If you have decided to start your own business, one of the first things that you need to do is..
Work on a business plan
A business plan is important because it actually serves as a compass for the direction your business will take in the future. Having a plan will also help you achieve the things you want to achieve and will help your business to find success as well.
Consider the Details; One of the reasons that having a business plan is essential is that it will help you to consider the details of your business and its’ future. As you are working on your plan, you will probably find that there are many aspects of your new business that you have not yet considered.
Getting started with a business plan will help you to save money and time since you will be able to deal with issues before they become a problem.
Another great reason for having a business plan is that it can help you if you are trying to get outside funds for your business.
Most lenders and investors want to see that you have a clear business plan before they take a risk on your business. Having a plan already drawn up shows them that you are serious about being successful at your business. If you are going to show your business plan to potential lenders and investors, make sure that the figures you use are accurate so your plan is credible.
Starting a business is a huge job and it is helpful if you have something that can help you manage the business.
A business plan can act as a management tool that can help you focus on where you are and where you want to be in the future.
This will help you to keep your daily tasks well managed and will also help you to accomplish long term goals as well. If you decide to go without a business plan, chances are that your business is going to end in disaster.
You can use a business plan throughout all stages of your business to guide your business towards success. While it may take some time and energy to get a business plan together, in the end it will be well worth taking the time to get it done right.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that they LOVE the idea of having a home business but that they HATE selling stuff!
You might be able to relate to this.
I’ve been doing business from my home for a while now and there are some parts of the business that I just LOVE and that come naturally, like talking with people, listening, and teaching …
And there are some aspects of it that have always been more of a challenge, namely the whole notion of letting people know about my products! This used to be such a problem for me that I actually quit the business not once, not twice, but THREE times, because I decided that I am not very good at “selling stuff”.
Can you relate to this?
You love the idea of owning your business, and get excited thinking about the potential, and then when you get down to the “nitty gritty” of how you make money, it all comes down one thing… You’ve got to promote your product, opportunity, or service!!
Well gosh, if you hate selling are you doomed to a life of being stuck in the employee 9 to 5 grind?
There IS another way. Recently I had a HUGE insight … a real breakthrough, about “selling stuff”. Maybe this will help you if you’re a little squeamish about promoting your business, product or service.
It started in the mid 1990’s when I was making my first forays into the land of home based business. I wasn’t used to thinking of myself as a business person. To be honest, I felt like a fish OUT of water!! My very first business was a fantastic success until the company I represented went out of business.
Determined to do better next time, I read, researched, studied, went to trainings, and guess what? Over the next three years, I started, worked and FAILED in a grand total of FOUR network marketing business ventures! I won’t go into the gory details of when, where and why, but the bottom line is that obviously something was missing!
I set about to find that missing piece. One big “aha” experience happened in 2001 when I found the internet.
After that long “dry spell” I FINALLY began to make money again!
However, I found that one thing was still missing though in this otherwise wonderful picture. I wasn’t quite sure how to tell people about my products! I was getting hung up on the big “S”… “Selling Stuff”!
I studied, took courses on marketing, and still couldn’t find “the groove”. Not knowing what else to do, I prayed for a solution.
It is my habit to bring all of my life, including my business, before God and Spirit.
The answer I got wasn’t in the “packaging” I expected. In December I became sick for almost 2 months. Nothing serious, just annoying, intractable, and very unusual for me. Several of my business partners were talking about a new health discovery from the rainforest with a ton of healing properties. So I read some info, and it really knocked my socks off!
After going through the scientific research, and the list of healing properties, I realized that this could help me and almost everyone I know!
Something in my heart “clicked”.
I found myself staying up at night, thinking of all the people I love who could benefit from this. There were several HUNDRED people who came to my mind that I wanted to share this with … that I NEVER felt moved to share my other wonderful products with!!
My sickness went away, and my joint pain too!
It’s funny, I am not a habitually guilty person but in this situation, I felt guilty getting excited about products that weren’t part of my own company … But I felt MORE guilty in NOT telling everyone I know about this brand new discovery!!
Eventually I worked through these feelings and “jumped” into the great unknown. I began promoting the new product, and yes, you can probably guess what happened next, right? Yes, in one month I did MORE business with the new product than it had taken me a YEAR to build with my other products!
And the best part is, I DID get what I prayed for.
I never ONCE worried about “selling stuff”. What happened? What made the difference? Here’s the secret … I WASN’T thinking about me!! I wasn’t thinking about my business, my product, my income, my goals.
I was thinking about all the friends and loved ones I could help!!
This happened quite naturally. Not through “trying” to be altruistic. I wasn’t TRYING to “sell stuff”, I was REALLY excited!! Network marketing, or any marketing really, comes NATURALLY when you are deeply and passionately excited about what you are offering.
