Are you running your business or is it running you?
Finally, you got it all together and quit your job and made your dream come true; Getting started working from home with your own business. You are probably enjoying the freedom you got now, not being accountable for a boss.
But honestly, are you running your working at home business, or is your business running you?
Try to think about it for a second! Did yo get your freedom or are you struggling to waste too much time? Using your phone, answering emails and all the other time-consuming things that can slow down your progress?
The Feeling of Failure
You know, when you become independent, working from home, on-line or even starting a brick wall business, there is always the feeling, what if is this not going to work? What if I’m not making money enough to pay my bills? Or what if I am just a complete failure and this was a mistake from the beginning?
There are many different reasons why instead of you running your business, your business starts to run you. For the simple reason, the fear of failure.
Of course, you are not a failure, and you will have to change that belief to something more constructive. You have to think about how you can grow your business and push it forward.
However, this negative thinking often makes us do silly things where we believe that we are productive. But the truth is, it is your business running you and not vice versa.
In this article, you are getting a couple of tweaks you can use for your home business. These tips will make you more productive. You will ensure you are not wasting your time and that you will be in charge. My advice will get you take the lead of your business.
The Pareto Principle – Living the 20/80 Rule
The Pareto principle means that 80 percent of your outcome comes from 20 percent of your work. It says that 80 percent of all the work you are doing online provides you with a 20 percent outcome. Those 80 percent might drag you and your whole business down because it is time-consuming and not very rewarding.
A couple of examples:
Let’s say you are selling products online and offer your customer, support. In the beginning, your customer support is only doing a few emails here and there.
But, as soon as your products get more visibility the time you consume offering support increases dramatically. It may end up becoming a couple of hours every day, and still increase.
At this point, you also start to get customers that keep asking the same questions. You also end up spending time on customer dissatisfaction, that can ruin your day if you don’t have nerves of steel.
All this time you are spending on customer service, you can use growing your business or spent with your family. It is an increasing stress factor where you are the one running behind a carrot chasing it.
With the 20/80 Rule, you simply decrease the time you are wasting, hopefully without reducing the quality of your support.
An Example On How to Solve This
One thing you can do to handle your customer support is to set up a Q and A site. Give the answer to the most common questions and expand on new answers when questions arrive. It will decrease the time you spend giving customer support by phone and email.
You can also decide to outsource your customer support and that way free up more of your time. For sure it will cost you, but it is worth it with the extra time you get.
Implementing The Pareto Principle in Your Business
How do I start using this principle so I can free up 80% of my time?
First, begin with an overall assessment of what exactly you are doing daily, weekly, and monthly with your business. Find out what brings in the money and what doesn’t. From then on it is simply a question of the search for solutions to the tasks that take your time.
Don’t be afraid of losing customers. It can be gratifying to let go of the clients who use 80 percent of your time. Then you can put more focus on the existing 20 percent, and drive more sales.
Outsource and give away responsibilities
Outsourcing is probably one of the most difficult tasks to do when you want to grow your business. The feeling of giving away control to someone you don’t know often stops business owners outsourcing.
Because, what if the person you hire is not doing a good job? You can do outsourcing relatively cheap, but five bucks here, and fifteen bucks there all adds up. If the output you are getting for your heard earned money does not live up to your expectations, outsourcing can become expensive and a failure.
However, when you find your team and have defined their tasks, you can free up some time doing other valuable things in your business.
To save money, always make sure your outsourced tasks are well defined, easy to understand and with a deadline attached to it.
Avoid Micro Management
If you are micromanaging, you can forget all about the Pareto Principle and outsourcing will be a waste of money. Because you will spend too much time checking up on what your staff is doing!
So make sure to trust the people working for you and focus on your tasks.
Great leaders motivate people to do their best. If you can do that, you will end up with a working force doing their duties with minimum mistakes. If you are after them, yelling all the time, you can rest a sure they will make more mistakes and not put a good effort into their tasks.
Don’t Carry Your Phone Around All The Time
I find it very rude when people are standing in a supermarket talking on their phone at the same time they are paying for their groceries. It is very disrespectful to the individual who is serving you.
It is also rude if you go to a restaurant with your partner or friend, for then to email, sending messages and talk on the phone, business or no business.
If you carry your phone around all the time to take care of your business, it is your business that is running you. Pay some respect to people around and yourself for that matter. There is no need or having your smartphone under your pillow, in case something should happen overnight. You need your sleep without being addicted to your phone. Leave it in your home office, the living room, or kitchen.
There is no need of having your smartphone under your pillow, in case something should happen overnight. You need your sleep without being addicted to your phone. Leave it in your home office, the living room, or kitchen.
With today’s technologies and smartphones everywhere, having a proper phone etiquette is something everyone should be taught. Get your first 8 phone etiquette at http://www.advancedetiquette.com/2012/01/8-telephone-etiquette-tips/
Consider Stop Using Your Phone In Your Business
What, how is that even possible? Well, stop using your phone is not suitable for all businesses since a lot of their communication goes thru using a phone. But some businesses can function without using a phone. And others, you can hire a VA (virtual assistant) to take all call for you for then to report the important ones through emails.
