Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Putting your duckies in a nice little row.

I wanted to take some time today to write a little bit more about setting up your business.  If you remember in the first post about setting up your business (click here) I talked a little bit about the different types of business entities that you can create.  Now I know it has been a while since I last wrote on the subject… So you can just click that link above to give yourself a little refresher. Anyways… Here goes.

ducks_in_a_rowWhen you select the type of business you want to form there are several things you need to do to help you keep organized and productive. I’m want to outline some things that I do and recommend that you do so that you can keep productive and grow a strong healthy business. These are just my opinions from things that have worked for me.  You won’t know if they apply to you or not unless you try them out for yourself.

First things first.  You need to select a place to do business.  People have offices for a reason.  When we are in a location that is supposed to be dedicated to our work then we WILL work and get more done.  Picking the location  can be alittle difficult if we don’t have a seperate room to dedicate.  So this is my suggestion.  When I first started out online I didn’t have a seperate room to work.  Infact, at the time, my wife and I were house sitting for someone.  We lived in a 2 bedroom guest house off of the main house.  One of the bedrooms was storage for the owners and the other was for us to sleep in.  The dining room was about as big as the bathroom and the living room was taken up by one futon and a TV. So where did I choose to work on my marketing stuff? The futon.  I sat with a laptop on my lap for about 3 months.  This in the end turned out to be an epic fail. Let me explain why.

When you need to sit down and work on your marketing stuff you have to first learn self discipline and self control. You need to take away any distractions that can and will keep you from working (at least until you can control yourself). Do you think that sitting infront of the TV while you are trying to work is a smart thing?  No.  Infact it is distractions from working that keep 99% of you reading this from doing anything.  In order to be productive the first step is to seperate yourself from distractions and find a nice quite working space.  At least one that doesn’t have a TV sitting in front of it.

My second work space was a dining room table.  This was perfect for me because it gave me the opportunity to feel like I was sitting at a desk.  There’s just something about sitting with a laptop on my lap that doesn’t make me feel productive. Sitting at the dining room table gave me the opportunity to feel a little somewhat professional and it took away the biggest distraction for me (the TV).

Okay, so lets say you have your work space all picked out.  You have picked the dining room table (or other suitable space).  Now you need to get some materials from your local office supply store (Walmart has this junk too).  Here is a list of things that I recommend you get.

  • Whiteboard with markers
  • Notebook or loose paper with binder
  • Pens
  • File folders
  • File box
  • Your computer

Now… I know your probably looking at that list and thinking “why do you need that stuff for INTERNET marketing?”. The answer is simple.  ORGANIZATION.  When I broke down and started to write things down on paper instead of keeping them in a .doc file I was impressed and amazed with my ability to work more productively. The white board was nice because I was able to write out mind maps and diagrams of how my website was supposed to flow.  This helped me see the larger picture at hand.  There are many resources for the computer that can help you with this stuff, but nothing compares to having a hard copy and seeing it OFF of the computer.

Keeping a hard copy of your login information is a VERY good idea.  At one point I didn’t back anything up.  Yeah big mistake when you work off of an older computer.  It’s also nice for when I’m out of town and on an unfamiliar computer.  I can call up my wife and just ask her to look something up for me.  For tax purposes you will also need to keep hard copies of reciepts from things you purchase online.  Better get used to it.  Paper isn’t leaving us just yet!

You get the point here.  Forming an online business isn’t just about online stuff.  You have to have real world items to move your online business!


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21 Responses

May 3, 2009

Having a notepad and a whiteboard is ESSENTIAL to work flow and productivity. .doc files are the devil! I learned the hard way.


May 3, 2009

BTW, that is TOTALLY not my MyBlogLog profile. WTF?!


May 3, 2009

LOL is it your gravitar profile?


May 3, 2009
yani

I wish I have a quiet place. So crowded here.


LOL!! I thought I was the only one that had tried to actually work in front of a TV :) It simply doesn’t work (unless you have no power or no signal).

/Mikael


It is better to carry a notepad always. When I started I used to carry to my work and write small bullets and when start writing it comes out to a big article.


May 3, 2009

@Kris No.


May 4, 2009

“You need to take away any distractions that can and will keep you from working”

This is so true! For me at least…. The computer itself… is a distracting tool… I mean we work on a machine… that entertains us… so from time to time… I get distracted…. and I start loading up some DVD’s to watch… etc… I also have a TV tuner card…. so yeah… thats bad too. But… when I finally concentrate and start working… I keep going. Maybe I need to reformat this machine… and install 2 different boot setups… One with Windows Vista… which will be plain and nothing… so I won’t distract myself, with games, etc! And the other boot… with Windows xp, with everything on it.

