In order to build and grow your home-based business, you need to give it regular inspections, kind of like your doctor gives your body a regular check-up or your mechanic runs a computer diagnostic of your car’s engine from time to time.
When you’re building your home-based business, you’re “it”. You’re the mind, the pulse, the liver, the filtering system, the reproductive system and everything else in between. It’s impossible to be objective and see the bigger picture when you’re fully involved in all of its intricate workings.
The best way to make sure your business gets a healthy check-up is to put it under a microscope and examine it with a fresh set of eyes at least every three months.
You need to mentally extract yourself from your business and examine it from an outsiders point of view and to be even more thorough, get other sets of eyes to assist.
To begin, mentally put your business in a box. Hold that box in your hands and place it under a powerful microscope.
Next, sit in a comfortable chair with a notepad and pen by your side. Then, lean forward, look through the magnified lenses and start examining the individual workings of the organism in front of you.
What should you be looking for? Start with the fundamentals:
1. How many hours are you working every week?
2. How much work is left undone at the end of each day?
3. What tasks never seem to get done no matter how much you intend to get to them?
4. Is anything being shared, delegated or outsourced, or are you running the whole show?
5. How much time each week are you performing non-income generating tasks like designing posters, updating your web site, fixing your own equipment?
6. Are you working with your ideal clients or are you attracting people who want things given to them, at a discount or who want to nitpick over every detail?
7. What tasks drain you of energy?
8. Which customers drain you of energy?
9. What expenses take up the bulk of your cash flow?
10. How many projects are you running at once? Do you have several under way, but none complete?
11. Who are you leaning on for support, guidance and helpful resources?
12. Who helps you with brainstorming and trouble-shooting?
13. Who’s there to hold a mirror to you, hold you accountable and be willing to tell you the truth when you need to hear it?
14. What’s your greatest potential revenue source and what are you doing to ensure you focus the majority of your time and attention on that source?
15. What activities are proven time wasters, but you continue to do them anyway?
Again, this is just a preliminary check list. Get a trusted colleague or members of your mastermind group to help you create a more detailed list that’s specific to your business.
If you work through your checklist with truthful eyes and an open mind, you’ll discover weaknesses, inconsistencies and room for improvement.
And although this exercise might seem discouraging at first, it’s necessary to help you stop doing the things that are hindering progress.
Examine your business thoroughly every three months, identify the limitations and turn them around. This practice will move you to where you want to be faster and easier. As a mentor of mine once said, “Discipline weighs ounces. Regret weighs tons.” Do what you have to do now and you’ll get to where you want to go.
Commit to a regular check-up on the health of your business, be willing to change your habits and way of thinking and operating, and your business will grow in equal proportion to your personal growth and accumulated wisdom.
2008 © Laurie Hayes – The HBB Source
Laurie Hayes, founder of The HBB Source, and creator of The Complete 12-Step Guide To Starting A Home-Based Business, helps employees become successful home-based business owners. Get her free ezine packed with helpful resources at http://www.thehbbsource.com