Living Self-Employed Online: The Manual They Forgot to Give You
February 1st, 2009, was a very memorable day for me. It was the day I arrived back at my family home in Newcastle, England, to start working for myself full-time.
Notes that if you have just made the huge decision to operate your own business or if you are considering trying to make money online, some tips from one who has gone through it will help:
- Construct a mission or vision statement (keep it private?). This follows the model of large corporations which state the aims of their business plan and the values of the company. The mission statement does not have to be long and boring, but can be a simple sentence or two about what you aim to do, why, and how.
- Center yourself on your passions. Rather than focusing on a huge goal or project, select some areas that you are passionate about and that work for you in other parts of your life. Assess what works well and employ that in your business model, but keep manageable goals.
- Pinpoint the essential tasks to make your business thrive. Since you will have entire days where you decide what to do, you may find it easy to become distracted with tasks that are not helping you thrive and are not as important as other jobs. Refocus yourself.
- Start working. You may not feel like it, or you may have fears about some tasks, but getting started is essential to your success. Once you've focused on your most effective tasks to make your business thrive, just do it - start!
- Establish regular office hours. You might be tempted to just work around other things that are going on, but you will end up short changing your business. You do not have to work normal hours, like 9 to 5, but work regular hours each day.
- Be cautious and spend only on necessities. Many people have a talent for making money, but a bad habit of losing it by spending on unimportant wants rather than needs.
- Choose to let friends down before sacrificing your business. This requires a careful balance and tact, but if friends want you to go play golf all weekend, it might be better for you to tie up some loose ends with work. You are independent and free, so don't allow others to impinge on what you need to accomplish.
- Be honest about your company and your position. Don't make yourself seem bigger than you are in your online presence. If you are a one man team, don't make it seem like you are a big corporation because people will eventually find out. Don't deceive in an effort to sound "business-like."
- Realize that anything public is marketing. Everything that you do in the public sphere should be a form of marketing, even if it's not overt. Establishing your presence in the social media is marketing, but you should not focus strictly on selling your product. Develop a community.
- Analyze your problems as a means of solving customer problems. Problems can help you find or create a market area.
- Be part of the market you establish. The most effective way to learn customer needs and wants is to be a part of the same market you serve. You understand your customers by becoming one with them. You will realize what they want, why they want it, and how to fill the need. You will also understand what makes them desire to purchase a product.
- Get your projects/products out there. They do not have to be perfect at first, but they should not be half hearted either. Give them your best effort and when it is time, when the deadline has hit, ship it. 95% percent perfect and shipped is better than 100% and still in the computer.
- Be your own boss and do what you want. These guidelines are general, and don't let anyone interfere with what you want to do. Part of the value of being an entrepreneur is being able to do what you want with your time. And, don't forget family and friends entirely.
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Source is LifeHackers.com
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