – Home Business Entrepreneurs Have an Office

Hoping you are enjoying our home business tips series for individuals looking at starting a home business or the entrepreneurs actively operating one. In the first article, it was mentioned how we can use hardware that enables us to work our business from anywhere in the house and even tools that allow us to work when we’re away, but by no means should that undermine the importance of having an office (or work designated space) in our home. A home based business does imply having a home office. To the same extent we have specific rooms in our homes for eating, cooking and sleeping, a space does need to be delimited for working. Even if we may not choose to work from there all the time, it’s important to have an anchor point for your business; you may want to view it as “Corporate Head Office”. You may decide to work from remote offices such as the patio, the hammock, the gazebo, the hotel room or the pool chair at your favorite Waikiki beach resort but in the end you will always need to come back and re-group in the home office – Corporate Headquarters.

While it is quite possible to have a paperless home office should you choose to, there’s always going to be some sort of paper even if you’re not the one generating it. You will have to start maintaining a filing system so piles of notes, advertising sketches, financial statements and the likes do not start piling on your desk.

The home office is also the area you can revert to when you need peace and quiet when other areas of your home are busy with sounds of playful youngsters, teen music, TV sports games or barking dogs. While those sounds are very natural to the home environment, they are also distracting to the work at hand. There are times when you need to focus your attention on a specific matter, think strategically or carry out a phone conversation and you need a place that will allow you to do so.

For that reason, you are best advised to tailor that area so it reflects your personality. You want to feel comfortable, well equipped and productive. Keep an organized and clean desk. Have all your office supplies placed for quick access. A desk can clutter easily so always remind yourself frequently that a desk is not a storage area but a work area. Your work area should feel spacious and not cramped. When you sit at your desk you should not have to move or remove piles of paper in order to find a place to work. Do not allow piles to form and when the day is over, clean up your desk so it’s ready and fresh for the next use.

If at all possible, choose a room that has a window so you can have daylight and fresh air come into your office. Fresh air will oxygenate your office so your brain can think clearly and you don’t feel sluggish. The sunlight brings you vitamins, brightens your day and makes the room alive. Add to that some favorite colors to accent your room and you’re set. While some may go as far as painting the walls to their liking, there are other alternatives. Put up colorful pictures on the walls, post your life vision, print your favorite quotes on colored paper and stick them to the walls at random angles, post your life goals and you might also want to frame some pictures of the important people in your life. All these will quickly fill up your wall space and pretty soon the color of your walls won’t even matter. It will make your work environment vibrant, warm, comfortable and conducive to the empowering thoughts you need when you revert to your work alcove.

Plants and animal life are also a good idea. Plants will create oxygen during daytime while their color and appearance will make the place alive. A fish tank is another source of light, it brings busy aquatic life to your room and creates a soothing effect.

Another area of your office should be devoted to your personal and business development library. A considerable amount of time need to be devoted to your development and if you do not have a library in the works already, it’s time you start one. But that will be for another article. In the mean time, put your construction hat and work boots on, you have an office to design; an anchor to set, a Corporate Headquarters to establish. See you in the boardroom!

Building a Prosperous Business – Personal Development

Personal Development – Action vs Daydreaming Personal Development (PD) is one of the hidden pillars of the successful home business and for business leaders in general. The will and drive to build success has to be sustained over time. We actually need to work harder on ourselves than we work on our business to sustain our commitment. Its about controlling and disciplining our minds and becoming more because success is not something we pursue – success is something we attract.

Attracting Success

In order for us to attract success we need to become that person that attracts success. We are not going to attract success if we are not mentally ready to attract success. At least 30 minutes of PD every day. The key here is not to look outward for excuses, fall guys or success – everything is in our hands. There is no outside force that is going to make us change. Invest in books, magazines, etc. in terms of expanding your mind and becoming more prosperous.

Also, no one book is going to answer everything for you, even if you are saying to yourself right now “YES – I have the magic Book”. YES – it is funneling ALL wisdom about everything to me right now”. What you need to look for is material that resonates and moves you the most – start there.

Because the more you do – the more/faster your circumstances will change. It’s not about working hard – it’s about becoming more. So we can achieve more. Personal Development is not an end in itself it is a tool, one of many in your tool kit. Don’t get lost in empowerment or feel good messages. PD HAS to become accompanied by action – it is NOT a replacement for your plan.

