Ten Keys to
Working Effectively in a Home Office
There are many successful home
business models ranging from total chaos to very structured.
So there is no single recipe that must be followed to be
successful. Many home businesses are started by refugees
from corporate America who are used to the structure and
socialization aspects of the corporation. For these owners,
the following secrets will help provide the structure they
may need when they first start.
1. Negotiate an agreement
with the other inhabitants and live up.
to that agreement. Frequently there is a re-entry problem
with the other inhabitants. Your spouse may be used to being
alone during the day, and may be unhappy with your increased
presence. Have a kick-off meeting to negotiate an agreement
that will avoid conflict.
2. Set aside a separate area
for the business.
If possible, dedicate a room or part of the basement to the
business. This helps everyone feel that the home is still a
home. It also provides a basis for a home office income tax
3. Schedule separate blocks
of work time and free time.
There can be many distractions during the day. It is helpful
if you have a schedule for the day so you can minimize
interruptions and distractions.
4. Start every work day at
the scheduled time.
Form a habit of starting on time and keeping to the
schedule. This makes it easier to minimize distractions.
5. Don't sleep late or watch
daytime TV during work time.
It's tempting sometimes, but successful businesses are built
on the days that you don't feel like it, not on the days
that you do feel like it.
6. Wear your work uniform
when you are working.
When I started my consulting practice, I found it helpful to
dress business casual (for men this is wearing a tie without
a food stain). It made me feel more like I was supposed to
7. Work on high value tasks
during your peak productive hours.
Most people have specific part of the day that they are more
productive. I find my optimum schedule is to start about one
hour after sunrise, work continuously for four hours, then
go out. I can work another two hours after I return. That
six hour work schedule has consistently produced more work
product than I used to produce in two days in the corporate
8. Accomplish your Single
Daily Action before you finish the workday.
Have a Single Daily Action every day which is the most
important action for that day. When you are starting your
practice, this is likely to be marketing-related.
9. Build a supportive
community and nurture it every day.
I think the chief complaint about home business is that it
can get lonely and isolated. Make it a practice to talk to
people every day, even when your focus is on completing an
10. Manage your thoughts.
Sometimes it is easy to become discouraged and/or negative.
Create a method of maintaining a realistic positive outlook
and reenergizing yourself when the voice of your Evil Twin
Myths About Selling
Are you anxious about
selling yourself and your services because of a negative
view of selling? Let's bust a few myths!
salesperson can sell you something you don't want.
People buy to satisfy needs
and wants. A salesperson may help a customer to identify
their needs and wants but customers only buy when they
believe the product or service they are offered will
satisfy them. Selling is not about seducing or coercing
the client into buying something for which they have no
use or desire.
salespeople use a lot of tricks and gimmicks.
Tricks and gimmicks are the
tools of the old style salesperson. Today's buyers are too
sophisticated to put up with these tactics. Tricks and
gimmicks may still be used by some salespeople in some
industries but these techniques are not the skills used by
today's sales professional.
salespeople are aggressive.
The best salespeople are
not aggressive, by the usual definition of that word. They
are self motivated, enthusiastic and personable. The
irritating pushiness that the public tolerates as part of
buying is the trademark of the untrained, unprofessional
salesperson. Top salespeople in any field are sincere,
knowledgeable, considerate, helpful and empathetic.
salespeople are born, not made.
Great salespeople are not
born, they are trained. They resemble star athletes or
entertainers in that they may have personality or physical
traits which enhance their abilities. However desire,
training, practice and experience will enable anyone to
reach a successful level of sales performance.
5. Selling is
something you do to people.
Selling is something you do
with people, not something you do to them. A sales
presentation is conversational in style. It should be
comfortable, not confronting. The client needs information
and looks to the salesperson for guidance and advice. The
salesperson is helpful and supportive as the client
considers the presentation and makes a decision.
6. Selling a
professional service requires a compromise in ethics.
The salesperson is
motivated only by a desire to satisfy their customer's
needs and wants. Professionals always place their client's
best interests ahead of their own. Trust is essential to a
successful sales relationship and a professional never
compromises his/her integrity to achieve success.
7. The public
does not trust or like salespeople.
People do not like or trust
poorly trained, poorly informed, ineffective
'salespeople'. They often share stories about unethical
and pushy sales service, but in the next breath praise the
experience of dealing with their stock broker, real estate
agent, or car dealer. They say, "She's different, you can
trust her." Today's consumer wants sales service they can
trust and rely on, and they will remain loyal to
salespeople who provide it.
8. To be
effective in sales you must adopt a new personality.
The more open you are with
your client, the more you reveal who you are, the less you
try to role play an imagined sales personality, the more
effective you will be. The more you share your values,
feelings and experiences with your clients the more
comfortable they become.
is replacing selling.
Selling is part of the
marketing process. Sometimes, professionals use the term
'marketing' instead of selling, believing it is more
acceptable. There is also a mistaken belief that marketing
can replace selling and eliminate the need for direct,
one-to-one customer contact. This may be true for some
products or services where the salesperson acts simply as
an order taker. For most products and services, however,
selling is a necessary and valuable part of the marketing
successful salespeople are hard closers.
Surveys show that today's
top salespeople seldom spend much time on closing. Instead
they focus on finding customer needs, demonstrating
benefits and asking for customer feedback. The
professional salesperson, after making sure his client has
all the information needed to make a decision, simply asks
if they would like to take the next step.