Starting a home based business is a fantastic way to earn additional income part time or full You can build a six figure or higher cash machine using you home computer and a few hours of your spare time each week. It is estimated that each day nearly 200,000 new people log on to the Internet for the first time. Many of these people looking for a home based business.Many of these people will go on to create a full time income equal to or exceeding their current income from their jobs. You need very little capital to start a home businesses and you can work the hours that are best for you.Developing an opportunity mindset is key to your business success. Your business is success is largely determined by your thoughts. If you believe that you can be successful in your business you will. Henry Ford once said ” if you believe you can or you can’t your probably right.”Self-motivation and keeping an optimistic perspective is vitally important. You must possess the desire to succeed and take action everyday regardless of what obstacles you encounter along the way.Your level of success depends on the time and effort you are willing to put into your business. To reap the greatest return on the time you invest you must keep a positive outlook and maintain the belief that you will eventually succeed.The author Norman Vincent Peale once said, “We tend to get what we expect.” Are your expectations for your business ones of abundance fruitful reward for work well done?Everyday you must plant mental seeds of prosperity into you mind and nurture them. We become what we think, therefore develop the thoughts that will create the life you want to live. The key difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is their habits.Develop the habit of being a power of intelligence and positive expectancy in your business and interactions with others. Cultivate patience and practice the work habits that will get you the results you desire.The mind is goal-seeking mechanism. Set large goals for yourself and others and work daily on achieving them. The purpose of setting goals is for you to decide exactly what it is that you want. You must clear understand where you want to go before you can expect to set on the journey and arrive there.The philosopher Aristotle wrote that all behavior is “teleological” or purposeful- aimed at a goal. The one factor that governs each of your actions is your desire that you would be better off than you would be in the absence of your actions.Stay positive and focused on your home business continually reminding yourself of your purpose. What ever we focus on becomes our reality.Continually focus on where you want to be and that is the direction you will go.Copyright 2004 Kevin Purfield
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Almost everyone needs or wants more money coming in, and with this desire most would like to start some sort of extra income-producing project. The trouble is, not many of these people seem able to fit “a second job” into their time schedules.It’s true that most people are busy, but extra time for some sort of home-based extra income-producing project can almost always be found. It may mean giving up or changing a few of your favorite pastimes – such As having a couple of beers with the guys or watching “reality TV” – but if you score big with your extra income project, you will have all the time you want for doing whatever you want to do.The first thing to do is to sit down with pencil and paper and list your daily schedule. What time do you wake up? Then step-by-step, list everything you do each day. Most people will find that they have about three hours each day that can be utilized in a more constructive or efficient manner.Efficient time management boils down to planning what you’re going to do, and then doing it. Start by making a list of the things you want to do tomorrow, each evening before you go to bed. Schedule your errands to coincide with the other things you have to do and with your trips to or from work. Take stock of the time you spend standing around shooting the breeze – especially the time you spend on the telephone – and eliminate all that isn’t necessary.Whatever chores you have to do at home, set aside a specific time to do them, and a specific amount of time to devote to them. Don’t try to do a week’s work in one big flurry. Whether it’s painting your house, fixing leaky faucets, or mowing your lawn and trimming your shrubs, do a part of it, or one particular job each day, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.Take care of all your mail the day you receive it. Don’t let those bills and letters pile up on you. If you’re unable to pay a bill immediately, file it in a special place that’s visible, and note on the envelope the date you intend to pay it. Answer your letters the same day you get them.The important thing is to think of time as your most valuable asset, because it is. So organize! Decide what you have to do, and what you want to do. From there, it’s just a matter of arranging priorities. Once you start listing and planning what you want to do, and then carry out your plans, you’ll find plenty of “extra time” for handling virtually any kind of home-based income-producing project. You may not like routines or schedules, but without some sort of plan as to what is supposed to be done, you won’t achieve your goals. The secret of all financially successful people is simply that they are organized and do not waste time. Think about it. Review your own activities, and then see if you can’t find a couple of extra hours in each day for more constructive accomplishments.When you begin planning, and then when you really become involved in an extra in come-producing endeavor, you should work it exactly as you have organized your regular day-to-day activities – on a time-efficient basis. Do what has to be done immediately. Don’t try to get done in an hour something that’s realistically going to take a week. Plan out on paper what you have to do – what you want to do – and when you are going to do it. Then get right on each project without procrastination.Finally, and above all else, when you’re organizing your time and your business, be sure to set aside some time for relaxation. Be sure to schedule time when you and your spouse can be together. Don’t be so wrapped up in your business that your family has forgotten what you look like.Copyright 2004 DeAnna SpencerThis article may be reprinted and redistributed as long as the resource box remains intact.
