Being the simple guy that I am, I like keeping things simple. And being the helpful guy I am, I also like to help. So I now offer you my simple, patented, 12 step guide to setting up a home business. (It doesn’t get any simpler than this, folks).
Step #1. Quit your cushy job, or alternatively arrange to get fired or laid off. (Warning: if you are married, your spouse may not be entirely supportive of step #1).
Step #2. Get a home. It’s virtually impossible to start up a home based business without a home to base it in. Without a home you’ll merely have a business and that’s not the point of starting a home based business. (Warning: Step #1 might make step #2 a little tenuous, but now is not the time to worry about things like that).
Step #3. Immediately give yourself a new important sounding job title, like President, CEO, Chief Engineer, Big Cheese, Big Kahuna, Grand Master, Superman, or, if all else fails, consultant.
Step #4. Come up with an exciting name for your business. The easiest way to do this is to randomly select two names from the Yellow Pages and combine them together. (For example, “Wal-Mart” plus “Tim Horton Donuts”= Wal-Donuts.) Alternatively, simply name your business after your dog or your child’s pet goldfish.
Step #5. Place important sounding title and company name onto business cards. This is one of the most important steps, as once you have business cards you are pretty much legitimate and in business. (Note: if you have access to a teenager, have them do up your business cards on their computer; it’s cheaper (free) and they are more skilled at this sort of thing than most adults).
Step #6. Take a break (you’re probably a little tired by now).
Step #7. Sharpen a box of pencils. Nothing screams out “I’m ready to go to work now!” louder than a box of sharpened pencils nearby.
Step #8. Start answering your phone in a professional manner (which simply means using a deeper tone of voice) and include the name of your exciting new business. Make sure you delete the kid’s rendition of the theme from Barney from the answering machine and replace it with a more professional (deeper-voiced) message.
Step #9. Find a space to work within the house. Although it may seem like this step should come earlier, your spouse won’t believe you’re serious enough to warrant taking up any space until you’ve completed steps 1 through 6. You have a few options for finding space:
- Double your kids up in a bedroom and take over one of their rooms.
- Remove the old ‘57 dodge from the garage (and either work in the garage or in the Dodge).
- Clean up your child’s tree house and run a phone and electrical line off your neighbor lines.
- Clear a space atop the washer and dryer.
Step #10. Take another well-deserved break, preferably by finding a former co-worker with whom you can gloat about how late you are now getting up in the morning.
Step #11. Decide what your business or service will actually offer. Although this step seems even more out of place than step #8, the reality is that most home based business people don’t know what it is their business is offering until well into year 3 or 4.
That’s all there is to it. Following these simple steps will virtually guarantee you a successful home based business. So if you’ve been delaying your dream or postponing your passion, then procrastinate no more. Tell yourself “tomorrow is the second day of the rest of your life” and take the plunge headfirst into the deep end of the pool. (Which reminds me, step #12 is build yourself a swimming pool with all that money you’ll be raking in).
Copyright Michael Kerr. Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame international business speaker, very funny motivational speaker, trainer, and author of six books, including Inspiring Workplaces and The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank. www.HumoratWork.com
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