It is estimated that over 395,000 new businesses each month are started in the U.S. alone. For many new business owners they enter entrepreneurship with the intention of making money.
They even take the necessary steps to make it into a business, including filing all of the necessary paperwork, getting a website up and running, and even printing business cards. They attend networking and begin to market their business.
That’s where the disconnect begins. Most entrepreneurs fail to identify a target market, have no real marketing system, and lack consistency. So if you’re wondering what you’ll do each and every day to drum up business, you have a hobby, not a business.
The reality is if you treat your business like a hobby, others will treat it the same way. So how do you know if you’re treating your business like a hobby?
1. You work when you feel like it. Successful businesses have business hours. It doesn’t matter if you’re investing 4hours a day or 40 hours a week, it is important for your customers or clients to know your business hours. If you keep shifting your office hours from week to week requiring them to call to schedule an appointment in the ever-shifting schedule, you’re making it too hard for them to do business with you. Instead, have defined hours of operation.
2. You have no consistency. Consistency is key to attract and keep your clients. If your marketing has no schedule, you’ll end up with up-and-down marketing – and your cash flow will also follow that up-and-down cycle. Intentionally set up key dates and times for marketing. Schedule it in your calendar and block out time or hire someone to do it for you. If it is not scheduled, something else will take its place. If you have a quarterly newsletter you send to your clients to keep in touch, remember to send it without fail. Consistency creates trust and people do business with people they know, like and trust.
3. You don’t have systems. If you don’t have systems and processes to automatically bring in prospects and pre-qualify them, you have hobby. You also may end up talking to a whole lot of people who are not your ideal clients. When you do that, it does feel like you’re giving away your valuable advice for free. Business owners are always investing on the infrastructure of their business. It’s a work in progress, continuously refining it. They have a plan and intentionally take steps to attract clients. They wake up every day focused on how best to serve their customers or clients.
Think about what you do on a daily basis and decide for yourself: Do you have a hobby or are you running a business? If it feels like a hobby but you want a business, ask yourself “what needs to change?”