Inspired by the "Your Business from A to Z" section in "The Accidental Entrepreneur: 50 things I wish someone had told me about starting a business."
1. Let your budget dictate your needs and not your wants. Part of running a successful business is being flexible, but one of the most successful ingredients is being resourceful with your money. Let's call it your investment. Being flexible within a variable budget and not spending beyond your means is the key to success.
2. Build a strong team. In business there are competitors, but when it comes to running the home, your friends are not your competitors, but part of your team. It's like managing a project team. Enroll your family and friends to assist you. You do not need to do it all alone! Talk to one another and share ideas for cutting costs and getting jobs in the household done more effectively. Structure a different venue each week where you meet at someone's house to take time out, kick back and share! A problem aired is a problem solved. Make it your task each week to come to the table with one solution for saving money whether it is a coupon, a bulk buying scheme or hot deal! Like a business leads group, that way the other people in the group are also doing the work for you!
3. Plan and implement daily with periodic cost saving strategies. Every top CEO has a specific business plan and the "to do" list fits that plan, whether it be on their blackberry or on their calendars at work. Make your own and if needs be, make them daily. Consider renaming your to do list to "play list." That way it is much more interesting when you wake up in the morning and think, "What's on my play list today?" Having a to do list when you go to the grocery store for example, saves on money, economically adds to food stuffs you already have in the house (no throwing food out!) and even saves on gas. Also chunk your errands that are in close proximity to each other so that you go one time. By planning ahead and being organized you save on gas by not repeating trips to the stores. You also make sure you use those coupons within their expire dates! All good business people learn over time how to cut financial corners as well. Here's a good one for going green: Don't buy cleaning products. All you need is lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar! Another idea for cutting costs is to review how many services you pay automatically by credit card monthly. Perhaps you really aren't using some services to full capacity. Cancel the automatic payment on those!
4. Believe in yourself to make it happen, but at the same time know when to get help. Knowledge is power and information is essential. Sometimes, surfing the Internet can help, reading a book, or just sharing a household problem. There are also professionals out there who are good at steering you towards taking the principles you've learned to an even higher level, where you can make money from a home based business.
5. Make sure to reward your own CEO as well. Sleep peacefully at night knowing you have done the best job possible in these economically challenging times.
About Susan Urqhuart-Brown
Like many business owners, Susan Urquhart-Brown never expected to end up as an entrepreneur. In 1995 at age 50, Susan launched her business, Career Steps Coaching, because it spoke to her passion in helping people choose a career or business that truly suits them. She quickly realized there was a lot more to having a thriving business than hanging out a shingle and waiting for the phone to ring. Susan wrote "The Accidental Entrepreneur: 50 things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business" to offer an invaluable edge and guidance to those who are just beginning to consider starting a venture as well as those who want to take their business to the next level.
As a small business coach, Susan Urqhuart-Brown is committed to helping clients bridge the gap between where they are now in their business, and where they want to be. Even if that bridge is foggy, unclear, or non-existent, she helps them appreciate their own unique gifts, build on their strengths, and develop a plan with built in accountability for success.
From 1998 to 2001, Susan wrote "Going Solo" for The San Francisco Chronicle, an advice column for entrepreneurs. She has 20 years experience in career consulting, business coaching, marketing, and speaking, and has an M.A. in Education from College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Career Development from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. She has also been an adjunct instructor at Santa Clara University, University of California Berkeley Extension, and John F. Kennedy University.
Urquhart-Brown is on the Board of Directors for Global Partners for Development, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works in the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with projects that have included development of clean water sources, child nutrition, medical and health care, primary and vocational education, and women's economic self-reliance. The organization's mission is "Ending Poverty through the Power of Partnerships". Since Susan's visit to Tanzania, The Accidental Entrepreneur has been shared and passed among the women in various fledgling businesses in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Through her work as a coach and her most recent book, Susan Urquhart-Brown's personal mission is to inspire entrepreneurs all over the world who want to make a difference. It is her belief in today's global marketplace, that when people love their work and share their expertise, they spread happiness and good will throughout the world. What happens one place is felt everywhere around the world. For more on Susan visit www.careersteps123.com.