So you've decided to start a home-based business? That's great, but where do you start?
If you're online quite a bit, then there's no reason you can't start a business right from your own home on the Web.
There are so many resources available online today that you can benefit tremendously from the research of others while building your own business.
And, there are many companies that will do lots of the work for you when you join with them.
5 Start-up Ideas for Your Home-Based Business
Here are five easy start-up ideas for your home-based business to save you time and money.
1. Choose Your Hours
Decide how much time you will be able to invest in your home-based business. To be honest, there are many new business owners who never make it because they're not willing to invest their time.
If you work a full-time job and plan to keep it while your home-based business builds, then you should determine how many free hours you can spend working. Can you invest a few hours per day, or week perhaps?
Once you choose your hours, stick with them on a consistent basis. Treat the home business just as you would a store with operating hours.
If you open a store from 9 to 5, then someone must be there during those hours. So, if you plan to work on your new business from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. five nights per week, then let this be your "operating hours!"
2. Choose a Business
Even if you plan to start a business selling products of your own, you might find it useful to join with a company to sell their products to build extra income at first.
You can even do both if you can invest enough time and effort into both businesses. Choose a product or service that you enjoy selling.
No business is fun if you dislike it. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to be successful.
With the Internet, MLM businesses are building down lines like crazy. This is the perfect opportunity for you to earn some extra cash or even a substantial income.
The reason MLM businesses are so profitable online is because it is so easy to contact people by email and through your own website.
Some MLM companies even do most of the work and contacts for you to save you time and money.
Communication is very easy online even if you're not really a "salesperson."
If you plan to join an MLM group, be sure to choose a reputable company that has been in business for at least several years.
Ask to speak with others who have worked with the company a while. Check with the Better Business Bureau Online to be sure there have been no (or very few) complaints.
There are many scams online today, so sign on with a well-established MLM company to be safe!
3. Prepare Your Home-Based Business Work Area
Before you start a home-based business, be sure your home office is up to par. Upgrade your computer to a fast one with a super-fast Internet connection so your work will not be hindered by outside factors.
Also, get a very comfortable desk chair with plenty of back and arm support. Choose a keyboard and mouse that you're comfortable with, and organize your desk.
Working in a well-organized environment clears your thinking so you can work and promote without distraction.
4. Investing Your Money
Before you invest a dime, be certain it's the right business for you.
When selling products for others, you might be asked to invest money before getting started for inventory, membership, a website, and so forth.
If so, study every aspect of the business before doing so.
Any business start-up will require some monetary investment, but you need to think before you invest.
Once you've chosen a business to invest in, set up a budget solely for your business. Having a business account at your local bank will help.
Also, set up an account with an online payment processor if possible. PayPal and StormPay are two of the most popular ones online right now.
If signing on with an MLM company, find out how they issue their payments first.
5. Use Your Talents and Skills
Whether you sign on with an MLM company or start a business selling your own products and services, remember to use all your talents and skills.
Maybe you're a great typist or a very savvy Internet user. Perhaps you know how to design websites, printed flyers, or promote online. Use your talents to maximize your home-based business profits.
Don't just sit at home and dream of owning your own business. Use these five start-up tips to get your home-based business moving today!
There are many opportunities in network marketing to help you reach your life goals.
You can work from home and enjoy a steady cash stream while setting your own hours and doing what you love most to earn an income.
But if you're like the majority of people who join a team of online network marketers, you probably aren't sure how or where to get started with Internet and network marketing.
Here are five proven strategies to get you started.
5 Proven Strategies for Internet and Network Marketing Success
1. Start Your Own Network Marketing Website
With your own network marketing website, you can build a profitable business model for your team.
Your website can be used to provide information to newcomers as well as update your team members on a regular basis.
A website can be used to enhance off-line network marketing as well. For instance, you can print your Web address on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, postcards, and in printed ads.
Those interested in your proposal can visit your website for more information. Your website can contain almost unlimited information that will help convert prospects into team members.
2. Start Your Own E-zine
An e-zine is an electronic newsletter sent by email to a database of subscribers. An e-zine builds trust and establishes you as an expert.
At your website, you can set up a subscription form for your e-zine. Those who sign up are obviously interested in your offer, so you can send e-mailings to them weekly and use the e-zine to get them back to your website.
This is a great way to turn visitors to your site into network marketing partners.
3. Answer Questions in Forums and Discussion Groups
With forums, you cannot merely advertise your business, but you can answer questions and include a link to your email or website.
Find work-from-home forums online that are related to your network marketing business or that might cater to your target audience.