Are you retired? Are you considering part-time work to make some extra cash? Have you ever considered the Internet as a means of making that extra cash? Questions, questions, questions! Well, here is an idea for you.Technology has become much simpler over recent years. The learning curves are not as severe as they once were. The invention of the mouse and the Window’s operating system has made operating a computer easier than ever. So, why not have a look at the Internet as a means of making money. With all the experience that a retired person possesses from years of employment and hobbies, this medium is definitely worth taking a look at. And, the great thing about working online is that you can work-at-home. No long commutes to work. No 9 to 5 either, your hours can be flexible so you can still enjoy your retirement. Plus, your online business can lead to that extra income you’re looking for.What would you need to get an online business started? There are no special skills required for this home-based-business. But, you would need the confidence that you can be successful with an online business regardless of your computer or Internet experience and skills. And that would be just basic computer and Internet knowledge. Surfing the Net, reading and sending emails, creating webpages and uploading them, really are not that difficult to figure out. Most eight year olds can do it at a drop of a hat, it is that easy. Then of course you will need a computer and Internet service, but since you are reading this article you already have that.Next is the question, “What kind of Internet business should I look at?” I am going to suggest eBay. eBay is an online auction community allowing it’s members the opportunity to both buy and sell items online. The eBay site is very easy to use. You won’t even need any inventory to get you started! Why? Well, you know all that stuff around your home you’ve been wanting to get rid of, sell it on eBay. That’s right, sell it on eBay. You can clean out your closets, basement, or garage and make some extra cash at the same time. As well if you have a hobby making crafts, these items can be sold on eBay too.Selling on eBay can be a most rewarding venture. Once you get your closets cleaned out you can then graduate to using Dropshippers, from there maybe using Liquidators. As explained in my book “eBay Marketing Wholesale SourcePak” using Dropshippers is a smart way to get your Auction Business up and running, especially in the beginning as you won’t have to invest in costly inventory. From there the sky is the limit, the products are endless. If you have something worth selling, you are bound to find someone on eBay who wants to buy it. So, if you are looking for some part-time work to make that extra cash. Work for yourself, have a look at eBay!Happy Selling!Joe Clare
Listing names of Big Mail Requestors, and sending out packages of Big Mail is an easy way to get your start in the business of selling by mail.There are a number of mail order operators pulling in an easy, extra thousand dollars a month, by what you’d hardly call work – doing nothing more than receiving money for advertising a list of people’s names interested in receiving Big Mails, and sending out envelopes stuffed to overflowing with Big Mail.Regardless of where you live – you age – teenager or senior citizen – man or woman – there is no reason you can’t do the same – pull in extra thousand dollars a month, with the same idea.Getting started is not as easy as turning on a water tap, but then your initial investment will amount to practically nothing – and the requirements upon your time should not amount to more than a few hours a weekFirst, let’s define the market – Who wants Big Mails, and why they want it… Big Mails are wanted or should be wanted, by just about every person in business, especially those involved in selling a product via the mails, in order to keep himself abreast of who’s doing what, how they’re doing it, the new offers being made and the newcomers to the business. The reasoning is because of the time and postage saved by automatically receiving all of this information, as opposed to writing and mailing letters to each individual offer you see that arouses your interest, not to mention the time saved in searching through all the different publications to discover these things. Some people – the dreamers and the lonely – like to receive Big Mails simply for the sake of having mail delivered to them every day. There’s no sure way of determining which of your Big Mail Requestors these people are – so you just forget about it, and send your Big Mails to everybody on your list. Besides, the actual number of people in this category are fewer than you might suspect.Now, let’s define what’s inside a Big Mail Package you or your buyers – Big Mail Requestors – will be receiving in the mail… Generally, you’ll find at least one, but usually several publications: ad sheets, tabloid mail order newspapers, and an occasional newsletter. The rest is almost always a collection of various product advertising circulars. At least two of these circulars will be from the person sending the package to you in the