There are many variables involved in running a profitable SOHO (Small Office/Home Office business.)
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Separate the office
Plagiarising your relationship, sport time, family time and for that matter, work time with a home office that is open 24 hours does nobody any good.
2. Dress for Work
Environmental factors are one of the most important elements of any business success. The brand, the way people speak and dress, the office design are all keys, but the way people dress would be by far the most significant signal as to the real vision, expectation and dreams of the owners. Dress for success … it starts with the undies you wear.
3. Getting Help
Working on low priorities can sabotage a business. Firstly, it’s demoralising and secondly, it’s time wasting. Do a process of prioritisation on your time and make sure you delegate and subcontract anything that is not high on the list. For example if you are good at doing quotes, don’t sit doing accounts.
4. Throwing Up
Time is your greatest asset. Don’t throw it at problems. Limit time, expand your intelligence. Ask how you can get more done in less time. It’s really the only way to make profit and be around long enough to spend it.
5. Create Wealth
Lifestyle is one option. Wealth is another. The difference is simple. Wealth is money you don’t spend. Lifestyle is money you do spend. Sure, spend a bit of the profit on lifestyle, but make it no more than 40%.
6. Don’t turn a bad business into a worse one.
Just because you made a sale to a friend, or had a good run of bad weather, be careful about throwing money at ideas that may not stand the test of time. Work out why something made of profit and then find out whether those circumstances are repeatable. If they are, and this passes the scrutiny of an investor, you may be onto a good thing.
7. Don’t invest your own money.
When someone sells you an idea, a franchise, or their old business, go to a good business analyst and ask whether they would invest in you and the new business. Don’t be a smart arse and say, “oh, but I have the secret formula and therefore I can make it work.” It’s usually delusional and expensive.
8. Don’t give up your day job
Your core business is your core income stream. If that happens to be a job you don’t love, that’s ok, just treat it as any business does, like this: 90% of your work in a business is going to be boring and repetitive working for people you don’t necessarily love, but who you can’t live without.10% of your business is going to make you 90% of your profit only because 90% of your business (that boring bit) will cover 90% of your costs. It’s the 80/20 rule… and I’ms suggesting that you ignore that rule. Instead run your business as nature intended. Make it the 50 -50 rule….50% of business is going to be challenging, 50% is going to be exciting.. get over it, you can’t change it.
9. Be thankful for the small stuff
In 30 years of business consulting, I’ve been called into a lot of business that are in distress. 100% of those distressed business were doing great “just last year.” Why do so many business fail just after a surge in performance? Well, firstly because the owners usually get an influx of cash they don’t know how to manage and the only thing they can think to do is spend it. Second, because people think surges are sustainable. Wrong on both counts.
I don’t care if you work for someone or own the biggest business in town, when you stop loving it, get out of it before it kills you. Sure, we have process to help you stick at it for a while, but when the heart goes out, you are best to follow.
Good business are fast business. Fast to change, fast to respond. fast tp adapt. That requires fast people. But it also requires extremely accurate people. At Walker | International we build Fast Business and if you need help Fast, if you want change, startup and transformation of your business life fast, we are the first call you would be wise to make.
CEO Walker | INTERNATIONAL