Straight from Dictionary.com:
–noun, an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation Ex: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.
Are you running a business or a glorified hobby? How do you know? With millions of Home Party Plan Consultants, how do you REALLY determine whether you are just a hobbiest or a true business owner? The answer is simple if you are willing to be brutally honest with yourself, and answer these questions:
1. Do I 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. Businesses 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, and investment 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 for 2011.
2. Do I 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? Are you implementing your business plan mentioned in #1? Have you scheduled and SHARED your “office hours” for 2011? Remember that working the business doesn’t include reading emails, checking Facebook, blogging, etc. It ONLY includes actual person-to-person actions, such as Gardening, Sales calls, Parties, Recruiting appointments, Hostess Coaching, and other activities that reach your bottom line sales results.
3. Have I set budgets for my business and am I investing in my 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 “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, AM I making any? (Do you even KNOW?)
Hobbies COST money. Businesses MAKE money. 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? Were there products purchased? Where did you spend THAT money? 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. Am I investing in my 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. When you are playing at the “hobby” level, you can not and WILL not realize the success you are hoping 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.