I am a firm believer that any business starts much like grandma’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. She made sure that she had all the right ingredients, like soft sifted flower, pure cane sugar, fresh eggs and real cream butter.
Sound good? Well, if any one of those really important ingredients were to go missing from grandma’s recipe, her batch of cookies would not come out just right, like you remember them.
The Home Business Success Recipe
Same goes for a home business. I think sometimes that it may be a bit harder to arrange all the right ingredients for a home business recipe, however. In a corporate job, or a bigger company that has a brick and mortar exterior, usually these ingredients like employees, accounting practices, logistics, banking, etc. are already formed and controlled by the higher up managers, the company boards and internal controls. In a home business, however, those responsibilities typically lie with the sole entrepreneur, YOU!
In my experience of running my own home business, these types of fringe benefits that most employee-based business offer, were not handed to me on a silver platter with an instruction manual. My business beginnings were harder to maneuver, until I learned the skills I needed to fix and run that business just like any big company.
Building a great team was the secret. It is the consistent ingredient in any good company, yet a skill sometimes difficult to master.
First Things First - The Logistical Ingredients
One of the first big differences I noticed when it came to my business really feeling like a business, and not just an extension of my home, was when I actually moved my office to a separate dwelling. I, and my business, felt liberated and real at that moment. No more cookie crumbles all over my desk. I could actually answer the phone without grabbing a chunk of chocolate pudding on the phone receiver; it was a very crucial step I needed to make to feel my business was legit, and so was I.
Once I set up my physical space of my home business, I made some drastic rules about the daily operations and how the business would run. I first set my mind that I was a professional business. Therefore, I needed to establish a schedule for daily working hours, and in my personal case I chose a standard 9-5. In my opinion, this was also a very important thing to do because it gave me some boundaries that I had to follow, if I ever expected to be successful. If you view your home business as just a hobby, that is what it will be. Home businesses can be very successful, or not. It all depends on your frame of mind when you are developing the plan.
The Team Ingredients
The next and biggest part of planning a home business is who will help you run it? You can choose to start it yourself and get to know each and every aspect of your daily operations, but at some point you will need to start building your team, if you want to grow and succeed. This was the toughest part of building my business.
Fear of Screwing Up the Recipe
Being a sole entrepreneur for a long time, it was difficult to release control. I was afraid that if I did choose someone to run a certain aspect, there would be serious consequences if they did not do a good job. What if they made me lose business? Oh my GOD, what if? When I got over that, I am telling you my entire world opened up, my business grew continuously and I was free to go do what I do best, which is create products for my business.
Now, finding the right people for my business sure sounds much easier than it was. Let me tell you, it was not an overnight process. It took me many months of looking for the right people. It took a great deal of deliberate intention to go out seeking several people who could fill roles in my business that tied me down, and frankly that I was not good at or liked to do.
Example: My business is a product sourcing/agent business. We locate and secure products for people that want to get into mass retailers like Wal-Mart, etc. I know that I am a great networker; I also knew that I was not heavily skilled or interested in dealing with client contracts and the logistics of keeping weekly contact with clients and buyers of the retailers. However, that is what retailers like, weekly contact and new products to review.
Finding the Secret Ingredient
I realized what I needed in another person, and I set out to find the right one with great intention. I am a big believer in Karma, so what I put into the universe came back to me,…Brenda! She was perfect; she was a Walgreens vendor, super smart, and a real go-getter. She thrived on the back-end stuff, which I did not like nor want to do. She was a wiz at contracts, and she was a master of the follow-up and initial introductions of both clients and retailers. BINGO! A true match made in heaven.
Hence, I was now able to feel comfortable that we can work together to build a sound business, and I was free to go do the things I do best: network and bring in new products into the business. So, the most important thing to building a home business that will be successful year after year is build your team deliberately, according to your specific skills and needs. Entrust that team to help you build your business. Give them incentives to want to help you. And then go spend your valuable time at what you do best: working your business, not working in your business!