Doing what you love can set you up for an enjoyable life. In the early days of running your solo or small business, it can feel like an enjoyable hobby. Treating it as such, however, can lead to a number of problems and most certainly will not lead you to reaching your earning potential. Here are some guidelines for determining if you’re treating your business as a hobby and why you need to make some changes in order to grow.
When treating your new business like a hobby, you’re likely to become increasingly disorganised. This is manageable if you only have a few clients, but you’ll quickly find yourself spending time trying to get all of your paperwork in order. To make your work into a business, you’ll need to develop a system for managing your bills, receipts and other paperwork, and you’ll want to store it in a centralized location. Fortunately, digital programs make it easier to do so, but it’s best to start as soon as possible. Even if your business is young, you’ll still need to deal with taxes and other expenses, and organisation can streamline the process. I love to use Trello as a place to hold my business hub where I log all the important information I need access to.
Setting a Schedule
Running a small business means unexpected events will pop up on occasion and some flexibility is helpful. However, one of the keys of a business is setting and keeping a schedule as much as possible. Make sure to budget time each day for handling business elements, and make sure to turn this practice into a habit. Again, you may need to improvise on occasion, but setting a schedule and sticking with it ensures you’re able to operate in a professional manner and deliver appropriate services. It’s also worth tracking your time early in the process. If a particular task takes up an inordinate amount of your time, outsourcing it can help you spend your time more effectively.
Communication and Advertising
If you only have a handful of clients, contacting them through your inbox might be an acceptable option. As you transition from the hobby to business phase, however, setting up other lines of communication can help tremendously. Make sure to have a dedicated email address and keep it separate from your personal inbox. Start an email list and use email software to communicate with and build your network of potential clients.
Furthermore, whilst it isn’t the first thing you need to do, consider setting up a website; it’s cheaper and easier than you imagine. Word-of-mouth advertising can be enough, especially if you have a solo business and a full schedule. However, reaching out to your audience through online and offline advertising can be essential for growing your businesses and generating sustained income.
Separate Work and Business Life
Making the move from hobby to business often entails taking steps to ensure your business life and personal life don’t mingle too much. Bringing your work home with you can make it difficult to unwind and relax, and it can make family life more challenging. If your business generates enough revenue, a great option is to rent office space, even if it’s in a co-working environment. Otherwise, setting up a dedicated home office can help ensure you’re able to mentally separate yourself from your business. Taking a break from work ensures you’re able to be at your best while focusing on your business tasks.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
You have the tools for growing your business and you have the desire to do so, but do you have a guide to get there? If you like to learn more then click here to book a free 30 minute call to discuss if I’m the right coach for you.