Well, stop using your phone is not suitable for all businesses since a lot of their communication goes thru using a phone. But some businesses can function without using a phone. And others, you can hire a VA (virtual assistant) to take all call for you for then to report the important ones through emails.
I do online marketing and business, and I never use my phone. I use Skype, Whats App, and emails to communicate with people. The good thing about this is that I can respond to me messages when I want to, and I am not being dictated by a ringing phone.
Using your phone in your business can be very distracting, especially if you are doing a lot of writing, analyzing, or other tasks where a high level of thinking is involved.
Now, if I don’t recognize the number on my phone, I don’t answer it. I live in Mexico, and here I get distracted with so many calls from spammers offering credit cards, phone plans, etc. Think about how many distractions these types of calls can cause you on a daily basis?
Kill Your Email Auto Sync and Notifications
You are reading a Kindle book on your Ipad, or writing a report on your computer, and these ignoring messages keep popping up. Latest news, the most recent emails, Facebook messages with who reacted on someone’s kitty kat picture, etc.
These popups kill your productivity because they take your attention for a split second, but enough to be distracting. If there is something that interest you are going to check it out, no matter what.
You don’t have to check your emails every second. And you don’t have to answer them right aways either, even if you feel obligated too.
In fact, you are much more productive if you disable your notifications and your auto sync function on all your devices. Just download your emails in a batch when it is convenient for you.
How you can stop your Gmail auto sync right here.
How to stop notification keep popping up in Windows 10 click here.
Stop notification on Android, just click here.
And finally, on Mac, check this out.
Avoid Reading Emails First Thing in The Morning
It is soo easy to start your day reading your emails with a fresh cup of coffee in your hands. Maybe it will only take you a few minutes, but it can also end up taking hours if you have some issues you have to fix.
Instead of putting all the focus on your emails, as if they was the most important, focus on the stuff that is the most important. Perhaps you have to write a new sales copy, do some research on a product you want to sell, etc. Do what makes you money first thing in the morning, while your energy levels are up and you have a fresh mind.
All the administration like checking emails, you can do later when your levels of energy are lower.
Only Check Your Emails Once or Twice Daily
How many times do you check your emails during a day? We always believe we are missing out on something important if we don’t check our emails constantly! But it is not true because most of the emails we receive aren’t that important. Most of them just end up taking a lot of time, we could have used differently.
You are much better off, checking all your emails in batch at specific times during the day. You can set up a signature in your emails saying you only check your emails once daily if you feel uncomfortable with this approach.
Make sure that you download them to your computer manually or particular time when it suits you to check your emails.
Facebook and Social Media
Facebook is a time killer. You want to see your friends latest kitty cat pictures, and suddenly you have spent hours liking them. Facebook are distractions, and they want you to spend as much time as possible on their site. Don’t tell me that you are using Facebook for market research; there are better sources to do that.
Remember, that all the time you are using on Facebook, you can use it on growing your business. So make sure to limit the time you spend there to your free time.
If you know you spent too much time on Facebook there are a couple of cool apps and settings you can use to limit your time. Check out this Wiki How article that will give you a couple of very cool tips on how to limit your time on Facebook.
If you are addicted to Facebook you can use the Time Waste Timer app it will charge you money every time you spent too much time on Facebook.
Track and Stop Wasting Your Time
It is important to make sure that you are working during the time you have set aside for your job. It is also important that your task list consists of achievable goals that you can manage to do within the time frame you have set up.
Focus On One Task At a Time
It sounds soo nice to be able to do three or four tasks at the same time. However, you will limit the quality of your work because you do not put your soul into it.
Focus on doing on one task at a time, finish it, before moving on to the next one.
Find Your Weak and Your Strong Times
Like me, I am a pretty strong thinker in the morning and slower in the afternoon. So I do my most difficult tasks in the mornings where I have more brainpower.
In the afternoon I do the stuff that is easier to do without too much thinking.
Having that information about yourself when you perform best will maximize your time spending on your work.
Do you want to reach the top with your business? Check out my article 10 Personal Development Tips That Will Make You a Top Affiliate Marketer that will teach you how to become the best in your field.
Pomorodo is a great tool you can use to put some structure on your time. It is an alarm clock you can use to set the time you are working including 5 minutes breaks. If you feel you easily get distracted ending up doing other things than work, then the Pomodoro time is for you.
Check out https://pomodoro.cc/ to learn a lot more.
Tracking Your Time
It is a very good idea to track your time, so you know exactly what you have been doing. This information you can use to optimize the time you spend on your business and make it more efficient.
I recommend you to keep a business diary. Spend a few minutes in the evening before or first thing in the morning writing down what your plans are. At the end of the day, you read your diary to check up on what tasks you manage to accomplish.
Personally, I use Evernote to set up my tasks and tick them off when I have accomplished them. It is an excellent way to accurately see where I am with all my projects.
Making Sure Your Business is Not Running You
Not having full control of your business and know exactly how to run it, often goes straight back to the fear of failure, as I described in the beginning. Make sure to act rationally in every decision you make and make sure those decisions are made on facts and not dreams.
Don’t let fear control your working habit, you have made the step taking charge of your own life, not having a boss, by running your own business. Now it is all about making sure that your business is not running you.
Don’t forget to read my article 10 Things You Have to Know Work From Home and get more tips on working with your business from home.