Newbies: More Common Sense Ways To Find Success With Your Home Business

There is no question. Home business provides wonderful opportunities for almost anyone: The unemployed, underemployed, stay at home dads/moms, disabled, retired or for a myriad of reasons, unemployable. Very few online opportunities will ask for an application or a background check. On the other hand, therein lies a challenge: Scammers and Spammers. Many newbies are concerned about two things when interested in starting a home business: 1) Being overwhelmed by the information overload, and 2) Have an abiding fear of being taken advantage of.

This article is meant to provide, in particular to the beginner, tips and common sense counseling when considering the start a successful and reputable home business.

First honesty, then industry, then concentration--Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)

Some of us will fall prey to the Scammers and will lose money. It's just the "nature" of it. Perhaps part of our education and to "what not to do" after we are in business. After awhile, however, it becomes easy to spot the dishonest offer. In my younger experiences, I saw what I thought a "good" offer, lost some cash, but learned the earmarks of disreputable or misleading business or service offers. You will too. Best bit of counseling here is: If you can't see the basics of the offer--it's bogus. If it keeps repeating itself over and over and (well you get the point) but the ad doesn't get to the point--it's bogus. If it really does seem too good to be true, particularly without "googleable" (sp) proof--it's bogus. It's a bit funny, if it weren't just a little tragic, that all, without qualification, of these "pitches" fade very quickly into oblivion. They simply don't last because the consumer catches on. In fairly short time, fraudsters put themselves out of business. Keep in mind that there is no way, and no one who can do a wrong thing, the right way.

Search engine requirements (for PPC campaigns) now help us to determine if an online business proposition is "right". For example: By insisting that before an ad campaign is launched, the content of the page offering must be at least 50% text over and above graphics or video. That way you and I can determine what we are about to see before we even get the "pitch", as it were.

So, as a new business you are an attractive "bulls-eye" to con artists and fraudsters. One thing to help you guard yourself from being a tempting target, a post office box can be a wise investment when you start your own home business. Now, this is not to say that you won't get dishonest offers in the mail. It does, however, give you a layer of protection, and you get to see the offer in writing. There are laws "with teeth" with a "mailed" paper trail. Although there are also laws against spamming as well, there will still be somewhere around 700Trillion spam emails that will go without legal convictions. Handling all of your business correspondence through a PO Box will help to protect your identity and your privacy at least from commercial inquiries. Yes, the infernal eternal "junk mail" is there even from "above board" offers. But you can always change the box number if it gets to be too much. Use a PO Box for mostly incoming, not outgoing mail, if your offer is online.

On the other hand, if you plan to offline advertise through "snail" mail (still a very legitimate way to do business); don't get what is called a "storefront" PO Box. This is the kind that you get from a print and copy shop. When someone "googles" the address and they see 150 box addresses at the same address (no I did not stutter), for example like 16XXX AnyStreet, Suite 4XX, City, State, Zip. But, 150 addresses are the same except for the Suite number, then regardless that your business is honest and legitimate, you will be viewed as a shyster.

TIP! A great tip for your home business is to consider taking classes at a local college or online to increase your skills in general. Having a well balanced educational background? Nah, but a concentrated curriculum will help you more than you know. Unless you are interested in a specialty, like medicine, or the sciences, for example, I don't recall any of my thousands of friends actually practicing in the field that they graduated. But, focused education seems to yield results.

The biggest things are always the easiest to do because there is no competition.--William Van Horne

Study your competition carefully. Understanding their pricing will give you an idea of price tolerance (both high and low, upsells and clearance pricing) for your products or services. In no way say adverse things about your competitors. After all, many competing businesses continue to stay in business, physically side-by-side. Every business offering has its' own attributes and benefits. Emphasize your own, and you will get your "rational share" of business. Develop your "unique position" in your market, and you will get customers buying from you, and not your competition. Position, Position, Position--just about the same as Location, Location, Location. Ok, enough? No dissin' the competition.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning--Bill Gates(1955) Business @ The Speed of Thought

Follow up with your customers to find out what they think of your products. Without doubt, this is one of the best ways to help you develop your "unique positioning". Why bother with "focus groups" and surveys. Your customers will tell you all you need to know about your offer. Any easy way to do this is to create a "comments" section on your website (Amazon and Ebay do this constantly). Although you can control which comments stay or are deleted, I would simply and honestly reply to those who need your help and be willing to offer rebates and returns. You will be seen as both an ethical and honest business.

TIP! Keep track of which marketing methods are working. Get rid of those that aren't, and that includes products as well. A simple database, which is already on your computer or spreadsheet, will suffice. Use tracking to include "google analytics", subdomains, and tagging, and don't be afraid to ask your customers how they found you, whether they bought or not.

Electricity is really just organized lightning.--George Carlin

People fail, whereas Systems Succeed. Have not only an organizational system, but a day-by-day schedule of what you need to do. The last thing you do each night before sleeping is to organize the next day. Begin by being organized, and you will stay organized. Find software that you will need to keep your records straight and make a list of the things you may need to get and daily lists and times of what you need to do. Keep in mind that a prioritized task list is somewhat flexible in terms of timing. But, when you put something in a time slot on the calendar--that is non-discretionary time.

Starting a home business is somewhat simple, but not always easy. Be realistic. At the beginning, it takes time and patience to start a business from your home. You will have to put in some "sweaty-equity" to get your business "ramped-up", operating, and making money.

You can Do It!-Tony Little

You can do it of course; it's just that you will be more likely to if you anticipate the work that lies ahead (that's where the system comes in handy). Most of this work will of course be in learning your new skills. Online home business in principle is no different than an offline. It just takes a different skill set. Both online and offline home businesses, however, without doubt, reservation or qualification require a system. Get your system down, and you cannot help but Succeed.

TIP!When running a business from your home, it is important to establish office hours appropriate for your operation. Make a part of your system a schedule so that you will know when and what activities you will be doing. Know when you will be doing your IPAs (Income Producing Activities) and when you will return phone calls, and when you will do emails. Most importantly, when you are doing your IPAs, leave your email alone! It will still be there waiting for you.

Many of us "beginners" share two offsetting concerns: Gosh, wouldn't it be wonderful to own our own home business? While at the same time, we are afraid to take the plunge for fear of being taken advantage of. Let me ask you this: Aren't these a few of the same concerns in any business situation? And, with a conventional "Brick-and-Mortar" business: Haven't we let our Boss take advantage of us long enough. Well, enough already! Put your fears aside by applying these few tips and advice from this article. Even as "Newbies" we should be able to choose a reputable home business with a high probability of honesty and predictability. A little bit long on this article, but important stuff.