Till then,

Jean


May 4, 2009

“You need to take away any distractions that can and will keep you from working”

how to tell my girlfriend “go away”… :) any sugestions?


May 4, 2009

Great suggestions- I worked from home for a few years and it took me a few weeks to get used to. In the end, I wasn’t a big fan. I like the social environment of an office (for those like me, try a co-working space).

Hard copies of receipts and reports are pretty essential. While it drives me nuts to have so much ‘stuff’ lying around, if you keep it organized from the start, it will be much easier for you when April 15th rolls around.


May 5, 2009

I guess having the necessary gadget could make the difference.Maybe I need to reformat this machine… and install 2 different boot set-ups…Thanks kris


Working from home comes with advantages like not having to commute, as well as the disadvantage that you are tempted to procrastinate due to the luxuries and distractions of home. Finding the right space to effectively operate in is well illustrated with the futon vs dining room table example, and it is imperative to have that special work space.


May 6, 2009
personal injury lawyer

Earning a business degree will increase your competitive in the job market, but business degrees cover a wide range of fields with various concentrations, you need to understand the business degrees options so that you can select the most suitable business degree that fit into your career path.


May 7, 2009

I have blocks of time throughout the day when I can check email and do social media stuff…sounds draconian but if I don’t keep to that, I just don’t get anything done! Between 11 and 3 there is no checking of email at all which is what Tim Ferriss suggests in his book.


Distractions are a killer, and are a big part of the biggest enemy of all: Procrastination!


May 8, 2009
Portable Air Conditioning Unit

Ya, I would say that the computer is also my biggest distraction. But isn’t the whole point of making money online is to do it while in your pajamas in bed? Hehe, I guess that’s only what someone wants you to believe when they’re trying to sell you something.

-Phil


May 8, 2009

I have a large house, so I take up two rooms. One is a “nap room” where I have extra servers and clutter, in addition to a bed. When I’m sick and still need to work, I move in there with a lap board. There’s no radio or TV distraction in there. The other is my office and it also has no radio or TV distraction. Most of the time I work in my office.

When my wife and I went looking for furniture, we started at the office stores and looked at their stuff. She then said to me, “Mike, this is crap. Look at this particle board stuff. I mean, spill some water over this and everything will buckle up. It sure looks great on the surface, but take a look at the particle board from beneath the top. And yet they want to charge $1500 to $3000 for this stuff? No, let’s hit a regular furniture store, I have a better idea.” So off we went to a place called Room Store. When we were in there, we saw something in the Kathy Ireland collection. It was very modern and European in styling. She found a dinner buffet cabinet that was smallish but not too small. She then added a dining room table. The total cost was $1000. We saved on the delivery cost by driving a pickup truck to the warehouse the next morning, checking out the goods for damage, and then drove it off very carefully. It wasn’t very hard to set things up and I had an office “desk” and office “cabinet”. My wife then got some special business crates that you can put hanging files in. I raised my office chair up a little, which is okay because actually I’m 6’4″ and that works for me. In the end, it was a fantastic deal and was much better in wood quality and finish than the overpriced office stuff. Now some may say, yeah, but where are the drawers in your desk? I don’t have any, and I don’t need any. I keep all lose papers in a single file on my table. That’s my latest projects file. And then I have a paper notepad and a mechanical pencil (so that I don’t need to sharpen all the time). Anything else goes either in my storage office/naproom or in my business cabinet that is actually a dinner buffet cabinet. And everything else than that is usually kept inside my laptop and on a USB thumb drive.

I also highly recommend you get a high-powered yet small laptop instead of a desktop PC, and then attach a screen with it and set it up in dual screen mode (so you can drag windows back and forth). With this arrangement you can get work done on your large screen, side stuff on your small screen, and when you’re wife says you need to work from the beach house for a week, you simply take your laptop and go without having to move any files. And when you’re sick, you just take the laptop and a lapboard and head into the “nap room” to work.


May 11, 2009
Current account

I guess having the necessary gadget could make the difference.Maybe I need to reformat this machine… and install 2 different boot set-ups…


May 18, 2009

As I am traveling right now I am finding it hard to get a consistent place to work and sometimes I get next to nothing done… So I know exactly what you are saying. However I am working hard through it and making some headway…. I dream of the day I have space to set up a whiteboard :)


May 21, 2009

Excellent advice. I started out with my workspace being in the kitchen dining area of my house. It was a great spot for me, until everyone came home from work/school because of course … that is where they all congregated. So fine, I compromised and decided this would be my dedicated break time and spent time with everyone etc and go back to work after dinner for a few hours. Well, the kitchen area is still the hub of the home I have came to find out and working in the evenings after dinner was very unproductive. I learned my lesson. I now have a dedicated office area with a door that closes.

Great post! My ducks are in a row now. :)