19 Ways To Start Treating Your Business Like A Business (And Stop Treating It Like A Hobby)
Each of us were created with specific gifts, talents and passions for a reason. God gave us these things because He loves us. And He wants us to use them wisely.
I love the power of small business. It allows us to live out our passions and to serve others.
Most of the women I work feel called to start or run a small business doing something they are passionate about. I work with bloggers, hosts of podcasts, photographers, artists, creators, brick and mortar business owners, etc.
Lot's of them are moms striving to run their business while being the momma they are passionate about being to their kids.
Out of all the women business owners I work with, I see one significant limit that is holding most of them back. They are treating their business like a hobby expecting it to pay them like a business.
If this is you, I'm going to give it to you straight today. It's really simple. You must, with a capital M-U-S-T, treat your business like a business if you want it to pay you like a business.
Hobbies cost you money. Businesses make you money.
If you are still treating your business like a "hobby" or even a "side hustle" it's most likely still costing you money instead of making you money.
And if you're like me, a momma raising kids that wants (and needs) to make money doing something she loves from her home, it's time to go all in with this thing.
I'm not saying spend 70+ hours a week working on your business and feed your kids mac & cheese every night. But what I am saying is that when you shift your mindset and your actions from hobby mentality to business mentality, things quickly change. Your business, and those around you, will start rewarding you for giving your business the respect it deserves and taking it seriously.
Here are my tips on how to treat your business like a business...
1. Write a business plan
It doesn't have to be huge and elaborate. It can and should be simple and easy to implement. But creating a plan will keep you moving in the right direction in your business. Look at it as your roadmap to success.
2. Give your business a name
Sometimes this is the scariest part for new business owners because it feels real when you name your business. But giving your business a name is an important step in taking it from hobby to business status.
3. Set work hours
Just trying to "fit it in" when you can around all your other responsibilities is going to get your business going nowhere fast. Designating time in your day, every single day to work on your business will get the ball rolling and momentum will start to take effect.
4. Have a designated work space
In the middle of the living room floor with your kids climbing all over you is not the place to run your business. Set aside a space in your home that is your work space. Having a space designated for work will not only send your brain a message, but also your family a message that you are working.
5. Know your one sentence
When you own a business, you need to talk to people about what you do. Preferably daily. There is nothing worse than stumbling all over your words and feeling like a fool when someone asks you what you do. You will feel much more confident when you are able to clearly, and simply, explain what your business does. I love Nikki Elledge Brown's tips on developing your one sentence.
6. Be consistent
A hobby is something you do when you have free time and feel like it. A business is something you do each and every day even when you don't feel like it. The simple way to start treating your business like a business instead of a hobby is to work on it every.single.day.
7. Do the hard things first
Eat That Frog. Running a business is challenging. Usually the most important things we should be doing to move our business forward are the very things that we procrastinate and put off doing. But if we will focus on the hardest, most important things first, our business will always be moving forward.
8. Have a separate bank account
Treat your business finances with the utmost respect. It's important to always know what is coming in and what is going out. If your business money is all mixed in with your personal money, well...no explanation needed here.
9. Keep track of your expenses
Your business is only making money when you have money left over after you have paid all of your expenses. Keep track of what you are spending your money on so you can easily decide if you are making good financial decisions for your business.
10. Quit working for free
You have been building your portfolio for long enough. It's time to start charging for your gifts and talents. Remember, this is a business, not a hobby.
11. Utilize contracts
Keep yourself and your clients best interests in mind by utilizing a contract. This will help to set the expectations and boundaries from the beginning of the working relationship.
12. Send out invoices
This not only acts as a receipt for both you and your client, but it also sets a professional tone that makes your clients feel more at ease and comfortable about your working relationship.
13. Know when to turn away a client
Trust your gut. It can seem a little silly to turn away a paying client, but if your gut is saying they are not a good fit just say no. You will save yourself a lot of drama and stress. I give you permission to just say no.
14. Invest back into your business
Right now is the perfect time to start and grow a business online. The investment and overhead needed to run a business is minimal. But it's important to be mindful and willing to invest some of your revenue back into your business. Facebook ads, online masterminds, and even networking events (depending on your business) are great investments back into your business.
15. Talk about what you do
I know sometimes it's tough to talk about what you do with other people who may not quite understand what it means to "work from home". But you never know who is either looking for someone that does what you do or they may know someone who is is needing your services.
16. Get dressed each day
Yes, you can work in your PJs every day if you run an online business if you want to. But that doesn't mean you should. Getting dressed and looking cute each day will make you feel like you are in work mode. So get up, get dressed, and get to work.
17. Invest in yourself
Personal development is my all time favorite thing. Sometimes I have to actually limit myself to how many books, online masterminds and even conferences I partake in. But investing back in yourself as far as business knowledge and working on what is going on between your ears is so important to your own personal and business growth.
18. Market your business every day
You need two important things to get customers and sell your products or services. You need a way to sell to people and a way to tell people about you. A website, social media and an email list is just about all you need to create a very successful business for yourself. But you must, you must, share (market) what you have to offer every single day.
19. Set boundaries
I chatted about this very important topic last week on a Facebook Live. When you work from home, most people will think that you are free to help them or to chat all the live long day. But you have to set boundaries and let them know that you are working. Set boundaries and watch your business grow!
What is another way that you treat your business like a business instead of a hobby? I would love to hear!
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AUTHOR: REBECCA RENFROW
Rebecca Renfrow helps mompreneurs push forward and reach their goals so they can grow a thriving business that they love and live their life on purpose. She is also the co-owner of Socially Tailored Marketing, a freelance firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs who want to build their brand and influence in the marketplace but feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with the ever changing rules of social media and the time it takes to learn the many facets of online marketing. She is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs live their life on purpose because otherwise, what's the point?!