Advice on Choosing a Home Based Business

Is there too much month for the money? Do you dream of being debt free? Have a nicer home? Travel? Pay for private school or college for your children or grandchildren?

Can you picture yourself having a nicer home, perhaps near a tranquil lake with peaceful water and a golf course near by? Perhaps a mountain setting is more to your liking with snow capped peaks- where skiing and winter sports are easily accessible. Maybe the large city is for you with the arts available, opera, theater, museums, and art galleries. Or maybe a farm or ranch would be more to your liking, raising crops or animals, leading a quiet life.

Many people are attaining their dreams and the great American Dream by owning a home-based business. People are getting tired of dealing with large companies and are grateful to have a person to speak with and not answering machines and button pushing. People like to touch, smell, feel and see what is available. As a business owner you can fill that role for people by bringing a personal touch back into business and achieve your goals at the same time. Both people win, the owner and the customer.

Have you considered attaining that American Dream and owning your own business?

Here are some tips in choosing the right program for yourself.

o Is the company proven?

o What is their track record?

o Talk to those who have “made it”, not to those who quit. If you had a choice to learn a new sport from a pro or someone who never made the team, would you really not choose the pro? Treat your business the same. Look beyond a mentoring program that is offered, make sure it goes beyond “here is how to get started and good luck”.

o If you want to make it in business, treat your business like a business, not just a hobby. Establish business hours and adhere to them.

o Wrap yourself around a product that you can put your faith in and be faithful in using your own product. This establishes credibility for you. What sort of product do you want to represent? Is the market primed for it? Is there a hole you feel needs filled in the market?

o Think about your goals. Are you wanting just a little income or looking to replace your full time income?

o Don’t expect your business to be cost free. It should have minimal start up costs and minimal training costs but be real! If you want a real business, don’t short cut yourself. Be prepared to invest but don’t go overboard either by investing thousands. Be smart about your investment decisions. Realize it IS an investment.

o Find out if the company you are considering is limited to a certain region of the state, country, or world. If so, does that change or limit you or can you make a good living with those restrictions. Your business, you decide. Be prepared for either consequence.

o Find out what sort of inventory must be maintained? Do you need to stock up and fill your garage or can you maintain a minimum purchase with your personal use? Save yourself some time and money by not purchasing a bunch of inventory that you end up having to give away to get rid of it. Go for the minimal amount every month, usually around $100 retail, that you can use yourself so you have personal experience but not strapping yourself to a huge inventory.

Here are some benefits to running your own business:

o Tax advantages for working from home (consult your tax professional).

o Work your own hours.

o No boss to bother you.

o You get to determine your own income and finally get paid what you are worth.

o Bring a personal touch back to business.

o Bring mom-and-pop shop feeling back to business.

o Teach others about products that are missing from their life.

Owning and running your business is both frustrating and self-fulfilling. One thing to keep in mind is that no occupation is perfect and you have to choose your battles. Think about what it is that you do not or did not like in your day job and make a conscious effort to make those changes in your own business. If you bring on employees make sure to use the golden rule and treat others as you would like to be treated. Working your own business can be time consuming too so set office hours to keep yourself on a schedule so your family life can be strong too and not suffer for extra long hours of working a business.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a business so think carefully and choose wisely! The rewards far outweigh the costs!

Cash Flow Business Insights – Effectively Marketing Your Cashflow Business

As you begin to establish a cashflow investing business you will want to have some basic materials to assist you. What materials you use will vary depending on the approach you prefer to marketing. One thing you should keep in mind with this business is that it is a people business. You will do better as an investor if you are willing to talk to people and develop a talent for talking to people. Once you are willing to accept that this is a people business you can then setup and organize your approach.

You may need to start compiling a list of contacts or leads to work with. Business cards are a vital part of any business and especially so with this one. You will want to have them on your person all the time so you can work your business wherever you find yourself. If you wish to grow as a business you need to let those you meet know what you do and how that may help them.

Make sure you get some business cards as you start your business. Newsletters are also an important resource when working the cashflow business. You can use these newsletters for both professional referral sources and note holders. The importance of newsletters cannot be emphasized enough. This is what brings you your referral and residual business. This is the most exciting part of any business. Once you get the residual returns coming you can virtually sit back and watch it happen!

Flyers and brochures are also going to be an important part of your marketing toolkit. Simple flyers can be used to do co-op marketing with some businesses. They are also useful for local advertising on boards around the community. You can create many different flyers and brochures that are useful for many facets of your marketing with a simple word program on your computer. You do not need to create anything complicated. Simply specifying some details about what you offer will suffice.

Other options for marketing may include some of the following:

o Street signs/car magnet
o Radio and television (Works well but we hope you have lots of money)
o Co-op marketing (use flyers)
o Seminars and expos (use flyers, newsletters and brochures)
o Billboards (Works well but we hope you have lots of money)

What about lead lists you may wonder. In this business as with many a list of potential note holders is a good idea if you are going to work with direct marketing to note holders. There are some things to take into account when purchasing your leads. It is a cost that is well worth spending as long as you understand what the list is. A common misconception with these lead lists is that the list is “current” or “qualified”. I guess it is really your expectations that need to be corrected with this part of marketing.

