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10 Tips to Help You Successfully Run and Market Your Home Business

I believe most entrepreneurs and small business owners are like me ... they have a tough time striking a balance between work and play. In fact, I recall reading or hearing a while back, that balance is not a state of being, but rather a constant pursuit.

Boy I guess I'm forever in hot pursuit!

Keeping up with the normal day-to-day running of my two businesses and servicing my clients, marketing those businesses, attending seminars, reading books and all the other tasks that seem to fill my days keep me running.

I love being busy but as someone who has gotten awfully close in the past to burning herself out, I work harder now than ever to avoid that. I can see the signs coming and I react quickly before I get to that ugly point of no return.

Avoiding Burn-Out

You know it ... when you start getting sick, you can't sleep because you can't turn off your brain at night, and you're just downright scattered trying to keep up.

It's not a good place to be because you actually end up being LESS productive. Not a good thing when you've got lots to do.

Here are 10 tips I use to help me balance running my business and marketing it at the same time.

I hope they'll help you successfully do the same.

1) Be realistic about how much you can do.

Pace yourself, reschedule some things if necessary, and perhaps even put a few things off until the new year.

2) Use a calendar or Day-Timer system.

Use this system to stay organized and record all your appointments and "to do" activities. I use Microsoft Outlook and a Pocket PC. I enter everything I need to do as an appointment. For me, this works better than having a separate "to do" list because it forces me to actually schedule time to get the work done.

3) Prioritize your activities.

Put those activities that help you generate revenue at the top of your list. We often get bogged down in administrative or busy-work that either doesn't have to be done right now, or that we could get someone else to do for us.

4) Make sure to schedule time for your marketing and planning activities.

These are crucial to the long-term success of your business. Book time to do them, just as you book client appointments. For example, I usually begian working on my next year's marketing plan at the end of October and I scheduled time in my calendar to complete one step (in my 10stepmarketing System) every week. At this rate the work is manageable and I know I'll be done with next year's plan by the end of the current year.

5) Every evening, look at your calendar for the following day.

If you need to prepare for a meeting, do it the night before. Know what you need to accomplish each day and be ready to get up and go in the morning.

6) At the end of each day, review your calendar and check off all the activities you completed.

If you didn't get to something, move it to the next day you can commit time to getting it done. (And, here's a tip: if you move something more than 4-5 times, it's probably not a priority item and you can push it to the back burner or maybe get rid of it completely).

7) Get some help.

For seven years I did everything in my business. I didn't hire help because I didn't think I could afford to. If hiring help means you can spend more time on revenue-producing activities, you'll be able to pay for that help in no time. And, if you're like me, you'll kick yourself for not getting help sooner!

8) Schedule an "exercise" appointment every day.

Daily exercise, whether it's a trip to the gym, a 20-minute walk, going for a run, or whatever activity you enjoy, will help you maintain the energy you need to get all your work done. It'll also help boost your immune system so you stay well. I'll admit, I let this one slip sometimes, but every time I get back on track, I feel better about everything.

9) Schedule "me" time, too.

Just because you're busy, doesn't mean you should let your personal time go by the wayside. You need that time more than ever now, to rejuvenate and keep your energy up. Book time to relax and read a book, get a monthly massage, spend time with your family, go on a date with your spouse, or whatever you like to do. You'll return to your business with a fresh perspective and attitude that will help you be more successful.

10) Realize something's not going to get done, and be okay with that.

Despite all the diligent scheduling, unexpected things will come up, some tasks will take longer than you planned, and you probably won't get to everything. The good news is, if you follow all 10 of these steps, the priority work (that's the work that produces revenue for your business) will get done. You may even find that some of the things you thought HAD to be done, really didn't have to be done after all.

I hope you'll try these 10 tips to help you balance your business and your life more effectively. I'll bet you'll find you get a lot more done and you feel a whole lot better doing it!

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