Your Own Home Business – Just a Dream?

Could you have your own home business and be your own boss? Is it just a dream? Would you like to have a nice income and work flexible hours? You would like that, wouldn’t you? But the hard truth is that most of us are to scared to make that step into the big unknown. What about the money required to start up the business? What about the income of your cosy current job?

You could start your new business from home. And the best part is that it costs no money. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and an area in your house where you can establish your office. And voila, your internet home business is ready to kick off.

Next question, what do you sell? Well, you could get involved in Affiliate Marketing. Many people have done so before you and are making a great living. It allows you to sell a service or even a product. You best start out with selling services as this takes very little money.

Now that you have decided what to sell, it is time to look at your skills. For example, if your forte is designing web sites, then you could easily register it with Yahoo or Google to get traffic with the help of their search engine. In case of the site being set up for sales, it could result in more sales! Your site will over time get more views and therefore potentially more sales.

Another thing you could do is to provide other web sites with traffic. And how would you do that? Well, there are many affiliate programs out there that need traffic to their sites in order to sell their products. If you are able to drive traffic to them, they make more sales and you profit as well by getting a generous commission. You could use free methods such as blogs, links, Web2.0 sites, etcetera.

There is yet another way to make money from your web site. You could use your site to get ads placed on through Google (AdSense) or Yahoo (Publisher). You will get revenue whenever someone clicks the ad on your site. Everything is taken care of from ad placement to the advertising costs involved. The advertisers will also ensure that the ads placed on your site are relevant to the content of your site. Otherwise the ads won’t receive a single click.

You can actually start working from home as a part time solution. As long as you have a computer on line and an area to work, you are all set to go. Keep your day job until you are confident that your home business income is sufficient to replace it. As you go along, spent more time on your home business to ensure that it grows to the level required to quit your day job, if that is what you want to achieve.

The only thing you have to do now is to stop procrastinating and get on with what you really want. You will find that affiliate programs and other services are providing you with the easiest vehicle to start and succeed online.

By utilizing the current affiliate programs, it is possible to earn enough money and steadily built your skills to enable you to venture out into other areas. Eventually you will be able to do your own thing entirely, but for now your sights should be set on marketing and learning.

To your success online.

To Learn About Your Business, Just Look Around

As a small business it’s important that you learn as much as you can about who your customers are. Now, I’m not talking here about an expensive market research program, although sometimes that kind of investment is needed. Rather, I’m talking about everyday things you can do.

For example, if you are already in business you could just look around you. During one of your busiest times stop what you’re doing and really look at who’s in your business, noting specifics like gender, age, family status and so on.

In the hustle-bustle of operating a business day-to-day, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of just thinking of “customers” as faceless bodies handing you $20 bills. If you stop and look, really look, at your customers you might be surprised at what you see.

Here’s a real world story to illustrate. At a chamber of commerce event once I sat next to a gentleman who introduced himself as the manager of one of those smorgasbord-style restaurants.

As a way to make a connection I remarked that he was well-positioned to take advantage of the growing senior market, who, I thought, tended to like that restaurant format.

To my surprise he answered, “I don’t want any of those %$#*& old people in my restaurant.”

To make a long story short we ended up making a bet. I said at least 20 percent of his customers were seniors, he said it was no more than 10 percent. If I was right, he’d pay for my lunch; if he was right, I’d pay for my own.

The deal was every day for a week, during the noon rush he would stop whatever he was doing and really look at who was sitting in his restaurant, particularly counting the number of gray heads.

Much to his shock, he found that fully one-third of his customers had gray heads. So, do you think that might have caused him to think differently about which media he was promoting in and what he was promoting?

By the way, the reason he tended to only see certain customers as “those %$#*& old people” is because they were the ones who complained about their potatoes being cold or their meat being tough. Otherwise, “customers” to him were just faceless entities handing him $10 or $20 bills.

For a small business there is no such thing as knowing too much about your customers or potential customers.

Marketing a Small Business: Just Stop and Think

Does the thought of a marketing plan make you feel excited and energised?

Many small business owners fight the idea of working to set plans or marketing strategies which feel contrived, and prefer to keep their marketing “natural”.

But if you need more clients what do you do?

A first reaction is often to take some action but unfortunately you might end up with the wrong client, or the wrong deal. This can result in activity which could even set your business back. A better response is to stop and think which will help you gain a compelling clarity to make it easier for the right prospects to buy from you.

Even if you don’t have a plan and hit a problem, there is often a temptation to just keep on doing what you were doing. In fact it can be difficult to take the foot off the brake and stop and think. Even when that wonderful golden opportunity – low hanging fruit – falls right into your hand it can be important to stop and think to make the most of it. There may be a chance to try things a new way, from your presentation or PR, to the type of target market or new partners you really want.

Regular space to step back and think about the big picture helps you to avoid getting off track. That big single client, for example, who looks like the perfect solution, might tie up too many resources. To build your business effectively it might be better to go out and target one market niche, and aim to pull in 5 smaller clients.

When you take the time to stop and think, talk in everyday language. Business jargon or code often makes it harder to see what is real in your business. There are only three things that matter: Them, You and It.

Stop and think about:

Them

Think about your clients. Who do you like to work with, what kinds of problems you enjoy solving for them? What do they value about you, and what do they really gain from working with you?

You

Whether you are the boss or an employee, your story and your approach is what your clients will “buy”. Don’t leave yourself out of your business. Think about how you got to be the person you are, and what is important to you about what you do.

It

This exchange of skill for money is the link between you. How much does your product and service range reflect what you and your customers really want?

How you relate these three elements emerges once you have the main pieces in place. Taking the time to get away from the day to day pressure is a great help for freeing up your ideas. Many people discover they have had breakthrough thoughts immediately on waking, or after a car journey or a walk in nature. It is often when you are relaxed that the ideas and insights appear. Don’t rush the process.

Another great catalyst is a person who is not deeply involved in what you do. He or she can challenge your assumptions and make you stop and think. A coach, mentor or business-savvy friend could be the perfect answer. Choose the person wisely and make sure they can encourage any unformed and semi-developed ideas.

The other alternative is to respond to questions through the anonymity of a book or e-course. This can be more freeing than responding or reacting to a real human being. You are still encouraged to think deeply but you gain the absolute clarity and confidence that you are the creator of your business.

The more simple your business is to you, the more confidently you walk the path to success.