Communicate with people and tell them where you are going at every opportunity. Giving your vision a reality through declaration and then implement. Implementation is one of the hallmarks of a becoming a leader.

Being a leader is a process. We can all say the same thing but it is how we language it to our teams. This is a process we are all working to become better all the time.

Practice it — Every opportunity with your team/friends/family/etc. – tell them where you’re going. Is it frightening – YES. Why? Because you committed yourself to take action by exposing your vision to the world.

Problem Solving The only person who doesn’t have problems is in the cemetery. So all of us are and have been here. Formula for embracing problems:

We all come from backgrounds that say avoid problems FORGET THAT We need to get better at facing challenges and solving problems.

Good problem solvers and going over obstacles and being able to talk about to other people about and through it is incredibly liberating. We want to become a person to see a problem as an opportunity to get us where we want to go. We need to embrace problems and work to solve them. Obstacles, challenges, problems are all the same. Why?

The bigger the problem- the bigger the check.

Overcoming Fear

Here’s what I like you do. The great thing about PD is that when you take action you do really feel better. Start manageable and grow. Write a list of what you don’t like to do – what makes you feel uncomfortable.

This lays out action items and it puts you in control. If it we put ourselves out there – we are going to get more of we want so we need to be prepared to put ourselves out there and the first step is to make a list – make it real – get it out of our heads.

After you compiled the list – make the opportunity to do those things. In this world we all have choices – nobody’s forcing us to anything – we need to become willing to do and become more (see time management piece). Then you have to be willing to DO the things to get you where you want to go. No magic – just choice. Am I willing to do that? If you see something to be taken care of – you step up and take care of it.

In general, people are not willing to do the things which are uncomfortable – that is what keeps them where they are. A good leader is someone who is willing to do the things that make them uncomfortable. First, you do it yourself and then tell others to do the same. Your team, family, etc. is thinking the same as you used to – let them that no one is going to put an obstacle in front of them except for them. And that the faster we remove our barriers the faster we are going to move forward.

Becoming a Leader

To be a leader the best thing you can do is to be around leaders

Understand their thinking

Feel their belief and passion

Know that YOU can join them anytime YOU wish Get Committed — Don’t hold back — Willing to learn

How to Transition From Freelancer to Successful Lifestyle Business Entrepreneur

As a freelancer, it is easy to get stuck in the rut and believe that you have to be the one who does everything. However, being the one who performs all the work limits the time you can actually spend building a successful business.

Do you want to be successful?

Then you have to understand how to build a business rather than just having a series of projects. To build a business you need systems.

Part of building systems is learning to:

Adopt the right mindset

If you want to grow a business, the very first step is to have the right mindset. If you maintain the mindset of a freelancer which is project based rather than system based, then building a business will be a foreign concept to you. To adopt the right mindset, you need to adopt the business mindset. There are many books published that tells you how to build a successful business using systems. The most important thing you will need to learn here is that building a successful business involves systems.

Plan

You need to have a plan about where you want to go. Do you just want to make few bucks or do you really want to build a successful lifestyle?

With a freelance business, if you stop working, you stop earning. Obviously, if this is as far as you want to go with your consulting projects, then this is fine. But from over ten years of consulting, I have learned most business owners want more. They want success and financial freedom and are always concerned about ways to achieve it.

Financial freedom is not a random act but needs to be planned. Determine where you want your successful business to be in three years. And develop steps to achieve that plan.

Delegate

If you are stuck in the routine of accepting, completing and then moving on the next project, there is good news for you. Delegation is a very effective way of assigning routine tasks while you focus on the tasks that only you can do to build your freelance business. In the beginning delegation seems to cost more money. But the key is to focus on the long term goal which is your success and financial independence. When you delegate, you always have something going on as you are already looking for the next client while your employee/ contractor is working on your current project.

You can also delegate your client acquisition system by using referrals to build your client base. Of course you will need to provide exceptional service for this to be successful.

Moreover, you can delegate your customer service/ follow-up process to an online administration service. You can even delegate your blogging to guest bloggers.

When you delegate the essential parts of your business system, you can take extended vacations and still bring in income. When you can walk away from your business from a period of time you are beginning to achieve success and financial freedom,

Delegation is a necessary pre-requisite to growth. You risks becoming irrelevant if you do not delegate. We all know technology changes and if you are too busy working on projects, you have less time to work on your skills and stay relevant in your field.

