January | 2013 | Work From Home Site
Got a great idea that you know the market is just dying to get their hands on? Sick of working for a manic dictator and ready to chance your hand at making your own way in the world? Ready to pursue your dream of being a rich and famous entrepreneur?
Lots of people are in the same boat as you and the reality is about 80% of them will fail. The main reason they will fail is that they head down this path with blind optimism and excitement for what is posÂsible, reacting and adapting to circumÂstanceâ€™s as they unfold until they crash into an insurmountable barrier that sinks the ship. Or they sink slowly into a scenario where they are working long hours for no or very little pay. They end up stressed out, burn out and kicked out and head back to a day job, their dreams of business success in tatters.
If you donâ€™t want this to be you, take the time to explore these ten tips and build a solid foundation for your success
Â 1 . SET UP FOR SUCCESS.
Be clear on what you want. What you want is one thing, but being crystal clearon why you want it is what really pushes you to achieving it.
Get really clear on why itâ€™s important, why itâ€™s a must do and there is every chance it will happen.
Take a while to write down WHY you are going into business and what it is that you want to achieve. It will most certainly revolve around one of two things:
FREEDOM – the desire to do what you want or have enough money to do what you want with whom you want when you want.
FULFILLMENT – the desire to do someÂthing worthwhile, to contribute, to be sucÂcessful.
When you have clearly mapped your reasons for being in business, put it in a frame and keep it close by so that it serves as a reminder of why youâ€™re still working at 111pm at night. Or why you havenâ€™t had a holiday for two years, or why you are paying staff a fair wage and receiving a pittance yourself.
2. CONTAIN COSTS.
No you donâ€™t need a company car, helicopter, office, wiz bang telephone system, and the latest and best computer. The reason you hear that people like Steve Jobs started a business in their garage is that costs are the thing thatâ€™s going to kill your start up quickest.
Avoid adding costs at any cost. Be as frugal as possible. Bargain and negotiate at every single turn for the best deal. Do not spend any money that you donâ€™t haveÂ to. Learn to get by on the smell of an oily rag.
For meetings use someone elseâ€™s office or boardroom or use a serviced office. Get a mobile phone and plan that does the job but doesnâ€™t cost you an arm and a leg. In the beginning, you donâ€™t even need busiÂness cards or a website because people will buy:
a. YOU – the passion you have for what you do or the product or facility you proÂvide.
b. – The relationship they have with YOU, so trust, respect and credibility come into play. Yes it IS all about YOU
3. DONâ€™T DO STUFF.
Initially you have to do everything. You are sales, marketing, operations, accounts, cleaner, CEO, employer, employee, but as you progress do not conÂtinue to do the things youâ€™re not good at.
If you can spend an hour making a sale thatâ€™s worth hundreds or thousands of dolÂlars then donâ€™t waste your time doing your own bookkeeping (which you hate and you canâ€™t get it to add up) when you can pay someone else to do it in a fraction of the time.
Donâ€™t spend 2 days sorting out your website when a 19 year old `gen yâ€™ can doÂ it in 15 minutes for $50. Choose carefully where you allocate your most valuable asset – your time. Itâ€™s easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty when you should be doing what you do best.
4. PLAY HARD.
If you are going to be a big success, you have to put in a big effort. In any game that you want to win you have to play hard.
So donâ€™t go at it half-hearted, give it everything youâ€™ve got. You donâ€™t want to be left wondering that your business might have been more successful if you had tried harder, put in a little more effort or stayed at it a little bit longer. If you are going to play the game of business, play all in and flat out.
Itâ€™s easy to look at successful people like Richard Branson and think “I would love that lifestyle.” Trust me, that lifestyle didnâ€™t come easy; he worked hard at it and so does every successful entrepreneur. They got, to where they are because they worked hard to get there. There are few shortcuts in business. It takes effort but if you are clear on what you want out of it and stick at it, it will be worth it.
5. DO IT
In a business world where trends, techÂnologies, markets and customer needs are changing at an ever increasing pace, 5 year plans just donâ€™t cut it. In fact 2 year and even 1 year plans can be useless. I prefer to work in 90 day blocks. 90 days gives you enough time to get some momentum going but not lose touch by sticking it on the backburner and get lost or swallowed up by everything else.
Ask yourself. What do I want to focus on achieving in the next 90 days? In fact what would be the next best thing for my business. Then get cracking on that makÂing sure it gets done. Thatâ€™s how you get ahead and make progress. For more details on how to choose your priorities, create a plan and execute on that plan check out my new book “Play a Bigger Game.”
6. PURPOSE OF A BUSINESS.
I believe the purpose of a business is to create and keep customers. Most people would say it is to make money or make a profit. However, ultimately its customers or clients that make a business survive. When you get the margins on your prodÂucts right (lets say you make $10 from every customer) and you have 1,000 cusÂtomers, thatâ€™s $100,000 dollars, if you can keep those customers coming back and if you create 1,000 new customers, you have doubled your profits to $200,000.
Customers are the key, turn them into raving fans and the dollars will look after themselves. It worked for Richard Branson and Virgin, it worked for Steve Jobs and Apple, it works for Harley Davidson, Disneyland and Nike and it has worked for me.
Have you ever wondered whether your hobby or special skill could turn into a profitable business? If the answer is yes, then what has stopped you from giving it a go?
Many successful businesses have started as weekend hobbies and have become successful part time and even full time businesses for their owners.
And the only difference between where they are now and where you are at the moment is that they took the first step.
Setting up a shop or renting out office space and fitting it out can be costly, so unless you are absolutely sure and have done your research, itâ€™s best to test the waters first. And the easiest way to do that is by setting up a web-site. You can either hire a website designÂer or do it yourself. There are many online tools which will help you do that.
