As a home-based professional, you may feel that you do not have any use for some things that are part of the world of traditional work. Things like corporate policy and mission statements may seem like they do not apply when you work for the firm that I like to call “The Office of Me, Myself, and I”. You may want to rethink this, though, because “corporate” policies and mission statements are not only relevant to home-based professionals, they are useful too.
How many times have you worked through a situation with a client and arrived at a satisfactory result, only to have a different client present the same issue to you at a later time when you can not remember what you did the first time to make things right with the first client that had the problem? By taking the time to think through and write up even a rough set of guidelines that will serve as your “corporate policy”, you will easily have something to go to whenever a customer wants to return an item, for example, or make some other change to the terms of your agreement with them. Having a set of “rules” in place allows you to know exactly what to do when specific issues arise, and it also helps to keep things fair because when you follow a policy, you treat each client the same. By going a step further and making some or all of your “corporate” policy visible to your clients on your advertising materials or web site, you gain the advantage of attracting clients that understand what your policies are and are willing to abide by them.
Mission statements are not just a feel-good exercise for folks that are part of the office crowd. By creating a mission statement for your home-based business, you can gain greater clarity about your goals and how you will achieve them. Creating a mission statement does not have to be an elaborate or time-consuming exercise, either. Simply write down what you are looking to accomplish with your business. Who is your target customer, and what is it that you will provide for them? The answer may not come to you clearly right away, but the thought process that goes in to arriving at your answer is just as important because it helps you to define what your business is about as well as what it is not about. Be sure to include information about the role of your business in your life, such as the reasons why you are a home-based professional. Keep your mission statement in a place where you can look at it one or more times each day for inspiration, and periodically assess your actions to determine whether they are in line with your mission statement. You may be surprised at what this helps you accomplish.
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