Automate:

Nowadays, there are so many technologies out there than can help automate parts of your successful business.

You can use auto responders to improve your customer service. Auto responders can be your first course of response to let your client know you received their request and will get to them within 24 hours.

Another useful automation tool is project management software called basecamp. We all know that sometimes the meaning of a word is sometimes lost in the translation when communicated through email.

With basecamp every aspect of your project is kept on one page: All correspondence, to do list, revision drafts, etc. are all kept in the same place. At any time, any team member or client can see what is going on with the project. I think this is cool as it is such a big time saver. It cuts down the amount of time you spend on emails by half.

Using basecamp increases business success with your client management system.

Build passive income:

In honesty, I hate this term passive income as there is a lot of confusion as to what passive income really is. Some people see passive income as a lazy way of building successful businesses on the internet. However, there is no lazy way out. What most people call passive income is really hours of upstart sweat equity which finally produces cash flow over an extended period of time? We do not see behind the curtains of most successful entrepreneurs hence we do not see all the hard work that went on behind the scenes. Most people want the results without the sacrifice.

With that said, using passive income sources like affiliate marketing, product sales or digital products, can boost your income by providing a consistent stream of income. This in turn contributes to your success and financial independence.

In this way your income is not tied strictly to your clients. This gives you more choice as to what type of clients you will like to work with.

Understand your numbers:

This is the topic no one likes to talk about. Most freelancers believe that as long as you are making enough money, the financial details are not relevant to your successful business. Think of your car, and think how long it will actually run if no maintenance was ever done. Your car will not run very long. A business is the same way; you need to perform regular checks to make sure all parts are still functioning efficiently.

Until you learn to look under the hood of your business, you cannot really succeed. It is when you begin to understand how the numbers work in your business that you begin to see patterns that can propel you to the next level. Understanding your financial statements and knowing how to use it to project into the future is paramount to business success.

Are you a freelancer, website designer or consultant? Do you want to build a successful business? Then take the time and read this information and respond to this post with one action you will take to move from being a freelancer to actually owning a successful business.

Social Media Marketing For Small Business Entrepreneurs

I was thinking the other day why I have enjoyed consulting with small business owners for so many years. Talk about reality shows. What is more real than talking to the person who created, owns and operates a business? They have made their dream a reality. It’s a whole different conversation and level of engagement from talking to a marketing or business development manager working for a small or mid-size company. I don’t mean to imply that the marketing or business development manager knows less about the company’s business than the owner. It’s about the level of passion for the business. Passion or entrepreneurial zeal, as we know, doesn’t always translate into being able to run a company successfully but I love to hear their story.

I enjoy the initial phase of a search engine optimization or pay per click management campaign for any new client. We call this the discovery phase where we gather quantitative and qualitative information about a business to lay the groundwork for the project. The more we know about what they do, how they do it, who they are trying to reach and what their goals are the better we can develop and implement a successful online marketing strategy for them.

One big difference I notice almost immediately when talking to an entrepreneur is the desire to talk about their business. You never have to worry about keeping the conversation going that’s for sure. Entrepreneurs love to talk about their business. It’s their passion. That’s why they are doing it. Many businesses, if not most, are built based on the personality of the owner and more often than naught these owners have an outgoing, engaging personality. That is why social media marketing can be so powerful for small business owners.

Social media marketing is not just about creating profiles on facebook, myspace, LinkedIn and other social media networks to try to create buzz and links to your web site. It’s about being actively engaged in the networks. Let people get to know you. Be real. Tell them about your business, why you do it and how you do it. Not from a sales and marketing stand point so it sounds like every other Tom, Dick and Harry selling the same thing but from your personal stand point – your personality – let it shine through. Just a warning here, if you are a real drone with a negative view point on the world this might not work. :>) Find people with the same interests as yours and participate in their discussions. It has to be a two way network for it to work best.

Are you thinking how in the heck am I supposed to find enough time to do this plus run my business? This is a valid point but if done correctly this can reap big benefits for your business. Millions and millions of people are participating in social media networks every day. Instead of actively participating in 4 or 5 determine which one best fits your desired demographic and focus predominantly on that one. Also, you might really enjoy it. Just talk about your favorite topic – your business.