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- Do you want your home business to succeed for you?
- Want to work at home and succeed, work from home and get the
success you want.
- Do you want new home business to grow?
- Without turning life into a nightmare?
- Do you want home business to become a business you can be proud
- Do you want to learn from mistakes? Or learn from others and
save time and money?
The truth about home businesses is that:
- 40% of home businesses will fail within 12 months!
- All but 10% will be gone within five years
- 96% of home business owners never want to go back to working
for someone else
- The owner will always remain the key employee
- 95% of home businesses do not operate in the way that the owner
wants them to
- Over 90% of owners think that it is impossible to get the people
they really need
- Over half of all home businesses never make any money
Thinking of owning and managing your own business? It's a good idea - provided you know what it takes and have what it takes.
Starting a business is risky at best; but your chances of making it go will be better if you understand the problems you'll meet and work out as many of them as you can before you start.
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With the advent of affordable technologies and e-commerce, more businesspeople are launching a home business. Money is a primary reason for the decision, as many home-based entrepreneurs start with less than $5,000 and no savings but there are thousands of small-business owners who would not have it any other way.
Here are some things you must consider:
- How much foot traffic will you have? Clients, salespeople, and mail carriers may all need to visit. Is your home zoned for business applications? Will your insurance company cover any accidents? Is your home set up to accommodate visitors although it can be fairly easy to meet at a client's place of business, a restaurant, or a coffee shop. For bigger meetings, check with your Chamber of Commerce -- you may be able to use the conference room for free.
- How much space do you have? Will it allow for expansion as you add clients and equipment? Adding a second printer, scanner and more file drawers makes it trickier.
- How will your family adjust to the office? Will you be able to have a dedicated space, with no intrusions? Will you be able to keep your business phone off limits to others? Will your equipment be used only for business, or will you have to vie for time on the computer? Will there be resentment if you're home and not spending time with your family?
- Can you keep your business and personal life separate? Can you work if the dog is barking, the kids are screaming, or the laundry needs to be done? Will you be able to stop and start working at certain times?
- Think about the environment in which you'll be working. Try to pick a space with good natural light and a door you can close to the outside world.
Starting A Home Business
Starting a business from home is a great way to ease into your new business. If you are not well suited to home-based business, you will know very quickly; as you grow and become successful, you can always move to a larger space outside your home.
A majority of people who set up a home business may not know what makes it successful. Most of them have been misled into believing that home business is all about working 2-3 hours a day and making loads of money. Had it been that easy, everyone would have been into home business. This statement is by no means meant to discourage those who are just into it or are planning to start their own home-based business. The fact is that a home business has great growth potential, provided it is done using proper business strategy.
- Do not blindly follow the person trying to initiate you into some home business. If you are thinking of dealing in a product or products, you will have some research to do independently and not rely on the figures handed out by that person. Ascertain the present demand of the product in the market. Look a few years or a decade ahead to determine whether the product will have a market then. Try to target people who have the maximum disposable incomes.
- Study the needs of the people and see what products will suffice those needs presently and in the coming future. It is best to avoid products that have competition. Consumers normally prefer branded products, which they like buying from a big retail store. Big brands have huge advertisement budgets, which will drown your product in no time. The markets that are expanding fast are Internet Marketing, Mail-order marketing, Personal care industry, and Health and Wellness industry. Products and services related to these markets have a great growth potential.
- It is best to deal in a product that has repeat order value. A consumer product backed by efficient service and delivery time will have people ordering from you repeatedly.
- Your home business would do well where you do not have to stock goods at home and unnecessarily block your money. Book orders for the products and let the delivery be handled by the company. You save yourself a lot of botheration that way.
- Make sure that the company provides you with all the training you require to sell the product. Most people doing home business have little idea about business in the first place. Thus, it is essential to have proper back up from the company.
- A business that works on the leverage concept is what you should aim at, which gives you enough support to accomplish your business. Were you to work on your own, you would have been better off in a job.
- The parent company, whose products you sell, should be long standing and have a reputation in the market. Learn more about the way they function, especially, their delivery system. If they cannot handle multiple order deliveries, be prepared to face an army of complaining customers.
- A little discretion applied now will save you a lot of bother later, and help your business grow the way you want it to.
Home Business - Marketing
There are also some marketing concerns to being based at home. Although there are millions of home-based businesses now, there is still a stigma associated with working from home. If you decide to launch from home, keep in mind the following:
- Don't use your home address for your business cards, stationery, collaterals, etc. Better to have a PO box where you can get all your mail. It looks better than 123 Anywhere Road.
- Without a storefront, your image is all you have. Spend time and money to make your business cards, brochures, and stationery reflect a truly professional operation. Not to sound like a broken record, but please don't make your business cards and stationery on your own (unless you're a graphic designer). Don't use those pre-perforated business cards you can buy at office stores. It's tempting but business cards are relatively inexpensive to have designed and professionally printed.
- Don't skimp on a dedicated phone line. A phone line for business use only is absolutely necessary. Get yourself set up for voice mail, rather than an answering machine (it sounds more professional.) Don't skimp on Internet connections either.
- Make sure that you can close out the noise of your household.
