Safe Way to Start Your Own Business
You want to start your own business and work at home; but do you know how to get started?
Up to now you have probably been used to a steady paycheck from a regular job, with a family or other financial obligations. Working as your own boss will mean stepping out of your comfort zone a little risky, will it not? It doesn’t seem to matter how miserable you are in your current employment, the alternative scares the pants off many of us. There is a safer way of jumping off that cliff and it entails your current boss.
How To Start Your Own Business At Home
Your employer could be your ticket to a successful freelance business, if his business doesn’t conflict with your dreams. If you were thinking of starting a freelance copywriting business, you could negotiate a contract with your current employer for 50% of your time for the first year after you leave. This would give you a springboard for finding other clients while still covering your monthly expenses.
You’re probably wondering about now, why your employer would agree to sign a contract for half of your time? There are a number of reasons, and they can result in a “win-win” situation for both of you.
If you’re on good terms with your employer, chances are he doesn’t want to lose you. It takes time to train someone to fill your job and train them to the company’s way of being productive.
Making It Affordable
Even if he decides to replace you, it can take months to gather resumes, interview candidates, and hire the right person. During that time you can be performing job functions from your home office, perhaps even training your replacement and providing your boss with a smoother transition by minimizing the disruption to his business.
If you’re not on good terms with your boss and the company is downsizing, merging, or being bought out, you can help them avoid the unpleasantness and cost of firing you. You are actually doing them a favor by restructuring this in the form of a contract for services that can be “stretched out” for a period of time if needed.
Frankly, if an employer has to choose between letting you go and paying severance and benefits versus signing a contract for a time period, which do you think they’d prefer? Signing and getting tangible work and services in return without the costs associated with terminating you is a much better deal for him. The contract may even be allocated from a different budget category, making it more affordable for the company.
Win Win For Everybody Concerned
There’s another reason your boss may opt for a contract, and that is your knowledge. You are already familiar with the company, its clients and services. You’re able to provide the services they need and you understand what has to be done. Many creative people have used this logic in approaching their bosses to negotiate their first contract and go out on their own.
If you’re interested in starting your own business your current job can provide the security you need in your first year. What better way to get started on your dream?
After you do get your business off the ground you have to make it pay so read on to read about…
15 Amazing Ways to Supercharge Your Business
Last year I decided it would be fun to interview 10 of the smartest marketing people I know about the best ways to increase customer and cash flow for just about any business.
What I got were a variety of fresh, innovative ideas — and once you read them, you will know that they came from a group of people who have already made it big in businesses of their own.
The following are the 15 Best ideas for super charging your business. It doesn’t matter if your business is off line or online.
- “Same-Old” is out — Getting attention with something new is in. To get new business, you must strive to be innovative and dramatic. For example, an insurance agency, offered “the biggest steak dinner in town” if it couldn’t save any person money on their car insurance. This challenge was enough to make the telephone start ringing off the hook for days at a time. The customer flow was “absolutely crazy” for days. The bottom line: dozens of new insurance buyers and tons of new cash flow — and all they had to do was fork out the cost for a half dozen steak dinners!
- Tight target marketing. The big job in marketing and sales is getting to the right people inside another company. Addressing mail to “Facilities Manager” or printing a “routing slip” on the outside of the envelope is ineffective. Hitting the target is the challenge. Scoring a bull’s eye means making contact with the right individuals and is the only way to make the sale. Taking time to be highly targeted in business communication is essential. This is especially so in marketing online.
- Be more creative. Pushing direct-mail pieces out the door or sending the newsletter to the mail room isn’t doing the job. Ask yourself: “Will anyone be intrigued enough to read the mailer–before tossing it in the wastebasket?” Ask the same question about the company newsletter. A highly creative approach is necessary to be different and distinctive. Creativity costs money. But, if more people read the ad, take time with the newsletter or decide that the offer in a mailer makes sense, you have accomplished the goal.
- Focus on what customers care about. After listening to the admissions director talk about what should be shown in the school’s new recruiting video, the marketing consultant asked, “Is this what parents and prospective students are interested in knowing?” Suddenly, everyone became less confident. Someone suggested asking the student tour guides what questions the visiting parents and kids asked? Whether creating an ad, a brochure, or a sales presentation, knowing what the customer wants, needs and expects is what works.
