You’ve seen the ads all over the internet…. “Build a six or seven figure income online while lounging in your pyjamas at home or sipping your favorite marguerita on a sunset beach.” Many people hear this and their scam detector goes up immediately. And for good reason… There are many instances of people getting burnt through many a seemingly legitimate home business opportunity.
The truth is, however, there are thousands of home based entrepreneurs across the world who have cracked the code and built their very own profit pulling machine. So what’s their secret? Why do some people struggle and never even break even while others create incredibly successful home based businesses?
Here are seven habits which separate the haves from the have nots and which, when implemented properly, work to insure a highly profitable business venture.
1. Find a Starving Crowd and Meet their Needs
It’s surprising how many would be entrepreneurs overlook this critical step. Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with your product before everyone else has! You may get carried away by your “great business idea” but does anyone else even remotely care, or more importantly, is anyone willing to pay you for it? Keep your mind open when looking at home based business income opportunities. Make sure, however, there is a need for what you have to offer.
Your passion is of course key to the success and growth of your home based business. Without it you are unlikely to survive past the first few weeks. Just make sure it is something which will get you paid consistently. Simply put, find a problem people are willing to pay to get solved.
2. Learn to Sell
Sales is the lifeblood of your business. There is often the mistaken belief that once the website has been set up, the logos have been designe and everything else, then we can worry about sales and maybe hire a professional sales person or two. While it may true that you would hire a salesperson somewhere down the line, the simple truth is you can forget about starting up if selling is not at the heart of everything you do. You will need to sell your business to yourself, your spouse, your family, your partners, your suppliers, your bank manager and anyone else you can think of. Relationship building is at the heart of the job description of being an entrepreneur!
If you are not a people person and shudder at the thought of speaking to complete strangers, you have one of two choices : You ca n either quit now or you can step up and put yourself in situations where you can get comfortable meeting new people. You could join a dance class, or you could go to formal networking events or even join a public speaking interest group where you would get the opportunity of meeting like minded peers who are in a similar situation. Whatever the case, get comfortable with selling, your business depends on it!
Sales and marketing, if done correctly, will drive your business’ success and enable everything else to happen, whether it’s product delivery, customer service or even philanthropy. The important thing is to be adding value at each and every opportunity and to be religiously building your “tribe” of loyal followers. It’s ten times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.
3. Develop a Strong Team
While you are building your home based business you want to look for opportunities to outsource as many of the non revenue generating activities as possible. Eventually you will want to be in a position where your business can run smoothly without you. It does not mean that you won’t be involved anymore or that you’ll sell the business, only that you’ll have systems in place that’ll run the business for you. A classic example is McDonald’s. They are not one of the most successful franchises in history because they have particularly brilliant staff, but because they have extremely robust systems that anyone can operate.
4. Focus on the Big Picture
Successful entrepreneurs focus on the big picture and leave the details to those who are best qualified. This really carries over from point 3 above. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are running a business to support your lifestyle and not a lifestyle to support your business. It all comes down to your focus and ambition. Are you really more interested in sweating over your books when there is someone better qualified than you who could do it twice as fast or would you rather be focussing on your next networking opportunity or big idea? Do you really think there would have been an iPhone or anything like it if Steve Jobs was more worried about filing the books on time than driving his ideas forward?
As stated already, look for ways to remove yourself from the business. You can leverage technology to automate many of the processes in your business, such as book keeping, order processing and email messaging. An ecommerce website is of course a very good example of this, where your customers can order and pay for your products and services without your intervention.
5. Stay on Theme
A highly successful home business operates around a mission. Many people make the mistake of diversifying too early, thinking this will help create multiple streams of income. While the intention is good the problem with this approach is that you’ll end up spreading yourself too thin before you’ve even had the chance to bring your product to market. Not only that, your target audience may become confused about what you stand for and pass up your offer.
So if your niche is in real estate stick with it; or if it’s in network marketing stick with it. You get the picture…Each market and niche has its own requirements, audience, ways of speaking and business models so rather than spread yourself too thin take the time to become familiar with your niche and build products around it. This way you can create momentum and leverage your hard work to build a following, and soon you will be seen as an authority within your niche.
6. Be Quick to Adapt to Change
One distinct advantage small businesses have over larger counterparts is their ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Many times large corporations have to invest thousands of dollars in a project before they even know it will work.
However, as a small business owner, your big advantage is your ability to test your idea quickly and cost effectively, and change where necessary; and when you do find a good opportunity, you can capitalize on it much quicker. If something doesn’t work you you can simply stop and try something else.
7. Commit to Lifelong Learning
Far from limiting ourselves to formal education, personal development is key to success as a home business owner. Most people stop reading and learning once they leave formal education. This is the key differentiator between successful people and the rest.
To make sure you are always staying ahead of the curve take every opportunity to improve your skills and learn new ones. We live in an unprecedented age where information is within easy reach. You can dramatically cut your learning curve by modeling someone who is already very successful. You will naturally begin to adopt their habits and way of thinking and when that happens success is almost inevitable.