Observe and read the questions and answers for a while before posting to get a feel for the people and atmosphere.
Then, answer those questions pertaining to your type of business in a truly helpful manner.
The person asking the question might visit your website as well as any others who might read the post. It's a great way to meet new people and market your business.
4. Create Network Marketing Excitement
Another thing you can do online is to create network marketing excitement for your team members.
At your own website, you can hold contests for your team members, random giveaways, provide hosted space for your team members to create their own profiles or mini-websites, do feature bios on your team members, and more.
These will motivate your network marketing team to work harder and increase their cash stream (and yours) while having fun.
5. Content Writing about the Internet and Network Marketing
One of the most powerful ways to promote your website is to add valuable content articles to your website on a regular basis.
Articles should be targeted about network marketing and working from home. They should provide your target readers with helpful information.
At the conclusion of each article, you can include a signature/bio that will lead the reader to your sales pages.
Add articles to your website on a regular basis and submit articles to free article directories for maximum results.
Articles will help attract search engine traffic to your website without any cost to you.
There are also many other methods of Internet promotion for network marketing such as e-zine advertising, banner advertising, contextual or paid search engine ads, free traffic exchanges, and affiliate programs.
Whether you are part of a global resorts travel business, a profitable reverse funnel system, or another successful business model, you'll be amazed at the results when you combine all of the promotion methods above for the Internet and network marketing!
5 Tips for Estimating Your Start-up Costs
Before you take out a second mortgage, use these rules to figure out the realistic costs of setting up a business.
1. Have a Solid Plan — Then Change It
Most business start-up stories say that you have to have a business plan. And you do. But that's not the beginning and end of figuring out your start-up costs.
Jeff Shuman, who directs entrepreneurial studies at Bentley College, says, "The conventional wisdom is that an entrepreneur sees an opportunity, comes up with a business plan to capitalise on it, determines the capital that needs to be raised, raises the capital and then applies it to building the business described in the business plan."
There's one major problem with that model, says Shuman. It all hinges on getting the business right the first time, and that doesn't often happen.
"In reality, it's likely that some of your initial assumptions are pretty good and others aren't going to be worth the paper they're written on," he says.
Shuman and others say that figuring out your start-up costs means regularly reviewing your assumptions and changing your initial model.
Writing a plan is good because it forces you to write down everything you are going to need to start your business.
But that initial plan is likely to change repeatedly as you learn new things and incorporate them into the plan.
2. Be Willing to Pull Back
It's tempting to add up everything you need for the full-fledged business you imagine, and decide it's what you need to start out.
But pulling back and looking for a smaller model can give you a way to get started while also saving money.
Shuman uses the example of someone who calculates the total cost of starting a retail business in a local shopping centre.
"You could start that way and write a business plan based on that amount," he says. "But maybe you'd be better off renting a stand and testing what the demand is for your products at that location."
This consumer testing reduces your initial start-up costs. The result is that the initial cycle of your business is dedicated not so much to generating profits as to generating information.
"With this, you can fund your business on a cycle-by-cycle basis," Shuman says. "When you go for the second cycle and for expanding your business, the numbers are now based not on focus groups or surveys but on real-world experience."
3. Calculate Prices and Time Correctly
Calculating your initial cash flow is part of figuring out your start-up costs. It's an area where businesses are sometimes less optimistic than they should be.
"Small business owners may under-price their product or service, thinking they have to come in at the lowest price point to compete," says Barbara Bird, who chairs the business management program at an American university. "They don't necessarily need to do that."
4. Correctly Estimate Your Start-up Time
Yes, when beginning a business, time can be money. Let's say you're going to have fixed costs such as a monthly lease.
If you have to make improvements to a space before you can actually open for business, those fixed costs are going to be additional start-up costs until you can actually open for business.
I've watched many entrepreneurs draw up a timeline for their ventures and get tripped up on the safety and inspection requirements imposed by local agencies.
For that reason, I think one of the first places a prospective new business owner should go is to the local government planning or license department.
Construction permits and inspections can push a prospective opening date back by months.
If you fail to take into account the cost of this time, you could be short of working capital right at the start.
5. Be Realistic About the Cost of Money
Many small business owners finance their ventures by running up big balances on their personal credit cards. Others tap the equity in their homes.
But self-financing isn't a practical option for larger ventures.
Tom Emerson, who directs the entrepreneurship centre at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says start-ups should figure in the cost of capital when determining initial expenses and cash flow.
"The cost is usually based on what the interest would be, were that cash invested in something with similar risk on the market"
Emerson says. "It's usually a figure that is a few percentage points or more above the prime rate."
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