Monday, February 26, 2007
Not having childcare: Most parents assume they can do their jobs and watch their kids at the same time, but few do this successfully, and most end up burned out.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Most home-based businesses begin with an idea based on the interests, talents, contacts, expertise, and experiences of the individual who starts the business. The business can be product-based, service-based, or a combination of both. If you do not already know what type of business you are going to start, consider the following as guidelines:
Turn something you enjoy doing, such as a hobby, into a business. (Examples: sewing, gardening, child care)
Turn your current job skills into a business. (Examples: writing, consulting, auto repair, teaching classes)
Turn a talent into a business. (Examples: teaching piano, singing, dancing, or exercising)
Start a business doing things other people hate to do. (Examples: cleaning service, income tax service, repair service)
Turn technology into a business. (Examples: word processing, computer programming, computer servicing)
Use your vehicle to start a business. (Examples: yard service, pick-up/delivery service, moving service)
Turn your kitchen into a business. (Examples: catering, specialty foods, canning)
Turn your property into a business. (Examples: herb farming, fee-fishing/hunting, organic gardening)
Turn your knowledge into a business. (Examples: teaching classes/workshops/seminars, planning events)
These suggestions offered are just to get your thinking started. The possibilities are limitless. For additional help on deciding what type of business to start, read the many books available. Two suggestions to get you started are "Working From Home," and "Homemade Money," which are listed under the suggested reading section of this document.source & credit: http://msucares.com/business_assistance/homebusiness/bbspub.html
- Do you have a marketable skill or product to sell?
- Do you need the money?
- Are you a self-starter?
- Do you want to be your own boss?
- Do you have the self-discipline to maintain a work schedule at home?
- Do you want more flexibility in your work schedule?
- Can you take criticism and rejection?
- Can you switch from home responsibilities to work all under the same roof?
- Can you cope with the isolation of working from home?
- Have you discussed the business with your family?
- Is your family willing to support the business? To what level?
- Are you ready to treat your business as a business rather than as a hobby?
- Are you flexible when necessary?
- Do you have the money to cover a business start-up and initial operating costs?
- How will your customers/clients feel about your working from home?
- Is there adequate space in your home for your work?
Are you ready for a challenge? A home-based business may cause problems within the family. You need your family's support. They need to take you and your business seriously. What help can you expect or do you need from family members? Will you have adequate time to spend with your family? Use of their money, skills, and time often makes the difference between success and failure.
Lack of planning and insufficient financial backing join poor management as main reasons businesses fail. The majority of small businesses fail in the first few years of operation. Improve your chances of success by careful planning.
source & credit: http://msucares.com/business_assistance/homebusiness/bbspub.html
A boom in the home-based business sector does not guarantee success for every new entrepreneur. You need to provide a niche service or product, exhibit management competence and follow a comprehensive home based business plan to ensure sustained growth and success.
Though the scale and type of home based business operations may vary from a simple personal service or handicraft business that brings in a few hundred dollars to a sophisticated consultancy with an income in thousands of dollars, certain features are common to all the home based businesses. First, they all need a business plan. The need becomes more acute as only a planned and systematic approach will help you beat the comfortable and casual atmosphere at home and achieve discipline in work and time management.
A home based business plan must carefully research into all the legal and tax issues to evaluate the location suitability after checking the area zoning codes. A sketchy home based business plan that lacks in essential detail can prove very costly to the business owner in terms of loss in time, inadequate utilization of talent and less than optimum inflow of income.
The entrepreneurial personality is a major determining factor in the success of any home based business. Many aspiring home entrepreneurs thus enroll themselves in training courses. Others seek the assistance of skilled business professionals like the investment analysts, accountants and attorneys while drawing up their home based business plan and also to solve particular operational problems.
A home based business plan that seeks investment funding must include the details of your technical capability and address concerns regarding zoning law compliance and the legality of running this business in a residential area. Only then can it convince the prospective financer that your home based business is a serious venture and not a fleeting indulgence.
Article written and copyrighted by Growthink Business Plans. Reprinted with permission.
Who's The Star of Your Home-Based Business?
I received an email today from a new client gripped with pain and frustration. She had invested thousands into her new business and most recently the creation of a new product.
The launch was a dud and although she knew she was skilled in her craft and provided exceptional service, attracting clients was an exercise in futility. She was on the brink of throwing in the towel and walking away from her dream.
I suggested we evaluate several factors that could have contributed to the failed launch.
It could be any number of things from inadequate research prior to creating the product, to not communicating the value clearly, to not pricing it right, not overcoming objections or making the offer risk free to the customer …
We had some homework to do.
I decided to start with a quick review of her sales copy and quickly discovered …
It was all about her.
The eight-page sales letter mentioned her name 18 times. She named her product after herself and the copy was plastered with "I's" and "Me's."
