One very important factor in running a business is your attitude towards it. You should treat your business like a business.
This is very important whether you work your business full-time, or part-time. A very close friend of mine, who is also a colleague, is a mother of 4 who works her home business around her family. In this case, she has put her family first, and at the same time, still been able to develop her business.She works part-time, but she has a full-time attitude. To put it another way, if you have a lacking attitude, you'll have a lacking income. However, if you have a business attitude, you'll have a business income.
Keeping your attitude in mind while running your business is one of the first steps to ensuring your success.
Being successful working part-time on your business, or working full-time, is more than achievable. However in saying that, it is highly unlikely that working in your "spare time" will achieve you success.
2) The Environment In Which You Work
Keeping with the attitude principles discussed above, it is necessary to remember that while you are working from home, you should make sure that you have a space to call your own; your own "business at home" office, free from distractions.
Keep the theme going with a comfortable office chair, and a well laid-out and organized desk. Stationery supplies will also be of assistance, so be sure to include the following in your "home office":
- Hole Punch
- Sticky Tape
- Note Book(s)
- A system which will enable you to easily and efficiently store your physical files and documents.
- Ring Binders
- Manillia Folders
Do you have a fast internet connection? If not, consider the use of a broadband internet connection. Anything you do will take a certain amount of time, and your time is a very valuable assest. Faster internet means you will have more time for other things.
Dividing up your spare time between your business, your family, or your "significant others" will require a carefully planned schedule. Just like office hours in which you would work, when you allocate time for work, make sure that you work during this time. Equally important is to make sure you have time for other commitments - time with your family, exercising, education, and leisure time are all equally important factors in your life. Its also a good idea to keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. For example, if you are starting your home business to spend more time with your family, you don't want your work time consuming valuable family time.
With a home business, the only "boss" you have is yourself and your schedule. Lets say for instance that you are working during your allocated work time, and you have unexpected visitors, or people calling you. You have to make a choice; are you really commited to running your own business? Are you commited to business success? Your choices in these types of situations will govern whether or not you have a "business attitude", or a "hobby attitude".
However, you may need to adjust the way you make your choices. This is especially true in a family environment. In this instance, it may be necessary to discuss with your partner and/or children an agreed period of time which is classed as business time, in which you will not be interrupted. It may also help to print or write down this schedule and place it somewhere prominent so as to inform all family members of your work schedule.
4) Describing Your Business
Make sure that when asked about your business, you are able to describe it concisely; a strong and powerful one or two sentence about your business that someone can repeat easily about describing your business to others. A company slogan or "tag line" can also be invaluable for promoting your business; take the time to create a unique and memorable tag line or slogan.
5) Knowledge Of Your Services Or Products
You now have your product and your service in which you sell, whether or not you actually use your product or service you sell, it is a wise decision to make sure that your knowledge of your product or service is intimate and well-founded. For instance, if you sell ebooks, then ensure you know the content and the value in which it holds; if you sell software, ensure that you know how it works, "inside and out". In doing so, your reputation will develop as someone who provides quality information about a product or service, and because of this knowledge, you yourself can become a preferred supplier.
However, it may not always be practical to use certain products (as an example, a man may choose to sell wedding dresses), in which case the seller wouldn't be a product or service user, though in saying that, the seller can still have extensive knowledge of the product or services benefits and features.
It is essential to implement good record keeping practices. This can include tasks such as consulting a tax advisor who can advise you on the best and most optimal way to set up and store your financial records, as well as which records need to be kept. In addition, your advisor could also recommend record keeping systems which can help you in achieving a more efficient and simpler means of organizing this aspect of your business.
You may also be told advice on the most effective arrangments and set ups for your banking necessities. In doing so, you will most likely be advised to seek out seperate bank accounts for your business.
If you use various logins, passwords, and usernames, it would be a wise decision to keep track and store this various information.
The tools and methods in which you track these are varied; from a simple paper notebook to free and commercial software.
7) Protection For Your Computer
Your computer houses all your important business data, and is also the lifeline of your business dealings. In saying this, it is vital that you protect your computer. Pieces of software such as virus scanners, personal firewalls, anti-spyware and adware, and even an email scanner, should all be implemented to help with the protection of your computer.
8) Obtaining A Domain Name
For any home-based, online business, it is more than just essential to have a domain name for your business, it is vital. There are many domain registrar companies out there. Take your pick.
9) Processing Of Your Payments
Any online business will need to the ability to accept payments. Payment processors such as Paypal, 2Checkout, and Clickbank, all offer multiple ways to accept payment, including the ability to accept credit card payments online.
As an online business just starting out, this is the most effective, effecient, and economical way to get started in accepting online payments. As your business starts to grow and develop, it may be necessary to look into obtaining your own merchant account for transactions.
Also, it may be worth while taking into account other forms of currency online, such as eGold.
10) Email Accounts
The more professional and trusted your online home business appears, the more likely your customers are going to do business with you. One of the most easiest and simplest ways to do this, is to use an associated email account. After obtaining your own domain, it is possible to create your very own associated email account.
In finishing, I'd like to leave you with the following comments regarding the running and owning of your internet business. Conduct your business ethically, ensure that your customers receive the best service, and be proud to put your name to the products and/or services that you sell, and you will soon seen the fruits of your efforts. Taking into account this last statement, and the above 10 key points, you'll find yourself on track to developing a trusted, professional, and sustainable long term internet business.