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Starting a Home Based Businesses – How to Make REAL Profits and Live Your Dream From Home

Most folks I talk to who are thinking about starting a business they can run from home fall into two categories:

o the ones that think all home businesses are scams,
o and the ones who think they’re going to get rich overnight.

I guess when I started investigating a home business of my own,I had mixed feelings about the issue. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted to believe all the stories of people who were living out of their car one day and vacationing on their own yacht six months later.

There ARE Some BIG Successes Out There…

And believe me, those kinds of successes are out there. I’ve met them. Oh, maybe not the living out of their cars part, although I’ve talked several times to a network marketing guru who claims that’s where she got started. But there are certainly real stories about real people making real money from home. The problem is, well, more people fail than get rich. And the overnight millionaires are the exception to the rule, even among the successful ones.

So what are we to think? If more people fail than succeed, does that mean home businesses are simply traps for the naïve and desperate? Or worse yet, outright scams?

You Can Just Dream . . . or You Can Act to Achieve Your Dream!

It depends on how you feel about the so-called “American Dream.” If you believe dreams are only for the naïve and desperate, then you would be foolish to take a substantial financial risk to pursue your dreams. But if you believe all successful people began with a dream, then dreams are not lightly to be ignored.

A Japanese proverb that I love says: “Dreaming without action is but a Daydream.”

So, is there a dream that you’ve always had and have desperately wanted?

What have you done to achieve it?

Or have you sat there on your hands just dreaming? Just waiting for success to come to you?

The Scams Are Out There, But You Can Avoid Them

My point is not that there are no scams in the home business industry. Of course there are. Anytime someone promises you that they can sell you a system that takes care of all the hard stuff, like finding prospects aching to buy what you’re selling, delivering them to your doorstep (or desk top) with credit card in hand, and converting them into sales with little or no involvement from you, it’s time to put away the check book and move along to the next idea.

But many people make the mistake of equating unsuccessful home businesses with scams. So, they conclude, if a lot of home businesses fail, they must all be scams.

I disagree. There are many reasons you can lose your money in a home based business, and many reasons you can succeed. But most of the failures have nothing to do with scams. Actually, the percentage of home based businesses that fail tracks pretty closely with the percentage of all small businesses that fail.

To avoid being one of those that fail you must not make the same mistakes that most of them do. Most small business owners make the same mistakes–fall into the same bear traps–from lack of knowledge. That is to say, they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know a mistake until they make it. Getting the right knowledge along with the right business and the right people helping you can go a long way toward avoiding mistakes and assuring your success.

The Dirty Little Secret …

The dirty little secret is that the things which lead to success (or failure) in a home based business aren’t any secret. They’re the same things that lead to success (or failure) in any business. In no particular order, they include clear-headed goal setting, careful researching of the market to find profitable trends and business sectors, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of businesses which can serve as useful vehicles for taking advantage of those trends and sectors. Organizational skills, passion, and commitment don’t hurt either.

If these are traits or abilities you do not have. Do NOT risk any substantial portion of your assets on a home based business-or any other business for that matter.

The Single Most Important Key to Success in Your Home Business

It is not my purpose here to give you the “10 Most Important Secrets to Success in a Home Business,” or the “8 Steps You Must Take to Generate Incredible Wealth from Home,” You can find a hundred articles with various formulas or lists of that sort.

But I will give you the one suggestion that I think is critical to creating real wealth for yourself in any new business, and particularly in a home-based business, where the usual “social network” present in the normal business may be absent, it would be to get yourself a good mentor or coach.

I would submit that, of those home businesses which do fail, most fail simply because they don’t find their way before they use up all of their money on all of their mistakes. Based on my own experience, I would strongly recommend that you spend as much time to find the right person to coach you as you would to find the right business. If you can’t find a coach, see if you can find someone in the same business, or same kind of business to, mentor you.

That is one real advantage to a good MLM or Network Marketing Business. Despite what you may have heard or read, there are many sound

MLM’s, big and small, old and new, with solid reputations and solid products. (If you are thinking about a Network Marketing Business, read Richard Poe’s excellent book “Wave 4: Network Marketing for the 21st Century” (Prima Publishing 1999)).

When Looking for an MLM, Find One with a Strong Upline

If you are interested in an MLM, look for one with a strong upline, i.e. an upline with successful and highly motivated individuals willing and able to mentor you in the tools and techniques necessary for your own success. If you can find and afford a good coach, by all means get one. If not, or if you prefer a less expensive and perhaps more personal alternative, a good mentor can certainly get you to the same place.

But don’t try to go it on your own. I don’t think it an exaggeration to say that every wealthy and highly successful home business person I know at some point learned his or her business under a truly good coach or mentor. There is another favorite saying of mine:

o Some people don’t learn from their mistakes.
o Smart people do learn from their mistakes.
o Successful people learn from the mistakes of other people.