When you are passionate and CONNECTED with what you are doing, it’s not work, it’s NATURAL! When it’s NATURAL, you’re not self conscious. You’re in the flow, in the present moment, you’re thinking about others.
You’re in the ZONE!
So you see the moral of the story is… If you want to have a home based business, but you HATE selling stuff…
You have to find something that you are PASSIONATE about!
Find something that is NATURAL for you to love … something that you feel deeply CONNECTED to… something that other people REALLY want and NEED.
And then GO FORTH into the world and prosper!! 🙂
Have you noticed that it’s hard to find a website that doesn’t have an eBook of some sort?
Whether it’s being offered for sale or for free.
Let’s face it the internet survives by being the world’s greatest source of information.
As someone once said:
“If you can’t find something on the internet chances are it doesn’t exist”.
One of the reasons eBooks have become so prevalent is that they have the ability to go viral and subsequently direct increased traffic to an authors website. If you’ve never written an eBook because you’re not sure how to do so it is understandable.
However it’s really not that difficult to achieve if one follows a few simple steps. Obviously the first thing to do when attempting to create an eBook is to decide what you wish to write about.
To avoid the dilemma of writers block choose a subject you have prior experience in.
Pick a topic that brings out some passion in you. The more passionate you are about a topic the easier it will be to write it. That passion of yours will be felt by the readers and add strength to the eBooks value.
After determining what topic you wish to write about you need to do some preliminary organization. Start by taking the time to create a title that has a little pizzazz. List more than one and consult with friends as to their opinion which one seems to jump out at them.
How you phrase the eBooks title is important.
It’s like the bait on a hook. If you catch a potential readers curiosity it will be easier to reel them in to investigate the rest of your writing. Once a title is chosen it’s time to organize in what direction you wish to take the reader.
Make another list of sub categories which will end up being chapters. It’s important to keep in mind not to over kill. Unless your a scientist who needs to list all the facts a topic has available there is no need to over explain ones content.
Keep it simple.
Write your information in a manner that an eighth grader could understand. Sadly enough the majority of Americans do not read at a college level. Now before you actually start to write ask yourself a few questions.
What do you want the eBook to accomplish?
Is your intention to share new information? Does the information being shared help the reader solve a problem? Who are you writing too? Are you writing something for ladies only or are you trying to reach a specific group and type of person? Are you trying to make your mark as an expert? Is the purpose of writing this eBook to generate more traffic?
Along with pondering these type of questions decide if your project is to be sold or if it’s going to be a give away.
Knowing for sure what you’re up to will help you to stay focused. It’s easy to get side tracked when writing. You don’t want to be wandering all over the place and ultimately leave the reader confused.
Finally, don’t forget to apply basic grammar practices.
Be sure to spell check your work. Misspelled words can undermine the integrity of your writing. Make sure the size of the print is easy on the eyes. If possible add pictures to the eBook to make the books environment more pleasing. If you think of the eBook as a series of small stories being shared with a friend it’ll take no time at all to accomplish the task.
Don’t let yourself get burned out.
If you start to get tired when writing and that natural creative flair of yours seems to be on the downside simply walk away from it for a while. Writing your first EBook should and can be a rewarding experience. If you still feel a little unconfident as to your ability to take on such a challenge just go online and find resources that will help you.
Remember nothing succeeds like success.
Get that first eBook under your belt. Once you do chances are the only problem you’ll have writing the next time is not trying to write two EBooks’ at the same time.
I have learned so much over the past year about creating an online presence. There is so very much to know and most people who start their own businesses really don’t know how to create, maximize and leverage their online presence.
I will give you just a summary of what I’ve learned over the past year from reading, masterminding and coaching. I know I have only scratched the surface but if I can in any way cut down on your learning curve by sharing the things I’ve already learned, then that’s what I want to do.
1. Niche Marketing
This is the first thing you learn when creating an online presence. It’s about narrowing your focus. It is not possible to be all things to all people and when you try, you end up watering down your message and in essence, being nothing to no one.
This probably was the hardest lesson I learned.
I fought the whole niche marketing idea because I believed that my niche was choice theory and I know choice theory applied to every possible life situation. While I still believe that this is true, I need to focus my marketing efforts on a much more specific and targeted niche. While I am still refining this, I have decided to market to two basic niches.
The first is small to midsize companies who are interested in creating, inspiring and leveraging diversity in the workforce and the second is managers interested in learning Empowered Leadership to increase production, improve quality and reduce employee turnover.
What is your niche? You know you have a good one if you can identify how to find them. You need to know what they read, what entertainment they gravitate toward, and what groups they belong to.
It is your goal to ultimately obtain a mailing list or email list to be able to market to your niche. If you can obtain a list, then you have a well-narrowed niche.