Two of the most important things that your website should have are:
1. Clean design and easy navigation.
2. All the information your potential cusÂtomer may need to make a decision whether to hire you or buy your products. When people are looking online, they donâ€™t want to wait until they can contact you by phone, they want the details right there and then.
Remember on the internet, you are competing with thousands of other websites, so itâ€™s critical that you prove you are the expert in your field and that you have credibiliÂty.
- Include testimonials from current customers. If you donâ€™t have any yet, give away your products or servÂices for free in return for feedback.
- Before and after shots – show problem pictures and beside them show how your product/service resolved the problem.
- Offer Money Back Guarantee Âthe longer the better.
- Contact Details – ensure you clearly display how they can contact you.
- If you belong to a trade associations, display their logo and details.
- Media – include any articles or photos that have appeared in online and offline media.
- Return/Refund Policy – Ensure this is easy to understand and spelt out step by step.
- Awards – if you have won any awards, include their details.
Here are some ideas of hobbies that can you turn into a great business:
- Baking cookies / cakes for local cafes and restauÂrants.
- Chocolate making.
- Flower arranging.
- Teaching kids how to play soccer / netÂball / tennis / surfing / skateboarding.
- Jewellery making or teaching.
- Cake decorating. – Candle making.
- Renovating houses.
- Designing stationery.
- Book writing.
- Plants / flower / herb growing and sellÂing.
- Teaching photography / dancing / sailÂing / knitting / pottery / computer skills to adults.
- Running fitness classes.
- Event planning and organising.
- Writing for online publications.
- Being a tour guide. – Film making.
- Fixing things.
- Restoring furniture.
- Creating gift hampers.
- Personal training.
- Collecting and selling antiques / art.
- House organising.
- Event planning.
So if youâ€™ve ever thought of starting your own business, why not just go for it. What have you got to lose?
The World Wide Web presÂents a wealth of opportunity for writers to make money from their homes blogging, writing web copy, and writing marketing emails, but home business writers who want to profit from eWriting must learn a few new tricks. The rules of copywriting arenâ€™t quite the same as those that apply in the off-line world.
That doesnâ€™t mean that all the old rules of writing marketing copy should be disÂcarded. Understanding what worked in the off-line world is the first requirement for writing successful copy for the Web, but the Web has attracted an impatient and fickle audience. Winning web copy must capture attention quickly, and hold it long enough to ensure the reader absorbs all the important information.
As with all marketing copy, the aim of web copy is to drive readers to offer your MWR: your Most Wanted Response. The first requirement for an eWriter, then, is to understand the site hostâ€™s MWR. It might be to attract inquiry via telephone or email, or to get a visitor to fill in a form. It might be to have the visitor sign up as a site member or to receive a newsletter or e-bulÂletin. It might be to attract the visitorâ€™s attention to where a store is located and plan to visit. Or it might be to have the visÂitor make an immediate purchase from the website.
Whatever the MWR, every word on the website must be carefully selected, every sentence carefully structured, and every link strategically planned to lead the reader through information that will make them salivate over whatâ€™s on offer, then lead them to give the desired response.
To successfully hold a readerâ€™s attenÂtion, write and format web copy in an F shape. Journalists will be familiar with the concept of the inverted pyramid. For decades, cadet journalists have been trained to ensure the most important inforÂmation is at the top of their article. The nice-to-know but not essential information follows, and the least important informaÂtion trails at the end. If the editor must cut the article because of space limitations, itâ€™s easy to cut from the end without removing any of the vital information.
Skilled web writers know that people generally read web pages in an F pattern.
The most important information-the hook?should therefore appear across the top ofÂ the page, in the first paragraph. The area between the horizonÂtal bars of the F should contain nonÂcritical information, and further very important informaÂtion should be placed in a horizontal line across the centre of the page, and in a narrow column on the left hand side of the page.
Skilled eWriters take their readers on an enjoyable boat ride, in a SCIFF
(Apologies for the misspelling). They write copy that is:
- Factual, and
Simplicity is essential to ensure that readers understand what you write. You might possess an impressive vocabulary, but if copy isnâ€™t written so that a ten-year-old can readily understand it, many readers might fail to understand the message.
It should be obvious that holding the readerâ€™s interest is vital, otherwise readersÂ will stop reading and go elsewhere. Thereâ€™s a lot of material on the World Wide Web to capture and hold their interest.
There was a time when writers were paid by the word, so it was smart to pad yourÂ writing out. Verbosity was profitable. Because web readers are impatient, conÂcise, focused writing is essential. Writing tutors now advise you to imagine that, rather than being paid $1 per word, it costs $1 for every word you write. Faced with paying a $400 penalty for writing 1000 words when 600 would have sufficed, you will find ways to keep your writing very tight.
It might appear to be a minor point, but fact checking is vitally important when writing for the Web. Web visitors are extremely suspicious, and watchful for any sign of attempted deception. Making any statement that is factually wrong, no matÂ ter how seemingly trivial the error, is likely to send your visitor scurrying away fearÂing dishonesty or carelessness that could endanger their hip pocket.
Focus is the secret to getting that MWR. Itâ€™s all about pointing readers in the direction you want them to go, and guiding them along the path until they reach the desired destination.
The cardinal rule for eWriters, though, is to begin with a strong hook. You have just 15 to 40 seconds to capture a web surferâ€™s attention before they surf off to another site.
Write to hook them, hold them, and entice them to give you that MWR, and your Internet fortune awaits – whether you choose to be a contract eWriter or an indeÂpendent ePreneur.