With millions of Home Party Plan Consultants around the world, how do you REALLY determine whether you are just a hobbyist or a true home business owner? While not every direct sales consultant has the same goals, there is still a vast difference between those who treat their businesses as a business and those who dabble in the idea and essentially run a great hobby. This post may ruffle some feathers, but it is time to get real and possibly make some changes in how you do business so that you can move from one to the other. Let me also say there is absolutely nothing wrong with having direct sales as a hobby! But if your goals are that of running a home business which leads to financial success, it is important to know the difference! Here are five questions you can ask to determine if you are running a true home business or a glorified hobby.
1. Do you have a clear set plan of action?
Though hobbies require a great deal of passion and time, they do not often have a clear cut plan for what needs to be done and when. A successful home business, on the other hand, require a clearly defined action plan in order to truly succeed. A true business plan includes plans for marketing, sales, competition, promotion, follow-up, and investing goals. A business plan should be very detailed and reviewed often to make sure you are on the right course. If you do not have a business plan, now is a great time to sit down and design one. Your company’s success plan mixed with your ultimate goal is the best way to start.
2. Do you have a schedule?
Do you work at your business on a consistent schedule? Do you set aside time in your day – EVERY DAY- to work your business in a way that is profit producing? Are you implementing your business plan mentioned in #1? Have you scheduled and SHARED your “office hours” with your loved ones? Remember that working the business doesn’t include reading emails, checking Facebook, blogging, etc – these are all time-consuming activities that help maintain your business. Working your business ONLY includes actual person-to-person actions, such as Gardening, making sales calls, Parties, Recruiting appointments, Hostess Coaching, etc.
3. Have you set budgets for your business and are you investing in your business properly?
This is a really important factor. Many people start a business with visions of the money they are going to make and get quickly discouraged when they have to make investments to grow the business. Or worse, they get discouraged when the business does not grow when they have put zero dollars into building the business. It is a fact – you must spend money to make money. No one person “got rich” without some investment… not legally anyway. I know that you made an investment to your company by purchasing a Consultant Kit, but it does not end there. If you decide what to spend, how much and where, you are working off a solid plan for growth. Include in the budget things like Gardening, business cards, blog/web hosting, promotion, advertising etc. (by the way, the Diva Success System will never tell you to spend more than $50 per month into your business) If you know what your business will cost, and plan for it, you are less likely to give up when the going gets tough.
4. Speaking of money, ARE YOU making any? (Do you even KNOW?)
There is one enormous difference between a hobby and a business: Hobbies COST money, Businesses MAKE money. But, do you even KNOW if you are making any money? You can not determine whether you are making any money simply by looking at your bank account – that only shows whether you are spending it or not. To determine if you are running a business or a hobby, get a calculator or spreadsheet and truly figure it out. Your last party – did you make a profit? Factor in what your expenses were with the party – from the gasoline to get there to the ink pens you handed to your guests. And what happened to your “profit” from the products purchased? Did you reinvest it into your business according to your business plan (#1?) or did you go to lunch? Did you spend it on Fru-Fru items to “play office” or did you stick to your plan? Be honest.
5. Are you investing in your education?
Business owners know the importance of continuing education. In Corporate America, there are many courses and certifications that you must attend on an on-going basis in order to keep your credentials. If you read books by business gurus like Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, and others, they talk about the importance of learning. Learn something new- every day. Invest in your education through seminars, courses, and magazines or books. You are investing in yourself, your business success and your future when you take the time to continuously learn. This is a great investment in your greatest business asset … YOU.
If you are not at the least doing all of the above, chances are you are merely running a glorified hobby and not a true business. If your ultimate goal with your business is more than that, consider making changes to put yourself more on course for what you want to achieve. By taking a few small steps, you can convert that hobby into a real business … and then and ONLY then will you will start to see the dollars roll in, bringing you that much closer to your goals. Take some time and answer each of these questions. Where there are gaps, start filling them in. When you are starting a home business, it is tempting to play and enjoy your new-found freedom but you need to set the solid foundation for your business if you want it to succeed.