The best way to learn from other people’s mistakes is to work with a good coach or mentor. In the world of MLM’s, that means finding an opportunity with a strong, experienced upline.These folks know what those mistakes are, and how you can avoid them.

That, more than anything else you can do, will ensure your own success, and provide you the surest and shortest path to real profits, and ultimately real wealth.

How to Choose Your Home Based Business

Everyone who’s joined a home based business knows that there’s a lot more to it than simply signing up. Any company that guarantees you money and success the instant you sign up is lying, that’s the bottom line. There are many factors that come into play that determine your success in a business; is the company stable, do they offer a service or product that everyone wants or needs, how much of an investment will people need to join your business, how good is the compensation plan, and do you know how to effectively market the business and put what you have to offer in front of the masses?

Before you join a home based business do background research on the company you’re going to be joining. Find out how long the company has been in business. You want to look for a company that has been in business with the product or service they are offering for at least 5 years. Why is this? For the first few years a company is in the testing phase and therefore more of a risk upon joining. The next 2 to 4 years following the testing stage is the acceptance phase. The acceptance phase is the period where it begins getting more exposure and a majority of people either accept the new company as a good investment or they reject it; if the company is looked upon as a good investment, it enters the hyper growth phase. The hyper growth phase is the ideal time to become part of a home based business. People are looking to join this business so there is less work on your part when it comes to selling the business and what they have to offer since many people will already know and not be so hesitant to join.

You want to make sure you become part of a company that offers a product or a service that will allow you to target an unlimited number of people. There are BILLIONS of people in the world so why would you want to be marketing a product that will only benefit a percentage of the population? You wouldn’t! Look at what you will be offering your prospects and be sure it’s something that will not limit the amount of people you can target. If you offer a product that everyone can use and benefit from you are going to be far more successful when it comes to marketing your business.

If you’re new to home based businesses and haven’t started building a marketing funnel yet, you are going to want to join a business that does not require a big investment to start up. There have been so many scams out there that have burned many people who were looking to get involved with a home based business. This has created a lot of uneasy and skeptical people. When you are first starting out everyone you target, unless you go to family and friends which I urge you not to do right way, is not going to have a clue who you are. They aren’t going to know whether to trust you or to run in the opposite direction. Now a big part of whether prospects are going to trust you is your marketing campaign, which we will get more into in a little bit. However if you can find a business that does not require a big investment to start up, people will be more receptive to you and your business since they won’t be losing out on hundreds of dollars if it doesn’t work. The less of a risk your business appears to be to prospects, the more will join. Once you have built up a rather large marketing funnel of people who trust you that is when you can start marketing $3,000 price point businesses and be successful with it.

The compensation plan is obviously what everyone looks at when deciding what business to join. You don’t want to be marketing a business that’ll cost your prospects $200 and you only receive a $50 commission. That’s not going to create the income you are looking for unless you are putting 10 people in your business a day which is way more work than you want to do for the return. You want to find a business that you can put only 5-7 people into a WEEK and still be provided a huge income. If you develop an effective enough marketing campaign you’re going to be putting way more people than that into your business each week but chances are for your first few weeks’ 5-7 people is pretty realistic. You want to get involved with a home based business that you can have a week where you only put 5 people into your business yet still make more money than you would working 40 hours a week. There ARE home based businesses like this out there; you just need to find them.

Once you’ve done the research and found your home based business, the next and most important thing you need to do is develop an effective marketing campaign. If you don’t know how to market your business and attract people to you, you aren’t going to get the results you’re looking for no matter how great your business is. You need to find a way to put yourself and your business in front of millions of people everyday. How do you do this? USE TECHNOLOGY! Billions of people search the internet everyday so it’s literally your goldmine. You can spend all day cold calling prospects, asking family and friends, putting ads in newspapers, handing out flyers, and whatever else you can think of to do I don’t care, but I’m telling you right now you are spending WAY more time than you should be marketing your business when you can use the internet and put your offer on the table for 1,000 times more people to see within a few short hours.

How to Write a Business Plan to Ensure Immediate Success

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is basically a blue print to success. It sets out the parameters of how the business will operate, who the key players are, the plan going forward and any other relevant information that the author deems necessary should be included.

Why do I need a Business Plan?

You need a Business Plan for a number of reasons. First and foremost it is will focus your mind on where you are going or where you intend to go. It will dictate the speed of growth and will also allow your staff and other members of your team to share the vision.

Secondly, a Business Plan will be required if you intend to raise finance. If you intend obtaining a Business Loan or finance through other funding streams then again you will need a Business Plan. One thing is for certain, it is imperative that you construct a plan and amend/update it regularly.