2. Creating a List
This is perhaps the most important asset to an online business the email list of potential customers and prospects. When doing business online, it is critically important to capture prospects’ email opt-in addresses so you can begin to market to them.
The best way to get people to give you their email address is to offer them something compelling. This is intricately tied to your niche. Find out something they are looking for to create a giveaway product in exchange for getting their email address.
You can see how critical it is to have correctly identified your niche market because if you offer a list of cat owner’s information on how to train their dogs, you can see how that might not entice them to provide you with their email address. It must be information they are hungry for.
The opt-in part is also important. You can’t just go add people’s email addresses to your mailing list. That is considered spamming. They must have the opportunity to opt-in, as well as the opportunity to remove their address from your database. Don’t ruin your business before it gets started by tainting your reputation unnecessarily.
3. Sales Letters
Sales letters are very important. If there is one thing I’d like to outsource, it would be sales letters. They are not fun for me to do but they may be fun for you. There are several things to be considered in a sales letter.
First of all, research shows that the longer a sales letter is the better. It must have a captivating title. It must be filled with information about “WIIFM?” aka “What’s In It For Me?” meaning your readers or potential customers.
This is again tied to the first point about niche marketing. Your sales letter will be most effective when you can write as if you know the mind of the reader. You must understand their pain or speak to a goal they have. How can you be specific enough if you haven’t narrowed your niche? You can’t.
The letter should be crafted with both the skimming reader and the detail reader in mind. This means making main points subheadings so the person who skims can get the general idea of what you are talking about just by skimming the headings.
However, include sufficient detail to convince the person who is interested in lots of facts and statistics. You don’t want to write your letter with only one group in mind because then you will lose out on the possibility of selling to the group you omitted.
Create products and services your niche is hungry for and then tell them why they must have your product to either solve their problem or help them become more successful.
Sales letters must have an urgent call to action. Create some type of advantage for those who act NOW. Research shows that even if a person is interested in what you are offering, if they don’t act as they are reading your letter and decide to wait for another day, they never come back to it. Get them to act now by making it worth their while. You can even offer an extra incentive for the first 20 people who respond. It’s up to you.
Writing articles is a tremendous way to get your name out there to the general public. I write at least two articles each month. I used to have my virtual assistant submit each one to online article banks individually. Now, for $100, I submit my article to I-Snare and they do the submitting for me. They will submit 100 articles for my $100 which is much more cost-effective than having to pay my assistant to do it.
The purpose of writing is to help readers get to know you and what you have to offer. When you write, you are not necessarily trying to sell something you are basically providing useful information, just like this article does. And you get to include a bio box at the end with a link back to your website home page, a product page or a sales letter. This will help increase the traffic to your website and it will be a targeted audience, meaning those who are already interested in what you have to say.
These are just some of the things you want to give attention to as you develop your presence on the World Wide Web. My next article will focus on writing press releases, generating search engine traffic and getting listed in various online directories. Then, we will discuss writing a blog, producing an online newsletter, creating a sales funnel and embarking on joint ventures.
Today I stumbled upon a cool new music speaker system – it worked so well, it was so easy and intuitive – it simply delivered. In fact it was quite remarkable.
Take a look at that word – remarkable! Remark-able.
Yes, I was able to make voluntary, un-coerced positive remarks to my friends. They also liked it and may just tell their friends.
What makes one website/product so remarkable? Well simply put, when a website solves a problem, meets a need or satisfies a want, it’s likely to be a good site. However a remarkable site does all that so well that it literally over-delivers, surpasses all expectations and makes its visitors feel good just for finding it.
In what way is your site, your product remarkable?
Why do you care? Because you want traffic, traffic, traffic. A good site may only convert 2- 5% of its traffic, so the higher your traffic, the more you sell. But other than positive, pervasive word of mouth you will have to work or pay for that traffic. I say work because there are some ways of generating traffic that don’t cost much money – rather they demand time and effort.
One of the best ways to draw people to your site is through original content, articles specifically.
There are hundreds of sites dedicated to article postings and within your ‘author bio’ you can post the link back to your site. People go online primarily for content. They are looking for answers, looking for ideas and solutions – sure some people are just bored and browsing, but your potential clients will only exchange their hard earned money for the promise that your product will get them closer to their goal.
If you can write articles that show you understand them and that you have a special insight into their interests, they may in return believe in your product enough to give it a try.
You can also write some press releases. A press release is nothing more than a written announcement that discusses something exciting and hopefully newsworthy about your business.
Typically it will have contact information so that any member of the press can easily reach you in case they have questions. There are many press release sites that can educate and help you spread your news. These ideas are just the tip of the marketing strategy iceberg.
You ought to find a mentor who can help you do all the above and more.
Remember – be remarkable.
Let’s give them something to talk about!