If you own and operate your own business out of your home, you are probably well aware that being an entrepreneur means that you wear many hats. What you may not be aware of is exactly what those hats are, and how often you wear each of them. It may seem easier to think of your home-based business as a single entity and that you just do “everything” that needs doing. It is actually useful to stop and think for a few minutes about all of the hats that you wear as an entrepreneur. Even just a few minutes is all that it takes to familiarize yourself with the roles that are common to all entrepreneurial enterprises.
Whether you are a housekeeper, home day care provider, freelance computer programmer, or other home-based professional, you are also an entrepreneur. This is, in and of itself, something that you should be proud of. It also means that you are responsible for all of the components of your home-based business. For example, you are the marketing department. You are the person who chooses which types of advertising your business will do as well as the contents and design of the advertising materials. When potential clients heed the call of your advertising and contact you to express an interest in your product or service, you are the salesperson who turns that prospect into a customer by closing the deal.
I’m sure by now, you realize that you are your own boss. No one tells you how to manage your work flow, what form to use for writing proposals or anything else as far as operations go. You’re in charge of operations, and it’s up to you to create the systems that will keep your business running smoothly day in and day out. Do you feel like you work long hours, never get to take long weekends or vacations, or that your work life and home life are out of balance? It’s time for a serious discussion with your human resources department. However, you may want to wait until no one else is around before you go storming into their office to demand that they do something about your deplorable working conditions – your family may become very concerned if you start yelling at yourself.
When a client calls with a question or complaint, it is time to step into the customer service department and craft a solution that will leave them feeling satisfied. With all of these responsibilities, you may be elated when you can actually spend some time producing actual work product, whatever that work product may be, because that’s your job too. Let’s not forget finance and accounting, because your business will come to a screeching halt if the money that comes in does not get deposited in the bank and distributed out to all of the places it needs to go. Finally, if you think that there is no more room on your office coat rack for any more hats, make room somewhere for research and development so that your business keeps moving in a forward direction and you don’t get stuck in a rut.
If, after reading this list, you realize that there are a few areas of your business that you have let slide, don’t waste time berating yourself for letting it happen. Use this knowledge to plan your work time so that the work of all of home-based business’s “departments” gets done. Your business will continue to grow and succeed, and you will become adept at changing your hat many times a day.
Photo by Geert on morguefile.com.