first place.Many, if not most of the beginners in this business, first get their name listed as a Big Mail Requestor, on as many Big Mails Wanted lists as possible. They even save the mail they receive, and once a week, every other week, or once a month, they stuff their accumulated Big Mail into individual envelopes and send it to the names on their lists of people who have paid to be listed as Big Mail Requestors. Don’t forget – All Big Mail suppliers always include at least a couple of two-sided circulars of their own. These are usually CommissionCirculars – product advertising circulars, sometimes provided by a prime source or distributor with a blank space on the reply coupon for the dealer doing mailing to rubber stamp his business name and address. More often than not, the distributor furnished the dealer with “camera ready” copies of circulars to use.The dealer takes these C/R’s to a quick print shop, and has several thousand copies made up with his business name and address imprinted on each circular.Every time you send out a package of Big Mail, always include two advertising circulars of your own – circulars that may interest the recipient and cause him or her to send to you for the product or service offered. These can be commission – dropship – products, or products that you have devised, produced and are selling.Incidentally, the best way to go with commission circulars is to ask for or get a camera-ready copy of the original, and have a large quantity of them printed locally with your name in place of the supplier. This will save you hours of very boring work entailed in rubber-stamping your name on several thousand circulars. If for whatever reason it’s too expensive to get your circulars printed locally, then check around for a printer who does business by mail, and will make your circulars for you with your name and address on the ordering coupon. Also, it will almost always pay for you to have the printer fold your circulars for you before he ships them to you – he can do it all in about an hour, while it could take you a couple of days to a week or longer to fold 5,000 circulars yourself.You can include as many product circulars in your package of Big Mail as you want, but It’s been proven time and time again that three very good – outstanding – circulars, all related to the same idea, bring back more responses than an envelope overflowing with circulars. What I’m saying is that a circular inviting the recipient to send for Book #317, “How to Make Money Writing & Selling Simple Information,” plus a circular on Book #365, “$50,000 a Year from Mail Order Ads,” will pull far more inquiries than 10 or 12 different circulars inviting the recipient to send for a mixture of related items. The reason is quite simple – After about 3 circulars, you begin to overwhelm the recipient with opportunities. In reality, he’d like all of the books you are offering, but he only wants to spend so much and therefore, he’s faced with a decision of which ones to send for – and more often than not, he ends up not sending for any of them.Including a mini-catalog listing of your offerings if quite different, and generally acceptable to most people receiving big mail packages, or product advertising in the mail. Generally, this is regarded as not so much loose paper and something they can hang onto for awhile and maybe order from, much the same as they order from a JC Penny catalog.When you’ve got your name listed on a number of lists as a Big Mail Requestor, and after you’ve got a steady supply of this kind of mail coming to you, start placing ads of your own in some of the larger circulation ad sheets and other mail order publications as a Big Mail Supplier. For ideas on ads to use, glance through any mail order publication and come up with one you think will bring the most replies in.Now you’re on your way with the basic plan and “know-how” for a fast start as a Big Mail Supplier. In order to expand your big mail operations into a real money-making business, compile a list of magazines, newsletters, mail order tabloids and ad sheets. Then draft a letter to these publishers, advising them that you can supply them with several hundred prospective subscribers each month.Explain that your prospects come from responses to national advertising, which you run at no cost to them, the publishers: Go on to explain that your national advertising offers Free Trial Subscriptions to the nation’s leading money-making publications, and that you feel your list will be incomplete without his publication…Sweeten the pot further by detailing how you’ll be sending the names and addresses of these fresh prospects on peel ‘n stick labels – that these mailing lists will belong to him on receipt – and that you encourage him to copy them for follow up mailings…You charge each of these publishers $100 a year for this service, and even when you have 100-150 signed, keep looking for and attempting to sign more publishers.Don’t ever stop soliciting publishers, and go after the biggest as well as the very smallest of them With a number of accounts signed and paid, you place an ad such as the following, in several national