The Change Direction Blog is about the joys, and practical impacts, of working from home online. It is about online businesses and techniques for internet marketing, traffic building. It is also about what it is like to work from home, working with family around, and all the practicial issues that arise on a day to day basis for someone working from home. Plus, an ex pat view of an English guy living in Palawan, a tropical paradise in the Philippines.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Working at Home. What Do You Manage? (6)

In the last few days I've mentioned some of the key elements of managing your online business when you are working at home. As I have said before, working at home in your own business does not mean there are no management responsibilities, as you are now the manager of all the different "departments" in the business. It is your business now, so you get all the benefits of good management, and all the consequences of bad management. The buck stops with you, though if things go wrong, you may be tempted to blame others. But when you are the CEO, the responsibility for the well being of the business is yours.

There are three "departmental" elements of management, mentioned in the first in this sequence of posts, that I have not covered yet: purchasing, and, if appropriate, research and development, and production. Working in a home based business will certainly have a purchasing input. Whatever you are doing, you will spend money. The better you manage that spending, the better your profit and loss results will be, and that is true whether you're working in an office or at home. A large business will probably have a professional purchasing manager, watched closely by the finance director and CEO. If you are working alone at home, you are that purchasing manager, and the finance director and CEO parts of you need to watch out for what's going on.

Are you an impulsive buyer? The financial manager part of you has to discipline you if that is so. You will benefit greatly if you can stand back from the situation and take a detached view of your purchases. You need a decision making process that brings you to the best decisions over what you buy, and what you are prepared to pay for it. You need to challenge yourself for every purchase, whether it's for software, new computer, joining an online program, buying an ebook, or many other things.

Buying ebooks can be particularly difficult, as often you do not know for sure what you will be getting. You may find it best to delay purchase after first consideration, then go back to it. A few months back I had a long list of ebooks, software aids, and marketing aids I wanted to purchase. Thankfully, my budget did not allow me to buy all. I could have transferred money from elsewhere to buy the lot, but I stuck to the month's budget. When I went back to the list a couple of months later, I found that I no longer wanted to buy all but one of the remaining items. I am sure you will have many occasions like that. Running a business has no place for impulse buys. Review once, review twice and maybe three times. Then buy if you really think such a decision is justified, and not a product of impulse or panic. Purchasing is a cool discipline, as is much of running a business, whether at home or elsewhere. So, be a cool manager of your home based online business, and you will have a more profitable business in the long run.


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