Owning your own business has a lot of advantages and not having a boss to answer to is one my favorites! One of the challenges that many business owners face is creating enough revenue in their business to replace a full time income from a current or previous job or business. You’ve heard this saying before, if you treat your business like a business, it will pay you like a business but if you treat it like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby.
Gratitude Tip: Take a good look at how you are running your business, whether it’s a part-time or full-time endeavor. First, spend some time in gratitude for all of the revenue you’ve created so far in 2016. Next, look back at your calendar and see how much time you actually spent working IN your business vs ON your business. This will be the first clue to whether or not you’re running a business or having fun with a hobby.
How do you know if you are building a business vs. a hobby?
- Your calendar. For those of us who are building a business, our calendars are full of business related activities. Especially for those who have a side business on top of a full-time job, their business building time is scheduled into their calendars.
- You’re spending the majority of the time IN your business, on revenue generating activities. For most businesses, there is a sales or sharing part in order to figure out if you have a product or service that meets your clients (or potential clients needs). Without this activity, it’s much more difficult to create revenue.
- You know how to present or share your products, service or opportunity with others. You understand how your business creates revenue and you know what your target market is. It’s easy to say that my product or service suits everyone; what I’ve found is that being more specific and focused on your target market actually makes it easier to grow your revenue.
- You invest in your business. In network marketing, there is an initial start-up cost which usually includes a getting started kit and a sampling of the product line or services offered by the company. For a retail business, the start-up investment would be much greater and would required a large investment, and in most cases when there is a larger investment, there is a bigger commitment to treating it like a business. If you’re starting as a coach, consultant or other service based business that doesn’t have a physical location, there will be an investment in a website, business cards, courses & certifications, professional photos etc.
- You invest in yourself. In order for your business to grow – any business – you have to grow as well. The personal development piece is built into most network marketing businesses. For more traditional business owners, it’s just as important to continue to develop on a personal level. One of my good friends who is a physiotherapist, has taken over half a dozen courses in the past year to continue to grow her skills and specialty. Another friend just completed a course that allows her to add a complementary service to her coaching business.
- You follow-up professionally and as scheduled. This is key! Your income or revenue is created in the follow-up step. If someone is interested in learning more about your product or service and you share information with them, it’s professional to set up a time to follow up with them after they’ve take a look at the information. Many times I have spoken to business owners at networking events and asked them to follow up with me as I am interested in their product or service and 99% of the time – they don’t! How many times have you lost the sale because you didn’t follow up?
- You treat other business owners with respect. It’s super important that we treat other entrepreneurs with respect and kindness. We may not like or need everyone else’s products or services, but we can show our support for our fellow entrepreneurs. It takes courage and strength to start a business and even more commitment to create a success one. If we want our business to be treated as a business, and not a hobby by others, then it’s important that we give others the same respect.
Where does your business fall on a scale from 1 to 10 on all of the above points? Where do you find that you need to improve? Have you realized that you’re actually enjoying a hobby and not running a business? If you are happy with that and are on track to reach your goals, that’s wonderful! If you’re not, and want to build a business in 2016, I’d love to be of service. Simply contact me and we’ll spend 15 minutes together on a Skype call to help you create your best year in business to date!