What You Should Take Into Account When Planning a Home Business
Whichever home based business opportunity or opportunities you decide to take up, there are certain things you should face up to, realistically. Everybody has different abilities and temperaments. Yours will affect how things pan out over the next few years. Here are a few things you should think about (it is important here to be honest with yourself):
1. How will you react to set backs? Running your own business is very tough. If you work flat out for 3 months and don’t make a penny profit, will you get so depressed it will destroy your life? If so, your own business is not for you. You will almost certainly have setbacks. You need to learn from them. In fact, thrive on them. Feed off each set back to drive you forward positively.
2. Are you good at learning from mistakes? Unless you’re a genius of perfection, you will make mistakes. Can you spot a mistake soon enough, learn from it, and move on quickly? Or do you have a stubborn streak that forces you to carry on down the wrong track in the hope that things will improve?
3. Can you reinvest profits? If you make a bit of profit in the first few months, will you go out and spend it all, or put it back into the business? If you can, you should put all or most back in, either to marketing or to tools that will save you time. If your temperament is to spend as it arrives, you may have problems with your own small business. You need to change your mindset and habits. If you make a small profit in the first 3 months and spend it, then make a loss in month 4, you’re going backwards. Your base camp is further back down the mountain you have to climb.
4. How will you and your family adjust to you working from home? If you’re used to working from an office or elsewhere, and your family are not used to you being at home all the time, there will be a major impact on your lives. It can be a great feeling to be able to work from home in your own home based business, but there are practical and very personal issues you need to think about, and preferably discuss with those close to you.
5. Can you deal with financial side of your business? Not everyone’s good at this, but if neglected, the business may not have a firm footing. You may be making sales, but not really know what’s going on. You may be making a profit, you may not. All business owners need to understand basic business finance.
6. Can you learn about marketing? This is more interesting than finance, that’s for sure. But not everyone can take an interest in marketing. As a small business owner, you will need to understand marketing as well as finance. You will need to see how they inter-relate. At least, until you reach the stage when you can employ “experts”. Even then, it’s best to understand these basics, otherwise how will you know if the experts you hire are talking sense?
These are just a few of the things to bear in mind when thinking through your plan for the future. They are here just to stimulate your thought process, I am sure you can think of others. If you like, do another exercise. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself and your situation. SWOT means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. List out your personal strengths and weaknesses as they will impact on your having a small business of your own. For example:
Strengths: determination, supportive spouse, vast knowledge of sport
Weaknesses: little capital, not good with figures, don’t like selling
Opportunities: online business related to sports, offline business related to sports
Threats: need to start business while working full time still, lots of competition
There are no restrictions here. Think as long and hard as you like for your SWOT analysis. Sometimes an obvious plan can fall out of such an exercise. Again, be honest with yourself. If you’re disorganised, put that as a weakness. If you’re impatient, put that as a weakness. When you move on to your plan, you can take all these into account. You’ll be able to build on the strengths, address the weaknesses, seize the opportunities, and anticipate and deal with the threats.