As an independent business owner, it is vital that you know the “why” for your business. The thing that drives you to make the next sale, write the next blog post, or sign your next client. Why did you start your business in the first place? What keeps you going when things get difficult?
Most businesses begin with a “why”. It clarifies why the business exists, and what it needs to accomplish. Without a “why” a business can flounder directionless and drifting. The “why” statement brings you back to your main purpose and redirects actions in a positive direction.
First start by defining your “why”. Is it so that you can spend more time with your family instead of commuting to an 8 to 5 job setting? Did you start your business so that you can be your own boss and decide on your hours and your income level? Think about what really motivates you.
For me, it is the ability to provide additional income for my family but also have a flexible enough schedule so I can be there for my kids when they come home from school and need help with their homework. I need a creative outlet, and I strongly desire to work from home.
So what does defining your “why” and getting crystal clear on it do for you?
It gives you a purpose. You know exactly why you are working hard every day. It gives meaning to every little detail of what you do. And that helps you to feel fulfilled.
It gives you drive. It spurs you on to the next step, the phone call or connection you need to make, or the post you need to write. Your “why” can encourage you to keep moving forward every day.
It gives you focus. If you get off track, recentering yourself with a look at your “why” can bring you back to where you need to be to continue forward. If I find myself getting distracted by Facebook, Instagram or email, I redirect myself by turning my thoughts toward my “why”. This keeps me on the right trajectory to fulfilling my “why” instead of wasting time.
It can be your inspiration. You don’t have to have something fancy written down. I sure don’t. But it will be the lift you need when you’re not feeling it. Make your “why” into a cute graphic or write it in a favorite font and print it out and hang it on your wall. This will help you to keep your “why” front and center.
This leads into our final benefit of getting clear on your “why”. It gives you a boost when you need it. It helps you to tackle that difficult task that you just don’t want to do. It helps to lift you into action. It can give you the encouragement you need to keep going even when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Your “why” can change and develop over time. Maybe at first you just wanted enough income to cover a car payment, or you just needed a creative outlet. But as things progressed, and you had success, your “why” became wider in scope to include paying for vacations, or even making enough to keep your husband from going to a job he hates.
This is a very personal process and requires a lot of introspection. Many women find their “why” is so that they can stay home with a new baby and be a mother and income provider together throughout the day. Other women have grown tired of working a job they really don’t like and are looking to have a job that they are passionate about where they can be their own boss.
Look within yourself, at your family dynamics, your relationship with your current job, and decide on your “why”. You’ll be glad you did.
I would love to hear your “why”! Leave it in the comments below so we can all encourage each other!
You want to grow your business, get new clients, make sales, and be successful. One of the best ways to see how your business is doing is to complete a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. As you go through the analysis, you’ll evaluate your business from these aspects.
Large corporations complete a SWOT analysis annually to determine how their company is doing and see what changes need to be made. Don’t think that an analysis is only for big companies with hundreds of employees though. Even a self-employed blogger, Etsy store owner, or virtual assistant can grow with an evaluation of their business.
Let’s jump in and see how to appraise your business with a SWOT analysis.
What strengths does your business have? Do you have great content and courses, fabulous skills or delightful items to sell? Looking at your strengths can help you to see where you already excel and can grow further.
Take a look at what weaknesses you may have. What needs to be improved? Maybe your content could be more SEO friendly. If you have problems with grammatical errors and typos, you could hire a proofreader to make your content shine. You could optimize your social media accounts to get more click-throughs to your shop or blog.
Next, evaluate the opportunities that are out there for you to take advantage of with your business. Think about taking a course in bookkeeping or Pinterest management to grow your skill set to offer to clients. Look into ways to promote your product that you may not have tried before such as using pins on Pinterest to direct traffic to your Etsy shop or latest course offering.
Finally, assess the threats your business faces. Social media algorithms can change, possibly making it more difficult for viewers to see your posts. New apps and tech appear almost constantly, and your skill set or hardware may be lagging behind. Checking out your competition is an important part of this section of the analysis.
Now that you’ve completed the SWOT analysis on your own, you need to call in others to look at your business to give you more perspective on what needs to grow or change. Ask trusted friends to go through the steps with you. Join a mastermind group and do it as a group challenge for each member to look at their own business and then take a look at each other’s businesses.
I hope that you now feel that you can evaluate your business and help it to grow and succeed!
After you’ve done your SWOT analysis, if you see the need for proofreading or editing, I would be happy to bolster your business with my services. You want your content to stand out and be perfectly polished before you send it out to your readers. I would love to be the virtual assistant to help you achieve that goal! Contact me today to see how I can help you save time and improve your readers’ experience.
Whether you already work at home or are just thinking about it, I hope that sharing a little bit about my story will help inspire you. Working at home is an adventure and takes patience, determination, and the ability to push yourself to succeed.
I have always enjoyed a schedule that allowed for a variety of tasks each day. When I was first in the workforce, I was a certified athletic trainer covering high school sports and working in physical therapy clinics. I would take patients through therapy programs and cover different sporting events to care for injured athletes. Each day was different even though I worked set hours.
Along came a baby and everything changed. Athletic trainers work mostly evenings and nights. After returning to work I realized that there was no family time to see my husband and little one.
Then came baby number two and I knew I didn’t want to work as an athletic trainer anymore. Luckily, my husband finished school and I was able to transition to being a stay at home mom.
In the early years, when my kids were little I tried working as a teacher and a part-time receptionist. I didn’t feel like I was the best fit for those jobs and I knew that I wanted something different. Something where I didn’t do the same thing in the same place day after day.
I looked at the costs for my kids to be in after school and summer programs if I went back to work full-time. It was so expensive that I balked at the idea. I really didn’t like the idea of sending my kids to stay in a program while I worked away from home.
But what could I do from home?
I tried direct sales, but I felt like I was taking advantage of my family and friends.
I looked into online job boards for ideas for what I could do from home. It seemed like a lot of the jobs required you to set up a call center from home. That wasn’t right for me either.
I kept searching, reading blogs, and pinning ideas from Pinterest. I read about virtual assistance and it seemed like something that I could do.
Then my sister started her own virtual assistant business. She was the personal assistant to an executive. I knew that this was for me! New tasks, working from home, adding to my family’s income so we could save for college and retirement. It was a perfect combination!
I took some courses, read blogs, and researched being a virtual assistant. It was the perfect fit. I started working part-time as a virtual assistant and went full-time once my kids were in school all day. It’s been a very fulfilling job and I’m blessed to work from home.
I hope that my journey has inspired you to follow your work at home dream. Do you plan to work from home, or do you already have a business up and running? Leave a note in the comments below with your work at home journey.