- Tell customers how to think about your company. We come to conclusions by making comparisons. If you don’t let customers and prospects know why it is in their best interests to do business with you or buy your product, they won’t. The rating of life insurance companies makes an impact on customers. The J.D. Powers’ customer-satisfaction survey on cars and personal computer manufacturers influences buying behavior. Wise companies spend time and effort consciously influencing the way they are perceived by customers, prospects, bankers and stockholders.
- Make your offers outstanding. Customers are cautious. They don’t like being put on the spot; they don’t want to make a mistake. This is why offers are essential. “Try it for 30 days…free.” “We won’t deposit your credit card slip for a month.” “Your satisfaction is guaranteed.” “Take the car for the weekend and drive it all you want.” The goal is to overcome the customer’s reluctance.
- Be in the right place at the right time. “Why didn’t I think of you last week when we bought the new…” Some salespeople simply shrug off such comments. Oh, well. I can’t be in the right place every time.” Wrong. Being in front of the customer is today’s assignment. Developing a consistent program for staying in front of customers regularly is the challenge. A mix of seminars, newsletters, bulletins, fact sheets, special events and informative articles will keep you in the customers’ minds.
- Name your product or service. One of the best ways to differentiate your products or services from all the rest is to give them distinctive names. A building contractor with expertise in remodeling during off-hours calls himself the “stealth” remodeler. A fuel oil dealer doesn’t talk about service–he emphasizes “Comfort Care Service.” The idea is to imbue ordinary ideas with new meaning thereby separating your company from your competitors. Make sure, however, that the name appeals to your customers and not just to you.
- Be relentless. Persistence is power in marketing and sales. Far too many firms fail in their efforts because they don’t follow through long enough to produce proper results. Marketing momentum comes from a consistent effort. Once you start a newsletter, issue it on schedule. It takes time for customers to comprehend what you are doing and for prospects to get acquainted–and comfortable–with a business.
- Get rid of the self-serving nonsense. Most company publications, ads, letters, brochures, and other sales materials are filled with words, photographs and information that do nothing more than toot the company’s horn. No one cares that the business says it is the “best,” “oldest” or the “biggest.” Pictures of the staff are only interesting to the staff. A better approach is to ask prospects what they want to know about your company. We doubt anyone will be anxious to see pictures of the CEO, chairman of the board or the executive vice president.
- Tell them everything you know. Spill the beans, so to speak. Since today’s customers want information, knowledge and helpful ideas, do everything you can to share everything you know. This is the only way to become a valued resource to your customers. When people use your ideas, they will buy what you sell.
- Be generous. No one wants to do business with firms operating on a one-way street. Buy a new car and the dealer hands you a 20-cent plastic key holder! It sends a message that this dealer doesn’t under-stand his customers. You may forget the car, but you will never forget the lousy key ring! Another auto dealer delivers the new car to your office. What a difference. This dealer sends a powerful message–our customers are important.
- Make prospect identification your mission. The single most important daily activity in any business is prospect identification. By making prospecting a continuing process, companies produce a steady flow of new sales leads. They never stop asking, “Who do we want to do business with if we have the chance?” Then make sure all prospects are entered into a database so they can be cultivated over a period of time.
- Scrutinize your corporate identity. Yes, how a company presents itself makes a difference. Is the logo appropriate? Is it dated? Does it communicate the right message and the correct image? Is the president the only one who understands it? What about the company colors? Are they reminiscent of the late ’50s? Do the letterhead, mailing labels and business cards convey a strong, positive message? Or, are they dull and ordinary looking? If you don’t think this is important, your competitors will be thrilled. Corporate identity is the face you put on your company.
- Write customer-centered letters/emails. Most business letters and even emails these days have cold, impersonal words. “As per our conversation…” “Pursuant to our agreement…” When was the last time you heard anyone talk this way at lunch (other than perhaps a lawyer)? Yet, give the same executives a pen and they become stilted. There is no reason why business letters should not be warm, friendly, conversational, interesting–and customer-centered. Write as if you were the one reading it. Should a letter end at the bottom of the first page? Yes, if that’s what it takes to tell the story? But it may take two, four or six pages. A letter should be as long as necessary and always interesting to the reader.
