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Smart-Starting Your Home Business

Now That You Are In Business—Make It Pay!

Home based businesses are the fastest growing segment of the global economy. This should not be surprising, but there are many who do not give these entrepreneurs the respect that they deserve. Home business is as American as apple pie. It was individuals, not huge corporations, that settled and grew the American business landscape. Most of our large corporations grew from the enterprise of those business pioneers.

Thomas Edison had his first shop in a shed behind his home. From that came General Electric. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone at his parent's home, and later started A T & T more commonly known as Ma Bell. Nearly all of the innovations that led to the Industrial Age were products of home and farm workshops. And, all of those innovators had to overcome obstacles that would stop the average person.

Good News — Bad News

In a full circle evolution the time is again ripe for home-based entrepreneurs. A home business can be started with a relatively small investment. One can choose the amount of time they want to spend, and they can decide when to spend it. A home business is the best way for the average person to get into business for themselves. That is both the good news and the bad news.

We've covered some of the good news. The bad news is that the average person is not prepared to run a business. That is the main reason that so many home businesses fail. It is essential to note here that we said the businesses fail. Most of the business people have not failed. For them the lack of success becomes a learning experience. Often a painful learning experience, but definitely a learning experience. Contrary to common belief, experience is not the best teacher It is the only teacher. In the home business arena the only failure is quitting.

Home based business owners enjoy a lot of freedom. They choose when and how to work, as well as being able to choose from a multitude of products that can be marketed. These are some of the many reasons home businesses have become so popular. There are also many reasons why an overwhelming majority of them never attain the success they wanted. Many who gain the freedom to choose when and how to work fail to establish the work habits that will lead to success.

It is axiomatic that you can work full time, or you can work part time. But you will not find many who were able to become successful in their spare time. Spare time has the mystical quality of disappearing. Something always comes up to fill spare time.

Then, there are so many good products available that there is a temptation to market more products robs some hard working people of the focus needed to attain true success. The common wisdom is to market only a few products that are in the same area, such as health and wellness, or beauty and cosmetics, or financial or legal services; or to morket only products that are complementary to each other. As an example, focusing on health and wellness and also marketing a service that focuses on business management or team building.

If you are serious about your success you can increase the probability by writing out your business plan. You have probably heard that sales is a numbers game—and be assured that it is. That doesn't mean that success is a lottery. There are a lot of things you can do to make the numbers work for you. As you work through this guide you will see how you can adjust different numbers in your success formula to change the balance between what you are doing, and what you are getting

The first item in writing your business plan, assuming that you already have a product to sell, is to find out how much product you need to sell to reach your income goals. Finding this out is a process.

Not everyone needs your product. And of those who do need it, some simply will not buy it. Some others will. For a first step in writing your business plan rely on the information provided by the company providing your product. The figures they give you are probably averages. Averages are a good starting point but keep in mind that no one is average. Everyone's production will either be above average or below average.

The truth is that in most situations 80% will be performing below the average and 20% will be performing above the average. What we want to do here is to help you raise your level, whether you are in the bottom 80% or in the top 20%. There is always room for improvement.

Another application of the 80 - 20 rule, known as the Pareto Principle, is that 80% of your production, or gain, or earning, will result from 20% of your activity. It is one of the better indicators of where to begin your improvement. Some honest analysis of your work habits and activities will not only show where you need to improve, but where you are more productive. Increasing your time in those activities will also boost your results.

If you are in the top 20% much of what you see here will be old hat. But read on—you just might find that one kernel that will raise you to the top 10% or top 5%.

Starting with the averages you will have an idea of how many sales you need to make to reach your goals. Next you need to know how many prospects you need make a sale. Then you need to learn how many suspects you need to wade through to find a prospect. You are going to learn the real truth about these numbers through experience It is rare when any two people will have exactly the same experience.

Just to make sure we are on the same page, let me clarify how I define suspects, prospects, and sales. A suspect is anyone you have any reason to think might be able to use what you are offering. A prospect is someone who definitely can use your product and has the ability to buy. A sale is when you have been paid for your effort.

Completing the paperwork, or enrollment process, is not always a sale. Sometimes prospects change their minds, so I don't count the sale until I have been paid. After all, that is one of the main reasons I do what I do.

The process of moving someone from suspect, to prospect, to sale is a whole other topic. And this process is the second step in your business plan.

Making the best use of your time in discarding the suspects who cannot qualify as prospects, and moving the prospects through the process in a predictable period of time is the turning point in a successful journey.

Discarding suspects is often the most difficult part of the process. There can be the feeling that you are losing something when you discard them. The process has two distinct terminals. One is in—the other is out. Whether you move someone in, or whether you move him or her out, the process has accomplished its purpose.

Once you have learned how many prospects you need to get a sale, and how many suspects you need to wade through to find a prospect, you can plan how much time it will take to get your message out to that many suspects.

Then assign yourself definite working hours to get the job done. You can do that because you are the boss. Establish a start time just like General Motors, IBM, and every other successful business does.

Don't condone absence or tardiness without good cause. You may need to force yourself to stick to the schedule at first but it will get easier over time. And it will be much easier When you see your profit growing.

Be Strict!

Keep this thought foremost in your mind, "Success is not an event—It is a journey."

Sometimes the trip will be less enjoyable that it is at other times. Perseverance through the bumpy parts of the trip is what puts a person in the Upper-20%, or the Upper-10%, where the rewards are the most gratifying. Everyone hits the bps, so welcome them—they are the portals to smoother roads.

If you want to improve your performance in that process I suggest that you give close attention on the information provided by your company. Listen carefully to what the successful people that have gone before you have to say. My strongest suggestion is "don't try to re-invent the wheel."

After you get some experience you may be able to make the wheel roll more smoothly,
but by all means, use the wheel you are given.