- Answer the phone professionally. If you have little kids, don't let them answer the phone. It won't seem cute to your clients.
- Get out of the house every day, even if it is just to get the mail or take a brisk walk. Creativity suffers the longer you spend in one place. Being at your computer screen in all day can suck the mental sharpness right out of you.
- Stay involved in outside meetings and activities. Plan lunch dates, go to seminars, check in with customers and prospects. Don't stay trapped in your office.
Home Business - Questions
Here are some questions to help you think through what you need to know and do. Answer each question with a YES or NO. Where the answer is NO, you have some work to do.
Before You Start
- Are you the kind of person who can get a business started and make it go?
- Think about why you want to own your own business. Do you want to badly enough to keep working long hours without knowing how much money you'll end up with?
- Have you worked for someone else as a foreman or manager?
- Have you had any business training in school?
- Have you saved any money?
How About the Money?
- Do you know how much money you will need to get your business started?
- Have you determined how much money of your own you can put into the business?
- Do you know how much credit you can get from your suppliers -- the people you will buy from?
- Do you know where you can borrow the rest of the money you need to start your business?
- Have you figured out what net income per year you expect to get from the business?
- Count your salary and your profit on the money you put into the business. Can you live on less than this so that you can use some of it to help your business grow?
- Have you talked to a banker about your plans?
How About a Partner?
- If you need a partner with money, do you know someone who will fit - someone you can get along with?
- Do you know the good and bad points about going it alone, having a partner, and incorporating your business?
- Have you talked to a lawyer about it?
How About Your Customers?
- Do most businesses in your community seem to be doing well?
- Have you tried to find out whether stores like the one you want to open are doing well in your community and in the rest of the country?
- Do you know what kind of people will want to buy what you plan to sell?
- Do people like to live in the area where you want to open your store?
- Do they need a store like yours?
- If not, have you thought about opening a different kind of store or going to another neighbourhood?
- Have you found a good building for your store?
- Will you have enough room when your business gets bigger?
- Can you fix the building up the way you want it without spending too much money?
- Can people get to it easily from parking spaces, bus stops, or their homes?
- Have you had a lawyer check the lease and zoning?
Equipment and Supplies
- Do you know just what equipment and supplies you need and how much they will cost?
- Can you save some money by buying second-hand equipment?
- Have you decided what things you will sell?
- Do you know how much or how many of each you will buy to open your store with?
- Have you found suppliers who will sell you what you need at a good price?
- Have you compared the prices and credit terms of different suppliers?
- Have you planned a system of records that will keep track of your income and expenses, what you owe people, and what other people owe you?
- Have you worked out a way to keep track of your inventory so that you will always have enough on hand for your customers but not more than you can sell?
- Have you figured out how to keep your payroll records and take care of tax reports and payments?
- Do you know what financial statements you should prepare?
- Do you know an accountant who will help you with your records and financial statements?
Your Store and The Law
- Do you know what licenses and permits you need?
- Do you know what business laws you have to obey?
- Do you know a lawyer you can go to for advice and help with legal papers?
Buying a Business Someone Else Has Started
- Have you made a list of what you like and don't like about buying a business someone else has started?
- Are you sure you know the real reason why the owner wants to sell this business?
- Have you compared the cost of buying the business with the cost of starting a new business?
- Is the stock up to date and in good condition?
- Is the building in good condition?
- Will the owner of the building transfer the lease to you?
- Have you talked with other business owners in the area to see what they think of the business?
- Have you talked with the company's suppliers?
- Have you talked with a lawyer about it?
- Have you decided how you will advertise? (newspapers -- posters -- handbills -- radio -- mail?)
- Do you know where to get help with your ads?
- Have you watched what other stores do to get people to buy?
The Prices You Charge
- Do you know how to figure what you should charge for each item you sell?
- Do you know what other stores like yours charge?
- Do you have a plan for finding out what your customers want?
- Will your plan for keeping track of your inventory tell you when it is time to order more and how much to order?
- Do you plan to buy most of your stock from a few suppliers rather than a little from many, so that those you buy from will want to help you succeed?
- Have you decided whether you will have sales clerks or self-service?
- Do you know how to get customers to buy?
- Have you thought about why you like to buy from some sales clerks while others turn you off?
- If you need to hire someone to help you, do you know where to look?
- Do you know what kind of person you need?
- Do you have a plan for training your employees?
Credit for Your Customers
- Have you decided whether or not to let your customers buy on credit?
- Do you know the good and bad points about joining a credit-card plan?
- Can you tell a deadbeat from a good credit customer?
A Few Extra Questions
- Have you figured out whether or not you could make more money working for someone else?
- Does your family go along with your plan to start a business of your own?
- Do you know where to find out about new ideas and new products?
- Do you have a work plan for yourself and your employees?
- If you have answered all these questions carefully, you've done some hard work and serious thinking. That's good. But you have probably found some things you still need to know more about or do something about.
- Do all you can for yourself, but don't hesitate to ask for help from people who can tell you what you need to know. Remember, running a business takes guts! You've got to be able to decide what you need and then go after it.
Great Businesses were Planned that way!
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