Many folks think that building their own home-based business is the opportunity of a lifetime. We fall in love with the idea of being our own boss, setting our own schedule, even the idea of no longer having to wear a corporate uniform every day is a huge draw for some would-be entrepreneurs.
Every day, I see ads on the internet and twitter, “How to make $1000 a day from home.” or “I made $671 today on Twitter, let me show you how.” There are a lot of opportunities out there but none of them will make you a fortune overnight. In fact, if someone tells you that, they are lying to you and just trying to get your enrollment fee in their program.
When I was a kid my father told me, “There are no free lunches. You get what you pay for.” In terms of business, his advice is still true. There are NO legit get-rich-quick schemes. Do not be fooled. Home-based businesses are enterprises based on direct transactions, not just entities where checks start magically appearing in the mail.
Most of the self-made millionaires I know, said it took 5 to 10 years for them to become an overnight success. There are all kinds of multilevel marketing programs (MLM) out there, but beware of the business model that has more emphasis on signing other people up to sell, as opposed to selling the actual product.
Real effort and thought is required to build a successful business, and much of it is required before you ever open the business.
Develop a Lifeplan Have you really thought about what your life is going to be like as an entrepreneur. Will you work 7 days per week, 12-hour days? Do you have the energy to work like that? Working all alone in a back bedroom or in your basement behind a lonely PC could be a big adjustment. Isolation is the enemy of entrepreneurship. Working at home can also present a lot of distractions such TV watching, noisy neighbors, personal calls phone, napping, chores etc. How will you combat your environment?
Build Your Network People do business with people they like and know. Are you now more internally at your company than externally? Do you have a complete Linkedin profile? How many times per month do you attend or plan on attending networking functions? Everywhere you go, you need to talk up your new business. Try the hair salon, trade association, supermarket, your child’s daycare – even at your current job. Build the contacts you will need to build your business. Always be ready to promote your business.
Know Your Industry Have you done extensive business research on the market and industry trends? Even if you are going to sell May Kay, you need to know how many other Mary Kay ladies are in your area or operate in your church. Is the market saturated? Is there already a lady with a pink Cadillac in your neighborhood who’s cornered the market?
Develop a Marketing Strategy How will you do the bulk of your advertising and marketing? Will you strictly use the internet? Will you blog and use article marketing to attract clients? Will you outsource your social media? Will you need a social media coach or virtual assistant to help manage your internet footprint? Whatever your strategy, you will have limited time and resources to make a big splash, so be willing to do what your competitors are not willing to do to get noticed in the marketplace..
Develop Strategic Alliances Approaching a complementary business is a great strategy. You can help each other grow in business, trade tips and resources. If you are a massage therapist, partnering with a chiropractor could be a good move and a great referral business. See what kind of referral agreement you can work out. You never know what kind of deal people might be willing to make with your business. Now, not every business owner will be eager to partner with you, but networks are built one relationship at a time. You will never know until you ask. They might not be interested now, but maybe later…
Having a home-based business is like opening any other business except that your business happens to be headquartered in your home. If you plan well, do your market research, build your network before you start and while you are running your business, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, and build strategic alliances your business will be far more likely to be successful.
For more tips on how to start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog.www.succeedasyourownboss.com