publications:FILL YOUR MAILBOX WITH OPPORTUNITY!World’s leading Money-Making publications!Free trial subscriptions! $2 for processing to:(Your name & address).When the responses to your ads come in, type the names and addresses onto “master” sheets or put them into your computer systems as respondents to your advertising. Sometime around the 15th of each month, copy your masters onto the number of customer sheets of labels you need, and send them out. You bank the money from your advertising respondents.One hundred publishers times $100 each means $10,000 per year… A minimum of 200 respondents to your advertising each month means another $4,800 per year And then, by contracting with a reputable list broker to handle the rental of the”HOT” names you accumulate each month, you should be able to double or triple these figures… And $30,000 income your first year in the Big Mail business is nothing to “cry about” at all!!!Meanwhile you’ve got all these new prospects, to whom you can send your own sales materials You can also expand your services and become a subscription agency, a publications distributor, or even a mail order publications Advertising Agency…You could compile, publish and sell directories of newsletters, tabloids and ad sheets… Directories of Mail Order Associations… Mailing lists of people wanting Big Mails… or mailing lists of people wanting Commission Circulars.Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
If you’re like many women who want to start a home based business, one of the things that may be stopping you is a lack of funds.While there are many new Network Marketing and Direct Sales businesses that are free to join, it will take at least some money to get things rolling…money for business cards, inexpensive marketing and advertising methods, postage, your own personal products to experiment with, samples, etc.Even if you are starting an online business that markets a service, or that has no physical product, you will need money for domain name registration, web site hosting, low cost advertising and the like.Here are some ideas for raising the needed capital.Get a loan.Do you have a relative who would loan you the money to get started? What about that Great Aunt who always said you’d be great in your own business? How about Mom or Grandma?Perhaps they would accept barter (your new product, for instance…good rejection-proof way to get them hooked on it!) in lieu of repayment? Does Grandma have a shed full of stuff that she’s been wanting to sell or eBay but doesn’t have the energy? Would Mom like to have her house cleaned for the next few months?Ask your sponsor for help.Ask your upline sponsor if they would consider buying the starter kit for you, and then taking the profits from your first parties or commission checks as repayment?Some sponsors do this already, but if not, she may be so impressed with your drive to succeed that she will say yes.Have a yard saleThis is what I did to get started in my business. This one has twofold benefits…you’re making some extra cash but also have a captive audience of people coming to you! If you’re really energetic, go around to your neighbors and tell them that if they leave their castaways in a box on the curb, you will come pick them up. Do this before your sale. Slap a price tag on the merchandise and cha-ching!Be sure to make a sign advertising your new product or service and plenty of flyers or business cards to give to each shopper.Sell some stuff on eBay.Sell things from your own home (name brand kid’s clothes and popular book titles are easy and almost always pull a good price). Go to library book sales and buy books for .10 or .25 and list those. Use your my eBay page to advertise your new website!Use your tax return.Release the clutter, sell a useless piece of furniture or item in your home.For me, it was the dusty electric guitarKitchen appliances (you know what I’m talking about here!) that were going to make your life easier, exercise equipment that makes you feel guilty when you trip over it…Pre-sell the product.I got this one from my beloved Kim Klaver, aka Ms. Stud. Go around to your tribe (the people who love you enough to do anything you say), your coworkers, neighbors, playgroup Mommies, and show them a *picture* of the product, tell them what it does, collect the checks, deposit them and order your product. Sell it back to them at retail.Do a quick, temporary odd job.A friend of mine just did this one. She put a sign up at a local health food market that said “Non-toxic cleaning services”. (Notice that she created a niche). That day she got a call, did a job for an elderly women and made $150. Of course, she used her own nontoxic cleaning product and will probably end up getting a customer out of the deal too! Babysitting for a couple of weeks, dogsitting, housesitting…you get the picture.Talk to dh.Notice I’m leaving this one until last! Hopefully you have the kind of relationship where your husband will be overjoyed that you want to improve your financial standing. If you garner his support in the beginning he is much more likely to be helpful along your journey, with the inevitable ups and downs of business life.
