7 Ways to Kill Your Home Based Business

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7 Ways to Kill Your Home Based BusinessWorking from home as an entrepreneur, you face an ever increasing number of distractions that can slowly, but surely, kill your home based business.

You wake up in the morning ready to go, but before you know it the day is done and you have accomplished very little.  Sound familiar?  How does it happen?

I’ve compiled seven of the most sure fire ways that I have discovered can kill your home based business.

Sorry, We’re Closed

Make sure that you have clearly defined your business hours.  Notify those close to you of your business hours and then tenaciously guard those hours.

One of the fastest ways to kill your home based business is neighbors, friends, or family that will call or visit thinking they are not interrupting you.  Or worse, that you do not think they are.

Do you think they would do this if you worked in an office for an employer?  If you do not treat your home office as if it were really a business place why should they?

Oprah Said What?

While there are some people that are great at multitasking with their favorite tunes or television show playing in the background, most of us are not – especially in a home setting.   It is too easy to become wrapped up in a program and lose fifteen or thirty minutes because Oprah said something interesting.

Do not locate your home office near a television, or any other distraction.  It will inevitably lead to a loss of productivity that all too easily becomes habitual.

Be careful about lunch breaks in front of the television too.  That quick bite to eat while sitting on your comfy sofa will all too often zap you of your energy.

“Honey Dos” – Don’t!

Let’s face it.  If you are a homeowner, there is something that needs to be fixed or done around the house all the time.  It is very tempting to finally get around to fixing that squeaky door when you are frustrated with your business or there are mundane tasks that need to be done.

Household chores and “Honey Do” lists provide a false sense of accomplishment that fosters procrastination to do those tasks that are critical to your success.

Now before I get in trouble with my own wife, let me suggest that if part of the reason you wanted to work from home was to be able to do these types of things then simply schedule them and keep to the schedule.

I Think We Can Squeeze You In

Speaking of scheduling, it is imperative that you schedule your time.  You have already defined your hours of operation, but now you need to define what you will be doing during those hours.  This is where a default schedule comes in handy.

Failure to create a default schedule results in your time and effort being spent on those activities that, while pressing, may not be those which will grow your business.

A default schedule is simply a snapshot of your typical work week as you would like to see it with time blocked out to do your major tasks.  At the beginning of each week, you take that week’s tasks and schedule them inside the blocks of your default schedule.

There’s Never an Egg Timer When You Need One

There is a lot of research that goes into starting your own home based business.  That doesn’t stop after your business is off the ground and running.

A good entrepreneur is always learning and adapting.  Luckily, the internet makes this a very economical and easy task.  But to paraphrase Bilbo Baggins,

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going onto the internet.  You step into the World Wide Web, and if you don’t keep your mouse, there is no knowing where you may be swept off to.”

I have found an old-fashioned egg timer to work great when doing research on the internet.  Set it, place it next to your keyboard, and stop when it goes off.

Clothes Make the Man

I’ve never had George Costanza’s fondness to be draped in velvet, but I love a good pair of sweats.  It is so nice to be able to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and start working.

Now that’s the freedom for which I started my home based business.  Well, maybe not.  Your appearance makes a statement about you in the professional world even if people do not see you.

Your clothing can provide you with a sense of confidence that will shine through in your work.  Conversely, a great pair of baggy sweats may cause you to feel less productive or come across as too informal in your work.

Take it from me, you will be surprised how many times a great opportunity arises to meet someone on short notice that can really grow your business, but you are in your sweat pants.

Reach Out, Reach Out, and Touch Someone

Another reason to dress well is that you need to get out of the house!  It is quite easy to become a hermit when you own a home based business – especially if you do not have to meet your clients face to face.

While isolation may be very productive in doses, too much of it will not be good for you or your business.  People who isolate themselves tend to become depressed and anti-social – both are business killers.

You must stay motivated, positive, and be sociable to be successful as an entrepreneur.  You will have set backs in your journey and you will need others to keep you encouraged and to whom you can be an encouragement.

Now For a Pop Quiz

Which of these apply to you?  Or maybe, how many apply to you?  Individually, these time wasters don’t look very harmful, but when they join forces look out Batman!

  • Clearly define and post your hours of operation.
  • Set up your home office away from the television and other distractions.
  • Schedule any home chores or projects you must do.
  • Set up a default schedule.
  • Use a timer when you need to log onto the internet.
  • Dress professionally at all times.
  • Get out of the house regularly and meet people.

Did I miss something?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

Article by

Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Article Writing September 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Normally when I read these types of posts I have a suggestion to add that you maybe forgot, but I think you nailed all the big ones!

Only one I would throw in there is setup an office to work from. If you are working from your home computer in your bed room or living room it doesn't set the work environment. You would be better off and more productive in your own little office at home.

Reply

Brad Harmon September 29, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Thanks! I have been guilty of all of these at one point or another.

