Summer DoldrumsWritten by Bob Osgoodby
Warm-weather months are a fun and busy time. It's time to cleanup barbie, plant your flowers, and maybe take a trip to beach. The cold weather is gone and lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us. It just seems that so many things have been added to our plate, we have little time for anything else.
But wait! Does that include business you have worked so hard on during winter? Unfortunately for some it does. It's like race car driver, who speeds around track and gets a lead of his competition, but then decides to coast last few laps. Guess what - he is going to be passed.
A lot of people virtually take summer off from their online business, and this is an opportunity for you. While they are taking 2 steps back, you can leapfrog over them and get customers they might have gotten.
This is not a new phenomenon, and is as old as web itself. Online business typically slows down during summer months. But who is slowing down? It is usually those who work web part-time in evening. Now when it gets dark early, this is easy. But when days are longer, it seems there just isn't enough time to do everything else, and also take care of business.
If you are serious about developing your online business, you must have discipline it takes to continue. It's awfully easy to think you'll get it done tomorrow, but unfortunately, your customers will not wait for you to get motivated.
Rose Hay sums it up beautifully in her ads. She says "Remember, an Opportunity Doesn't Go Away, It Just Goes To Someone Else." How true - here is someone who has her act together, and will capitalize on inaction of others.
The Isolation Monster and How to Slay It Written by Elena Fawkner
Like most people, when you think about what it would be like to work from home, you probably think of obvious benefits such as working your own hours, not having to face a stressful, tedious commute every day, actually seeing what your garden looks like in daylight hours, not having to answer to a boss, being home when your children are, working in a comfortable environment and so on. These are, of course, some of only many wonderful benefits of working from home.
Before long, though, you may begin to think back to your previous life and realize you actually miss those umpteen visitors who were constantly interrupting you when you were trying to work, walk in park at lunchtime with your best work-friend, drinks on Friday night after work, and being able to run an idea past a colleague for instant, valuable feedback.
Now, everything is just, well, quiet. And there's no-one down hall to go visit who's over age four. You find yourself checking your email constantly, wanting to connect to someone. You find yourself wishing phone would ring. You! The person who, when you worked in a job, cursed constant telephone interruptions and thought voice- and e-mail was greatest invention since sliced bread.
Welcome to another reality of home-based business ... home alone.
Here are some ways to avoid isolation trap when running a business out of your home:
1. Establish a Structure
Nothing is surer to reinforce feelings of isolation as time that stretches as far as eye can see like a straight, one lane highway through a flat, barren landscape. Don't start each day without a plan of what you intend to do. You need to structure your time so that it is not some endlessly vast terrain you must traverse alone. So write a to-do list, preferably at end of day before, so that when your work day starts you get productive straight away, before isolation blues have a chance to take hold.
2. Reach Out
When writing your to-do list, make sure you include at least two things every day that require you to interact with another person. Networking is a vital skill, whether you work for someone else or for yourself. So make contacts with people who can add value to your business, as well as connecting you with outside world.
Joining a professional group or club, attending seminars and trade shows relevant to your business are all great ways to meet new people who have similar interests and challenges. Participate in activities organized by these groups and take a good supply of business cards with you.
3. Establish Joint Ventures
Another way to keep isolation blues at bay is to joint venture with other home-based business owners. Team up with other businesses that offer complementary services to your business. Not only will you send additional business each other's way in form of referrals, you're establishing professional relationships with your joint venture partners.