A good old fashioned, but very effective management tool is Management by Objectives (MBO). It’s simple, but equally effective anywhere from a large corporation to your own home business.
You don’t need to be a genius to work out that a process of aiming for goals and measuring progress towards them is a good business principle. It takes just a little thought to jot down some simple goals for your business.
Without a system, it’s too easy to muddle on with no idea of how well you’re doing. Eventually credit-card expenses accumulate and you may suddenly become aware that you have spent a considerable sum of money, with little or nothing to show for it.
We’ve already discussed some ideas about working to a simple budget, as an excellent means of monitoring the progress of your business – and this on its own is an excellent start towards knowing where your business is financially.
A simple MBO exercise would involve doing a little soul-searching first to work out and clarify in your own mind what you’re hoping to achieve by starting a home business. Are you only looking for a hobby which may bring in some extra cash?
Like many of us, you may be starting out along those lines, but would really like to be able to quit your job and work full-time from home. It’s a personal decision, but your personal aims will have a significant effect on the way you run your business.
Take a little time to work out what you want from your business. Give some thought also to the possible time-frames involved. If time is on your side, and you’ll be happy to drift along for several years taking events as they come along – then you’re at one end of the time and urgency scale.
You may of course, have compelling reasons to get your business self sufficient and providing a full-time income within a certain period. If this is so then you’re involved in a different ball-game! This is why it’s essential to clarify your thoughts up front, because this background will determine what you’re going to do in getting the business started and on track.
This is not a lengthy or complicated exercise, but it’s well worth jotting down the key components up front. It’s then time to make a list of about six key goals you want to achieve over an initial period of about two years. Be realistic, of course! There’s little point in setting unattainable targets for yourself!
1) What level of income do you need after 12 months as a first step? Will you be happy merely to cover your costs in this time?
2) Given that a good average is two years to get a new business going, what is your income goal after that period?
3) Select some other goals you want to achieve? Do you want to acquire certain skills relative to your business? (Do you need to know a little about HTML?) How long do you expect this to take?
A vital aspect of your little MBO plan is to keep it alive. Don’t put your list in a drawer and forget about it. Refer to it monthly and keep it up to date. If one of your initial goals drops of the list for some reason – that’s fine! Your life and priorities are constantly changing. As you achieve certain of your goals, tick them off and add new ones to keep you focused on going forward.
This simple exercise will undoubtedly assist you in running your business, and ultimately making a success of your own top home based business. It mustn’t become a tedious chore – keep it brief and to the point.