Planning For a Better Direction

After hacking at the codes for a week now, I managed to get the PHPlist for the “SoHo Home Business Newsletter” sign up form working on the homepage of the website. Building a website from the ground up sure requires lots of effort, but it is well worth it when you have the satisfaction of seeing it work after hacking at it night after night. It took awhile to figure out the PHPlist interface and it requires lots of checking through the forum pages to see if anyone faces the same problem. Apparently so, because the thread was pretty long and it takes a while to read through all the myriad suggestion and problems faced by users trying to customize PHPlist according to their needs.

So building up a home page is similar to starting up any home business venture. It requires that a would-be home business owner, perhaps like you who is considering starting one, to at first make survey of the option available to you.

One of the criteria is to organize a plan. Without a plan one would be aimless in the direction of what needs to be done to get the business concern going. Even a loosely formed plan is better than not having one. Like a famous chess grandmaster, Mikhail Chigorin once said, “Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.”

With a plan, you will know which direction you will be heading. Because it will be like a beacon in the night, shining out in the dark seas, giving seafarers a guide as to the direction to stir their vessel. Likewise it becomes your compass, as you make preparation to meet the desired results of your actions.

Here’s another saying by Carl W. Buechner, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” So it is essential to have a plan to chart out your direction. And if you feel you are getting sidetrack, you can make adjustment to your plans. There are no perfect plans. Plans that don’t seem to get the desired results does not mean it is a failure, but rather there are some errors in the plan and it requires adjustment to get the plan working again.

Briefly here’s a simple checklist plan about starting a simple home business:

1. Know what you want

Ask yourself what is it that you want out of the home business. Is it to give yourself an extra pocket money? You are recently unemployed and decided you might want to start out a home business? Hate the commute? Want to work at home so you can give more time to care for your kids or for your elderly parents?

If you have not started any home business before, it will be quite a daunting task ahead.

2. Survey the market

Find out what are the various home businesses is available that you can do. Check out the demand for a particular business you have in mind. What is the possibility of income that you can generate if you throw yourself wholeheartedly at it. Perhaps you might find a gap in the market which you can fill with your services.

3. Check out the competition

Look around your area and check out who are your competitor and how intense is the competition. If there are many of them, it might be hard for you to break into the business because you are the new kid in the block. People have not heard of you and therefore does not have much trust in you, in your product or services.

4. Know your ability

However do know your ability to carry out the task. It is no point to say set up car workshop in your garage when you do not have the knowledge and skill to fix the car even if you are very interested and keen about cars. However, if your desire is strong, you can equip yourself by learning the skill. This may take many years and if you need to start up a home business as soon as possible, then better look at the set of knowledge and skills that you have and look out for possibilities of work that is best suited to your ability.

5. Check your capital

Different kind of business requires different amount of capital. Some are capital intensive and requires that you seek out financing from friends, family or financing institution. You may opt for business that requires low capital needs, and all you need perhaps is your credit card to start it up. Or better yet, create a sound business plan and propose it to people who might be interested to invest in your business.

6. Some idea of your target sales

Briefly have some idea what kind of sales volume you need to keep your business afloat to cover your start up cost, your running cost and still have enough leftover for a pat on your back for a job well done!

7. Review and revised plan to suit the situation or new info

Don’t just do your work blindly. Have some kind of a monitoring system or records to see the direction of your growth. If it is not going according to your plan, perhaps you are expecting too much from it when you are just starting out. Or perhaps you will need to refine your plan to make it more workable.

Do know that initially the sales will be slow, and it will require a few months of hard work to build up the business. This is when your enthusiasm should not wane and no matter what, with dogged persistence, keep at it, and finally it will all fall into place and you can say to yourself, “I did it!”

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