Managing Your Home Based Online Business - 1
By Roy Thomsitt
Working at home in their own business is something millions of people strive for and dream of, but
most in the Western world never actually get around to doing it. For those who do achieve it, how do they adapt if
they have changed, for example, from an office environment, where they were employed, had a strict routine imposed
on them, and were told what to do all the time by those above them in the company?
How do you manage working alone from home? Now, that is not "manage" in the "how do you get by?"
sense. It is manage in the manager/staff sense. You work at home alone, you are the boss of your home based
business. So who or what is there to "manage"?
The profitability of any business, sole proprietor or multinational, depends on the successful
management of a number of omnipresent departments: marketing, finance, human resources, computing, purchasing, and,
if appropriate, research and development, and production.
If you are working at home, alone, online, you have all those management responsibilities and
functions rolled into one. Your management task is perhaps the most difficult of all. You have to manage yourself.
If you have never thought about it like that, then I suggest you consider it for a while. To run a successful
business, you need to have a grasp of all the elements of that business, and how they interlink. That is as true
with a home based online business as it is with a large corporation. Managing all those different elements of the
business, I think you will find, is not as easy as it may sound. Managing yourself is definitely not as easy as it
Working at home for many can mean an escape from the managers above them who may have made their
lives a misery, or at least less satisfying, for all of their previous career. But does working at home mean an
escape from management altogether? No, it does not. At least, if you want a more profitable home based business,
then management will be every bit as important as before. In fact, more important.
Why more important? Now it is your business. If you had shares in a company, would you not want
good management to increase profits and thus your dividend and capital? Of course you would. You are not earning
profits for others, unless you have family responsibilities. Okay, you will pay taxes, but that's not your biggest
concern when you get started. You just want to get started and make some profits.
Having achieved your dream of a home online business, you want it to succeed. You will have an
online business that will belong to you. You are the boss, and the expert on all aspects of running the business.
You have your freedom at last, now you need to manage your new business in a way that will ensure it grows and
With you as manager and staff, these things will all be so easy.........won't they? Maybe not.
Having your own business, especially based at home and alone, is not necessarily as straight forward as you may
have thought. Just ask yourself for now, if you were a manager before, were you a good manager? As a subordinate,
were you a good member of staff, someone your bosses respected and could rely on? Ask yourself. Be honest and ask
some of your former co-workers, who should be honest too. Listen to any conflicts. You will have to deal with those
conflicts as manager and staff.
Really? Yes, really! You have to deal with yourself. You are the boss and the staff. The best staff
are those who follow instructions, work hard in their allotted time, work efficiently in what they are doing, and
apply all the knowledge and training they have. They are also going to flourish by coming forward with good ideas
and having them listened to.
The best managers give clear instructions and communicate their expectations of their staff. They
also explain why certain things are done and paint the broader picture to enlighten their staff about what their
role means. They also know when to listen to the ideas of others, including staff, and when to buy in expertise.
Are you able to fulfil both roles?
By being aware of the need to manage the finance, marketing, purchasing and the other “departments”
of your online business, you are part of the way to managing your business more effectively. If you can learn to
compartmentalise, in your own mind, those same “departments” then you will be taking another step along the same
road. If you can devote time to learning more about those “departments”, becoming an expert in each, and also learn
what you can about management, then you will be a powerful manager of your online business.
Who will benefit from that? You, and those you support and care for. Does that not make the effort