The other day, I had lunch with the great business blogger Carl Natale. Since I am just starting a new business venture, Carl that I ought to do some kind of reporting out on a regular basis about how it’s going and what I’m learning on the blog.
Good idea! Plus, it’s in my nature on this blog to talk about money and believe you me, business has a lot to do with money!
So every Wednesday, I am going to do a little hump day round-up about what’s happened at Breaking Even Communications that would be helpful knowledge to anyone starting or thinking of starting a small business. Think of it as reporting from the trenches.
Three Things That I Learned This Week
Not everyone is meant to work from home.
I have been self employed three days now. Tempted by my bed being mere paces from my desk, I have somehow stayed on task. I have had two meetings with clients, written six pages of a business plan, found an accountant, and finalized health insurance (more on that last one in another post).
Meanwhile I have friends who’ve told me "Oh I could never do that." Bad work ethic? Not so much, but it is good to know what you can and can’t do. Because, contrary to popular belief, no one would ever pay me to sit around and eat bon bons all day. Work from home does mean work.
You have to write a business plan. Yup, you really do. Sorry.
Ok there is nothing fun about feeling like your spelling out everything that seems to obvious to you. Then you get to the part where you analyze your competition. Or figure out your target market.
Ok, that’s a little harder, not to mention who wants to think/worry about all this?
You do. Trust me. Having to write it out has really clarified things for me that I actually thought were clear initaially. Sure, I’m not done yet but I think my business plan will actually be a working document when I am done. Also, I don’t think anyone would want to invest money in my venture without it.
I need some limits.
Theoretically, I could now be working all the time. And I don’t mean for this to sound self righteous at all. If you are the type of person who can work at home successfully, there is something else to think about, which I’ve realized I have to think about.
My desk is literally five steps from my bed, which is two steps from the kitchen… You get the picture. Work is so close that it’s always possible. I think things like, Maybe while the water for the pasta is boiling, I can send out an email. I can’t sleep so maybe I should work on that quote. That’s right, the buddings of a workaholic…or an eventual mental breakdown.
I have decided that starting tomorrow, I need to set some limits on everything from the amount of time I spend checking email to forcing myself to take a half hour lunch away from my desk.
I’m toying with the idea of posting my completed business plan on this blog next week for accountability sake as much as to get feedback from people. But for this week, this is what I’ve figured out so far.
Business owners, what was your big learning experience Week One?