Now lets jump ahead a year;
Whether you’re thinking its Spring Cleaning Time or time for an annual checkup, your business needs to undergo a checkup each year. No matter how large or small your business is, you cannot gauge the effectiveness of any changes you’ve made without analyzing the benefits and bottom line. You also have to ask yourself, have you faithfully followed your business plan?
Here are 10 questions to get you started:
Your Business Checkup
- How do your year-to-date sales compare to the last couple of years? Don’t be satisfied if you managed to match them because if sales stayed the same then you’ve achieved zero growth. With inflation, this flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.
- What percentage of your business is from repeat customers? This is important to know because if it’s too low, then it needs to be improved. The estimated cost of getting a new customer versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one in terms of dollars spent. Keeping customers is more cost-effective than constantly seeking new ones.
- How long has it been since you offered a new product or service? Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times. If you’re stuck for an idea, ask your customers what they need.
- Do you consider marketing and advertising expenses or investments? How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all. Would you look at prescriptions as a waste of money? Marketing is really investing in you, your vision, and your company. The old adage that you must spend money to make money is true, but you must spend it wisely. Spend it on ads that are pulling responses and orders, and if they’re not maybe you need to change publications.
- Do you know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in the media? I’ll bet that at least one of your competitors does. Nearly every mention of a company or business in the newspapers and magazines is a direct result of publicity efforts. Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers who are your potential prospects. A good PR consultant can do that for you and show you ways to extend the shelf life of that article beyond its publication.
- Are you listed in the yellow pages? If you only have a line listing, consider including a small ad in the yellow pages. If you can afford it, it will pay dividends throughout the year.
- Do you teat your regular customers better than your drop-ins? You should. If your customers don’t feel special when coming to you for products of services, why should they remain loyal to you? Have a customer appreciation day or a special invitation only sale for your regulars. Create a mailing list of your regulars. Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch. Learn to recognize them on sight and greet them by name when they visit you.
- How long has it been since you really talked to one of your customers? Just as you appreciate when your Doctor takes time to talk to you, your customers will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs. If you have a service business, have lunch or coffee periodically with some regulars – even if they only contact you once or twice a year. The personal touch in an impersonal world will be remembered.
- How is your business doing compared to your competition? Every company, no matter what the size, has competition – even home-based businesses. Is their business growing or downsizing? Is their pricing or service better than yours? If so, what can you tell potential customers about the price difference? Think about how you can improve your service to meet or exceed your customer’s expectations.
- Are your employees happy? Don’t ask them directly, but observe them throughout the day. Watch, listen and learn. Employees who like their jobs don’t watch the clock for quitting time, aren’t habitually late, don’t have poor body language, don’t spend time on personal phone calls, and don’t look like they never smiled. Observe how they interact with customers. Not everyone is a match for direct contact with the public, so make sure you don’t have an employee who is driving business away.
I can remember when I was working at my very first job out of school. It was a service business with just the owner and me at work. There was direct contact with the clients, and there was never a problem with smiling when talking face to face with them. I was given the best business tip of my life by that employer, when he pointed out to me that when talking to clients on the telephone I should smile too. For some unexplainable reason, when you smile as you talk on the phone, the exchange with the client becomes more pleasant and more productive. It’s as if that smile went right through the phone wires to the person to whom you’re talking.
Best Way To Become Your Own Boss
There you go folks and I’m sure you will have enjoyed reading this article and if it has given you pause for thought, then it has done its job. Anyone who has a mind to can start up a business online and with access to the right information at the start there’s no reason on the planet that you, reading this article right now can’t do it as well.
Superior Opportunity To Become Your Own Boss
I don’t know what your current situation is or if you even if the idea of being your own boss has ever entered you head but just so you can have a look I’m going to give you a link to an internet program that will give you access to everything you will need to get you up and running with your own business.
The training is second to none when it comes to showing you –
How To Start Your Own Business
There’s also these great bonuses to get you started:
Free Sign up
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Just click on the image below and have a browse at what as far as I’m concerned is the best small business to start at home. I will be waiting inside as well to help you all I can.
Thank you for reading my article and have a really nice day.