There was very little reference to the potential buyer, what she could do for her, how she could make her life better, how she could solve her problems.
She mentioned she also had a surge of unsubscribes from her newsletter, so I started reading through archived issues.
Again, it was mainly about her with a few snippets of text actually directed to the reader. There was no real benefit in the content, but basically heartfelt stories about her life and the lessons she's learned.
The product offers in the newsletter read, "My store is open, here are the products, so go here to see more" and "The mate to my report is available, go here to get it."
Headlines read as, "What Can (Her Name Here) Do For Me?" when "Let (Insert Company Name) Help You …" would have focused on meeting the prospect's needs.
Unfortunately, this is a common error among many new entrepreneurs. Randomly visit some of the web sites of home-based and small business owners and you'll quickly discover how widespread this is.
As you're visiting these sites, put on the hat of a potential customer and pay attention to how "I" centered marketing makes you feel. If the copy is all about them with little regard to how you will benefit, does it make you want to pull our your wallet?
And what about communications that focus on you? Solving your problems, making your life easier, improving your relationships or financial position, giving you more freedom, etc. Would you be more inspired to look further into acquiring what they offer?
Once you're deep into the role of the potential client, go to your web site and read your copy from an objective standpoint. If it reads like a biography or resume, it's time for a facelift.
Read past issues of your newsletter, brochures, e-mail, etc.
You can have the best product in the world and be the best at what you do, but if people aren't inspired to open the door and come in, it doesn't really matter.
Here's an easy way to illustrate this lesson if you have people attending your home for products and services. They will have one of two experiences.
One – They come in, have a seat in your office, and you talk across your desk to them about what you do, how you do it, how long you've been doing it, the technology behind it, how great it is, how great you are and what your terms are.
Two – They arrive, are greeted with a cup of tea and a warm smile. You sit next to them and ask how they're doing and what has brought them to see you. You ask what challenges they're facing and what kind of solution they're looking for. Once you're absolutely clear on what they need, you then explain what type of results they can expect.
Will they be healthier, wealthier, happier, pain-free, respected, loved, promoted, smarter, more comfortable …?
Make it abundantly clear to your prospects at all times that they are the stars and will receive exceptional results by doing business with you.
This is one of the first rules to your home business success.
2007 © Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source
Laurie Hayes, founder and director of The HBB Source, helps freedom seekers cross the bridge from employee to home-based entrepreneur. Subscribe to her FREE e-zine for valuable tips and resources designed to create business success, at http://www.thehbbsource.com
Hundreds of thousands of individuals decide to start a home-based business each year. Many succeed. About 70 percent of all home based businesses are in operation after two years. Before entering this venture, entrepreneurs should consider several key questions:
-Can you operate the business alone with little help?
-Do you have contact with buyers or your services?
-Is the location such that distributors, sales staff, clients and others can reach it without -difficulty?
-Is start-up and operations capital available for the first year?
-Can the business really be operated from the home?
-Do you have separate spaces for storage, records, isolation, parking, etc.?
-Can a business in the home compete with similar businesses?
As in most businesses, there are advantages and disadvantages to the home-based business. A business in the home permits flexibility of working hours, lower start-up costs and allows family affairs to continue during business hours. There are also disadvantages—zoning restrictions may prohibit business, the IRS may raise tax questions, it may be difficult to get materials and customers to the location and financing the business could be challenging.
The IRS specifies that a home-based business must have its own location away from the family living space that is devoted exclusively to the business. The business must be in regular operation, profits must exceed expenses in order to claim deductions, the business must be conducted almost exclusively in the home and the motive must be profit.
A major challenge in operating a home-based business is isolation from distributors, merchants, clients and interested parties. Modern communications help to alleviate the problem—a computer is a necessity. A fax machine and Internet access are almost certainly necessary for communications within the business community. In addition, separate telephone phone lines must be installed for telephone, fax and Internet access and the business phone needs some type of answering service.
In summary, the business must be run as a business not as an extension of the home. It is essential that the prospective business owner have a good business and financial plan, separate from the family finances, that clearly spells out the present and future of the business.
Be aware that many neighborhoods have deed restrictions forbidding the operation of a business. Some require extra off street parking, others forbid deliveries and signs, etc. It is wise to check with your Home Owners Association and with your local government for a complete survey of your city or county regulations.
It may be difficult to raise capital. The average home-based business requires about $10,000 in start-up costs. Although this may be much less than opening a business outside the home, both the start-up and operating funds should be in hand before beginning the business operation.
Help is available. The National Association of the Self-employed (NASE) can provide help and information, as well as your local SCORE office. Find SCORE on this Web site to meet face-to-face with a professional business counselor.
This article was written by J.H.U. Brown, a counselor with the Houston SCORE Chapter, and a former director with the National Institutes of Health and health care administrator.