Does the Business Plan change?

Yes it does. As your Business grows and changes, so should your Business Plan. It is wrong to assume that a Business Plan, once created, is filed away in a draw for 12 months. It should be kept in an easily accessible place and be update on a regular basis – for this reason alone it will focus your mind on where you are going.

What should the Business Plan contain?

This will depend on your own requirements but let’s take a look at some basic components:

SECTION 1 – Principle Business Details and Activities.

1. NAME OF BUSINESS

The name of your Business goes here.

2. BUSINESS ADDRESS

Company address goes here.

3. BUSINESS TELEPHONE CONTACTS

Your business telephone contacts go here.

4. DATE BUSINESS COMMENCED

This is the date that your business started or was registered with Companies house.

5. LEGAL STATUS

Whether you are a sole trader or a Limited company.

6. PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES

Describe your main business activities. For example:

The development and creation of jewellery which is then sold via the internet worldwide.

SECTION 2 – Your key Business Objectives

SHORT TERM BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Here you should include your short term vision. An example of this would be as follows:

To develop a sustainable business through the development of excellent products and customer service. We aim to develop 30 products within the first 12 months of trading, and achieve a turnover of £50,000.

MEDIUM TERM BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

A medium term business objective should be 3 to 5 years maximum. Include here where you want to be by this time and how you plan to get there. For example:

We aim to have created 100 products by 2008. The majority of these will be created by staff that will be employed as a result of the short term aim achievement.

Our turnover by this date will be £250,000 with a profit margin of 35%. Our sales will be predominantly achieved through internet advertising although we expect during this period to trial other methods such as National newspaper advertising.

LONG TERM BUSINESS OBJECTIVE

The long term business aim should be your ultimate goal. This can be any length of time from 5 years to 15 years. An example of this would be:

To have 50 different retail outlets strategically placed around the UK in areas of high demand. The company aims to exceed an annual turnover of £2,000,000 with a profit margin of 35%. The company will still continue to trade via the internet and it is expected that this will account for 40% of our business.

SECTION 3 – Key personnel

NAME AND POSITION

Insert name and position. Example:

Richard McMunn – Business Development Director

DOB

Insert date of birth

STATUS

Business Development Director and shareholder.

EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDUSTRY

Insert any experience and knowledge of the industry.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT

Insert previous employment here.

QUALIFICATIONS

Insert qualifications here.

NAME

Repeat the above for all key personnel.

SECTION 4 – Premise details

In this section, indicate where the business is registered and where the business operates out of.

SECTION 5 – Equipment

Include all equipment that is owned by the company. Examples of these would be:

- Computers including software and hardware
- Vehicles
- Manufacturing equipment etc

SECTION 6 – Products and services

Indicate here what services and products are offered by the company.

SECTION 7 – Advertising

Here, include details of how the company advertises its products. This may either be in the form of internet advertising (Google, Yahoo or otherwise), Newspaper advertising (either National or local), other media avenues such as Admedia or any other form of advertising.

SECTION 8 – New products and services

Include here all of your predicted new products and services that will go on sale within the next 12 months.

SECTION 9 – Pricing

- How do you price your products?
- What is the profit margin of each product?

Include a breakdown of how much each product is on sale for and how much that product costs to produce.

SECTION 10 – Customers

What is your target audience and how do you know this? (i.e. ages 16 – 30). How to you reach your customers? How many visits does your website get each week?

SECTION 11 – Business strengths

Include here all of your business strengths.

SECTION 12 – Areas for Improvement

Here, include all of the areas you believe you can improve on. A business that has no areas to improve on is not telling the truth!

Be honest and look critically for ways in which you can improve or develop.

SECTION 13 – Business competition

Who are your major competitors? How do you monitor your performance against theirs? What are they doing that’s different or better than you?

SECTION 14 – Market predictions

How do you predict your market and adapt to the changing conditions? For example, during Christmas time sales may increase depending on the type of product you are selling or the service you provide. January through to April maybe slow in terms of sales due to the fact that people are less likely to spend after the expensive Christmas period.

Think about your business and how the market will vary from month to month. It is essential that you begin to track your daily sales/turnover right from the word go. After a year or two of trading, you will be able to predict your sales and adapt accordingly.

SECTION 15 – Sales and Promotions

What are your predicted sales and the reason why? Are you planning on running any promotions throughout the year?

SECTION 16 – Financial Information

How long have you been trading and what is your monthly/annual turnover?

How much have you spent on starting up your business? How did you finance this initial investment?

What is your predicted turnover for the next 12 months and why?

SECTION 17 – Business asset statement

What are the financial assets of the business including stock.