Sunday, 5 May 2013

10 Point Business Plan for Success!

Starting a business and working from home can be very daunting. You are on your own without the structure any organisation usually provides including secretarial and admin support.  All down to me!
I do believe you have to have a specific profile to make a real success of  being a one man or woman band. This profile would include being analytical,focused, capable of making decisions, resilient, self motivated, systematic, organised, personable and credible.

Here are 10 practical things which worked for me.......

  • Find a good accountant and establish business banking
  • Dedicated room at home. You are at work when in this room
  • Ensure you have the technology to support your business
  • Prepare simple attractive marketing material which says who you are, what you do, what you can do for them. 
  • Don't dress like a slob just because you are at home! - you are applying a work discipline - puts you in the right frame of mind!
  • Work 9 - 5. This is a full time job! Allow an hour for lunch and have set break times to stop you having a cup of coffee every time you hit the wall
  •  Set the objectives for the day....... for me this went something like.... Contact 5 people in my network, identify 5 potential new clients and contacts, send out marketing letters to them, diary follow up phone call in 3 days time, diary any meetings which come out of interactions, handle admin to include, suppliers, banking, tax, VAT
  • Make sure you build in exercise before or after work or during lunch break. This could be a brisk short walk or gym whatever works for you. It helps to clear the cobwebs
  • As a full time working mum build in and diary commitments
  • Have a supportive partner! :) if you haven't got one make sure you have a mentor - someone you respect and value their opinion

What I kept reminding myself was not to kid myself......this exercise was about results not activity! It's all very well having nice conversations but they don't pay the bills!  Keeping focus on obtaining business - " what can I do for you?".  The first year is the most challenging after which momentum starts to happen. I know people say its not that easy. ......and they are right it isn't! However if you keep on going one day at a time and don't  lose heart you can achieve success........and what success looked like for me.........achievement which was down to my endeavours. As a woman at the time I started my business I faced quite a few barriers. So how did this achievement manifest itself......a really good income, financial package from last previous employer intact..........and a car!!!  Not the SLK..........I found it was too small for me - I felt like a sardine in a can........but I did get a CLK and worked up to the SL........

However what really gave me a glow was the praise of my husband and his complete belief in what I was capable of doing........and the expression of pride from my children who saw me and continue to see me as a positive role model.

So what are you waiting for..........?