Great suggestion. A dedicated home office, or at least a dedicated portion of your home set aside just for work, definitely helps eliminate distractions and clearly delineates the line between personal and business.

If I worked from a computer in the bedroom I am afraid you would catch me napping in the afternoon.

Reply

Keller Hawthorne September 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Fantastic!!! And I fail at many of these consistently. It's so easy to stay in pj's all day, get lost on the Internet and do chores in the middle of the work day. I'm amazed at how different I feel about my day when I actually get dressed and do my hair, but it's so hard to keep it up when you know you won't be seeing anyone that day. It really does require discipline. I'm still learning even after four years of being self-employed!

Reply

Brad Harmon September 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Keller,

You are right about it taking discipline! For me, it is shaving. I hate to shave. There is just something about the daily ritual of scraping a sharp metal blade over my face that makes me look for any excuse to avoid it. Luckily, I am privileged to pick my son up from elementary school each day so the fear of someone mistaking me for the unabomber keeps me in line.

Thanks for the comment!

Brad

Reply

earningstep.com October 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

nice writing skill.. sorry for oot but you blog has amazed me

Reply

Brad Harmon October 10, 2009 at 1:50 am

Jeandsen,

Thanks. It is always nice to hear that.

I have learned so much from your blog the past few days and there is still so much more for me to read and learn there.

Hopefully, I will be able to generate traffic like you do on your sites soon.

Brad

Reply

Dana@Online Knowledge October 11, 2009 at 3:48 am

Wow, it is really great to read this article. I always wonder why some home business success and the others failed. And now, I have the clue. They do not take home business seriously like other business. Thanks for bring this good article.

Reply

Brad Harmon October 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Dana,

Great observations. We would never do these things if we were working for someone else. Sometimes we can be our own worst employees.

Brad

Reply

Paula - Affiliate Blog Online October 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm

LOL – that is so true about Oprah…I don't have the tv on in the background anymore for this very reason.

Reply

Brad Harmon October 16, 2009 at 12:48 am

It's so easy to get sucked in isn't it? It seemed to be the news for me.

Reply

monetizemylife October 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I've personally spent a ton of time being distracted in my Home based business. It is so hard to keep yourself on task and focused on RPA (revenue producing activities). I've gone months without getting anything major accomplished.

I've struggled with almost all of the points above, but I've recently stumbled across something that has vastly improved my efficiency and my focus.

Everyones talked about or heard about Outsourcing… but very few people ever do it. I was in the boat of “that's something I'll do eventually…” But eventually never comes, we all know that.

It's 45 Minute Free Audio recording from a man who really knows his stuff when it comes to outsourcing. Within two day of listening to that recording, I had hired my first outsourced employee for my business. What's happened since has amazed me.

I'M GETTING STUFF DONE!

Now that I have someone who's working for me… I've found that I must be able to very clearly think about what tasks need to be accomplished for my business. I've had to take what was all jumbled in my head and put in clearly and understandably on paper (or the internet) for someone else to be able to do.

It's helped me really begin to understand my business better, but forcing me to think “What's Important Now” and know exactly I want to have done.

It's also free'd me from being an implementer in my business to being a Knowledge worker. I can really focus on understanding, growing, learning, and interacting for my business, instead of being forced to do all of the little tasks. Already, I've gotten more done in a few weeks time than I have in a long time.

I highly suggest any one who's struggling with their home business to look into outsourcing pretty seriously.

Reply

Brad Harmon October 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Richard,

Your link brings up the 404 page on your website. You should be able to edit your comments above and correct the link.

Thanks,

Brad

Reply

monetizemylife October 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I've fixed them… it would be wonderful if I was actually capable of spelling. :)

Reply

Martin November 6, 2009 at 3:47 am

All good points – definitely!

But the things that keep me on track most effectively are lists.

I have two lists – one covers the major things I need to do, like create a new site or do someone's header graphics etc, and the second sets out what I need to do the next day.

I write out the 'next day' list before I sign off each evening and leave it on my keyboard, so it's the first thing I see when I fire up my PC in the morning.

Then I just work my way through the list until everything is done.

I also agree with getting out of the house. I have a reasonably steady routine: get up, do my email, stats and social sites, go out for a walk or to the gym, shower and start on my list.

I take regular breaks, but I do make sure I finish my 'next day' list each day.

Writing out my next day list each evening also helps me sleep better because I don't lie there thinking 'I must remember to do that tomorrow' !

Cheers,

Martin.

Reply

Brad Harmon November 6, 2009 at 5:19 am

Martin,

Great suggestion. I like your last thought the best. When you wrap up your day by planning what you need to do the next day, it is much easier to forget about work and spend your leisure time focused on your family or relaxation.

I will be focusing my posts on time management week after next. I would love to get your feedback when those posts are published.

Brad

Reply

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