Back to School On How To Start A Business At Home
There are many reasons for individuals to consider how to start a business at home. For many it is a necessity or a way to make positive alternations in their lives. For others it may be an idea that they want to pursue. Whatever the reason is, running a business is never a cake walk; particularly in tough economic times.
Here are a few business lessons to help you make it through the toughest times.
1. Cash Is King When Starting A Business
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on profits instead of cash flow. Let’s face it, we live in a world where crap happens. As an entrepreneur, you need to be prepared before you jump in and decide to expand on credit or take on expenses you cannot comfortably afford. In the beginning stages of your business, always remember to keep your expenses low and your overhead as low as possible. Keep an updated balance sheet of your revenues, expenses, your shipping charges (if you are in a business where you need things shipped to you or for you), etc. As a general rule, spend 10% of your total cash flow on new advertising methods such as Google Ad-Words, PPC, or hiring someone to do your SEO, this formula has worked well for me. Look to always get at least a 20% return on your investment in any marketing efforts you take forth.
2. Testing Is A Must To Succeed In Business
With any marketing campaign you may embark on, test where everything is coming from. Put a special tracking number on each one, borrow your friends’ phone numbers if you have to, but track where each customer or client is coming from. You must always test what marketing techniques are working, in order to not burn through your cash flow.
3. Outsourcing Your Business
The most valuable asset you will ever be gifted with on this planet is your time. Making financially incompetent decisions will set you back, but making time incompetent decisions will destroy you in the business world. Imagine for a second how much work you could get done if you cloned your self? Imagine how many more hours you could work? How much more money could you make? I can teach you or at least guide you to what I believe is one of the most important skills that any entrepreneur can master. That skill is outsourcing.
Also remember the reason you are hiring these workers. You can use them to do the work that you hate doing, but have to do. The great thing is that some of these people have 8 to 10 years of experience in their respective fields. Imagine hiring someone full-time to do your search engine optimization that has 10 years of experience! I can tell you right now that it is going to cost you several thousands of dollars; while with outsourcing you can hire the same person for a fraction of the price. Now that ladies and gentleman is what you call leverage.
4. Grow Your Business With Like-Minded Entrepreneurs
You will only be as successful in life as the people you talk to for no reason. Any entrepreneur should hang out with like-minded people, but not only that, hang out with people who out class you. If you are making a million dollars a year, hang out with people that make that in a month. Your game will automatically be elevated when you are paired against great competition. Keep in touch with them and interact with them on a regular basis. These same people may set up your distribution network for a future business or provide you with the funding you may need for a future endeavor.
5. Focus On Adding To Your Business
I have been guilty of this mistake too many times. Ask your self this question: what can I do for my customers right now to make their experience a memorable one? Calling them on a first name basis would be a great place to start. How can I make her/his product or service more efficient? What is my client currently not receiving that she/he should be receiving? These kinds of questions buy something that cannot be purchased: loyalty.
6. Qualify your buyers (Use your ads to disqualify)
Either you’re learning how to start a business at home or are an experienced business owner, we will always encounter undesirables. Meaning those slivering people that will do almost anything to get a lower price, even after you already offered them a discount. They will threaten to write bad reviews or even get you assaulted. I call these people the “bottom of the barrel.” You must learn to disqualify buyers like these in order to protect the integrity of your business and also to protect your time. Dealing with an unqualified buyer can be quite easy if you know what you are doing. I would highly recommend that you use your marketing techniques to funnel in qualified prospects.
7. Piggybacking For Your Business
Piggybacking is a technique that I have used to save a lot of time in my business. The overall concept is to copy what your competitors are already doing and “piggy back” off their hard work. Study their ads: Why are they written the way they are written? Why are they placed where they are placed? Why did they build their business model the way they did? How do they go about hiring? Why do they corner the market? Part of being successful in business is to be a continuous student of the game. So before you embark on any business venture remember to always work intelligently before you work hard.
8. The Business Rule 80/20
When you first learn how to start a business at home, you will have to apply 80/20 Rule to your busness and keep it forever. The 80/20 Rule is the concept that 80% of what you do yields 20% of your results. This principle applies itself everywhere in life. A lot of people focus too much on activity and not on results. You should focus all of your marketing efforts on what is going to bring you the most clientele. You learn to do this by first studying your competition, mimicking what they are doing correct, and lastly capitalizing on it by using the 80/20 rule to maximize results. Test what brings in the majority of your clients and focus solely on that. By simply focusing on whichever funnel runs the majority of the market share, you will save your self a lot of time and money.
80/20 Rule: remember it, live by it, apply it.
One final lesson on how to start a business at home
Entrepreneurship is a game. If you are not having fun; you’re not playing the game well. Make sure what you’re doing, no matter what it is, is fun to you and adding value to your life.
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