Think about the implications of those two qualities and try to define what the words mean. When dealing with note holders the only information available is what can be found in public record when the note was created. To wonder if this information is “current” is immaterial. It is what it was when it was recorded. That is the only information that is available to the list compilers. The question about whether the leads are “qualified” is also not a valid one because once again the lead information is only what is available in the public record database. It is not often that a note is recorded with the phrase “I want to sell this note”.

The alternative to buying a lead list is to find the leads yourself, a process that is very time consuming and possibly frustrating when you need to work with such large numbers. You can buy a list of leads to circumvent the work involved in personal research for the information. When buying leads, be wary of anyone who tells you they have pre-qualified or motivated seller leads. Think about this; Why would they sell you the lead if the person wanted to sell the note for sure? I certainly would not sell those leads to you! You should never trust any company who makes such ridiculous promises.

When you do buy a list of leads for this kind of business you must accept that not all the marketing pieces you send out will reach the intended recipient. People move and progress changes everything. The address in public record may not even exist anymore. If you are determined to take this approach to marketing you must understand that a 30% undeliverable return rate is very normal. One more thing about those leads that you should understand is they will very seldom come with phone numbers.

In conclusion I would like to say that there are many great opportunities still available in this business. It is not for everyone and it does require effort to make such a business happen but the returns can be great if you put forth the effort needed. Marketing is important for any business and is actually a common part of all our lives.

It varies depending on what we are currently involves with but it is always there. We are already telling people what we are about and what we do in life. We are already gathering contacts for various parts of our life. Don’t complicate the issue by thinking that marketing this business is any different that what you already do.

Social Networking – A New Generation Of Business Development

Growing a business has its obvious challenges. The owner(s), usually with a limited allotment of initial resources, must battle the clock in creating a meaningful strategy to steal market share from larger competitors. A few pivotal client relationships can make or break the entire business. In many ways, these challenges have not changed over time-but in 2008, there are also new ways to compete.

Clicksharp Marketing has participated in a research effort involving Zoomerang and other Web 2.0 companies, surveying close to 500 businesses nationwide from a wide variety of industries. The objective was to understand the following about owners of small businesses: (1)

  • How they value new client relationships
  • How they approach lead generation
  • How comfortable they are with social networking on the Internet

New client relationships – the lifeblood of small business.

Imagine that two CEOs meet at a conference in New York. Sarah, the owner and president of up-and-comer Startup LLC, approaches Bob, the CEO of the multinational Megacorp Inc., asking for advice on how to grow her business. Bob finds that her concerns as a small business owner are far different from his:

  • Sarah places far more emphasis on new client relationships, knowing that her business will flounder if she does not continually generate new sources of revenue. (2)
  • Despite the obvious risks involved in depending too much on a small handful of clients, Sarah still finds it difficult to diversify her client roster by adding new ones. (3)
  • Whereas Bob employs a massive sales organization led by many capable managers, Sarah is reluctant to hire additional sales personnel to grow her business. (4)

In short, Sarah knows that her company is finished if she cannot find new sources of revenue. But with all the usual small business hurdles in front of her, where can she turn?

Social networking – a turnkey solution for business development?

A social network, according to PC Magazine, is “a virtual community for people interested in a particular subject.” (5) Popular examples today are Facebook, Myspace, and LinkedIn.

Sarah knows all about social media. When Bob told her how important word-of-mouth marketing has been for his business, she gave some thought to how social media can accomplish the same thing: (6)

  • Adding one contact gives her access to all their connections; with a little time, growing the company’s network exponentially would be easy.
  • With a keyword-driven interface, qualified individuals would have little trouble finding her company’s profile and engaging in meaningful discourse.
  • Information on products and capabilities, along with all positive feedback from clients, is easily picked up by search engines, making them a useful branding tool.

And she could accomplish all this without hiring more salespeople. Moreover, this marketing strategy would circumvent other major obstacles typical of new marketing campaigns: (7)

  • Upfront costs. Social networks thrive on user-generated content, a comparatively small investment of time and perhaps a nominal membership fee.
  • Lead time to implementation. Social networkers are “always on,” 24 hours a day. The more information goes out, the more feedback eventually comes back in. And unlike at Megacorp, seniority means little.
  • Return on investment (ROI). Whether or not Sarah records information on client development, social networks always leave a paper trail (or the electronic equivalent). This makes it easy to weigh acquisition costs against the revenues generated.

Which social media will generate the most leads for small businesses?

This will usually depend on the products and markets at hand, and can be better understood with the help of a marketing firm specialized in social media.

News Corporation bought Myspace after the site enjoyed tremendous growth at the hands of performing artists and urban socialites. Match.com and other dating sites thrive by delivering a measurable, lucrative advertising target. Emerging sites like Salesconx allow sales professionals to trade introductions to key decision makers.

For a small business competing in virtually any industry, chances are there is already a social network in place, bringing buyers and sellers together. According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. adults participating in social networks will grow to 69 million people in 2008 (a 21% increase over 2007). (8) Over time, one or two of those garage bands on Myspace might pan out, but the businesses which invest in this innovative form of interactive marketing have a much better chance at success.