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The best and worst thing about running a home based business is the fact that you are your own boss. This means that you need to make sure that you are doing what is needed to get your business to grow – no one else is going to do it for you, or take you to task if things are not going as planned.

There are, however, a number of things you can do to help you, especially in the early days when you will most likely be doing a lot of work without a lot of income coming in.

Vision and Goals

If you are going to make a success of the business you need to be very clear why you are doing it. Is it to achieve a certain level of income a month, pay for a holiday, clear your debts, buy a car or house that you have always wanted. Time spent creating a clear vision of what you want to achieve will make your business stronger.

It is important to create a really big vision that excites you and make you want to bounce out of bed in the morning – and then put smaller goals, or milestones, into your vision so you have a way of checking how you are progressing.

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For me my goal is to get my income up to and past the level it was when I was working as an Assistant Director, but rather than picturing money I am picturing the things it will give me – a canal barge, a new car, holidays, visiting my daughter in whichever country she is working in at least twice a year, able to pay for lovely presents for my extended family.

The key word here is picture the clearer you can see, smell, hear, taste and touch your vision when you think about it the stronger it will be. You must also think about the vision in the present tense – as something that has already happened and is already here, not as something that is in the future or you will never get there. This is not an easy thing to do, and it is easy to get weighed down by doubts, but do it every day and your ‘vision muscle’ will get stronger and so will your belief. Then whenever things don’t go exactly to plan – and they won’t sometimes – you are able to get through it by remembering the end you have planned.

Goals, or milestones, are the stages along the way. It is important to always celebrate achieving them and take time to enjoy this as building a business takes time and you need to enjoy yourself on the way or you won’t have the energy to continue.

Touch your business every day

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzuThe Way of Lao-tzuChinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

You should do something to move your business on every day – as the only sure thing is that a business that is not worked on will not grow but die. The actions should be ones that actively develop the business, not just the administration jobs that can make you feel busy but not move the business on. For direct marketing this means contact with a prospective team member or customer as anything else is not developing the business.

This is not to say that you should never stop working the business – as it is also important to look after yourself and take time out, but, especially in the early days, you need to keep the momentum and excitement going.

Plan 

The final point I want to make in this post is that you need to plan and map out your actions and write them down – yearly, monthly and weekly. This is so that you can check back to see how you have done, and review which things have worked and which ones have not. This is why I am posting now at the end of 2013 as this is the ideal time to spend some time thinking about your business and how you want it to grow in 2014.

BUT you must be flexible and respond to feedback or opportunities as being too inflexible will limit the opportunities to grow and develop your business.  Talk to any business  owner who has been in business for more than a year and, while they may have achieved the goals they set themselves, the way they got there is likely to have been different to how they planned it at the beginning of the year. Be open to new ideas and ways of working – but don’t go after every new idea, only the ones that fit in with the vision you have set yourself. You may change the goals, as they may become less relevant to the way your business is developing.

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