A recent survey revealed that 40% of American workers have considered starting a business, but many fail to pursue their dreams due to funding constraints. While there are people who invest thousands of dollars to launch their businesses, there are just as many businesses that were started with just a few hundred dollars and some ingenuity.Michael Simmons, the founder of Kinko’s, rented a space the size of a closet near a college and started his business with a few spiral notebooks and a single copy machine. If he had waited until he had enough saved up to open a 4000 square foot store, he might be an accountant right now.Consider ThisYou may have a vision of a giant store, warehouse or internet operation but if your funds are low, it can seem like a pipe dream. But a sagging bank account doesn’t have to stop you before you even get started. Consider launching your business on a smaller scale. In fact, launching your business on a smaller scale can have many advantages. It allows you time to test your market and evaluate your price point. You may want to try different methods and pricing strategies to see what works. Since your investment is minimal, you can make some mistakes without ending up financially devastated.It takes some creativity to build any successful business, and creativity is entirely free. Talk to friends and people in the business community that you trust to get some ideas for getting your product in the marketplace. Here are ten possibilities to consider:Classified Ads – Whether in your local paper or on one of the many free online classified sites, you can use classified ads to advertise your product. Craigslist has a growing presence in most major cities and you can list ads for free. Visit: http://www.Craigslist.org.Flea Markets or Yard Sales – Most flea markets will rent you a space for as little as $10-$20. Set up an attractive display and suddenly you’re in business. You can even host your own yard sales to showcase your products. I once had a neighbor who sold used books in his driveway several weekends each month. Just be sure to check city ordinances and make sure you aren’t violating any local laws.eBay – The online auction giant offers a potential customer base in the millions. It only costs a fraction of your sale price to list and sell an item on eBay. Successful eBay sellers research their market first. Are other people selling a similar product on eBay? What is the going rate? How can you best describe and display your item to maximize sales? Invest a little time to determine how to position your product and you could become one of the millions making a living on eBay.Renting Shelf Space in an Existing Store – You might be surprised to learn that many small to mid-sized retailers would gladly rent you shelf space in their stores. Talk to the owner and present your product in a professional manner. Make the owner a fair offer or ask her to make you an offer. You can suggest a 90-day trial to see how it goes. Don’t forget to get your agreement in writing.Consigning Your Product to Retailers – Retail store owners often work with limited budgets and may be reluctant to try a new product, but consignment provides an attractive alternative. Make it as simple as you can on the business owner by presenting your product in a self-contained display. One candle company offers their products in a stand-alone display. The candle representative visits the retail stores that display the candles each month and checks to see how many have sold. The candle wholesaler then presents the retailer with an invoice and collects payment. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. After a period of successful consignment, the store owner will also be more likely to purchase the products outright and do away with the consignment agreement.Your Own Website – Website hosting has become quite affordable and setting up your own site has never been easier. Yahoo Small Business offers hosting packages for as little as $12 per month. You can use their free site builder tools to design some basic web pages and then set up a free merchant account with PayPal to accept credit cards. Once your site is up and running, you will need to work on marketing your business and letting people know your doors are open – 24 hours per day.Trade Shows – If you have the ability to deliver your product in large quantities, a trade show might be just the solution. Find one that fits your market and set up a professional display. Attendees of trade shows are there to make buying decisions and many businesses have been launched from the hollow halls of convention centers. Visit The Trade Show Network http://www.tsnn.com/ to locate upcoming events.Home Shopping Channels – It’s not impossible to get your product on a home shopping program. QVC accepts proposals and for more information visit http://www.qvcproductsearch.com.Host Parties – Mary Kay, Tupperware and the Pampered Chef are all businesses that have been built from home-based parties. Develop a theme for your party, make it interesting and start by inviting your family and friends. Once you have a good presentation prepared, advertise your parties and grow your business in your spare time.Back of the Room Sales – Are you an expert on your product or anything relating to your product? Consider hosting seminars, teaching classes at the adult learning annex or in a local bookstore and sell your product to attendees. Teach the audience something and then offer your product as a soft sale (don’t make it the central focus of your presentation) after the presentation.These are just a sample of venues for product sales. If these don’t work for you, consider similar options and find a solution that fits your budget and your lifestyle. We would probably be running off our copies at the grocery store if Michael Simmons hadn’t taken a chance on Kinko’s. Perhaps your business is destined to become the next success story.
Everyone seems to be a web designer these days. From your uncle?s neighbor?s nephew to Aunt Mildred, everyone claims webmaster status. How can you, a real web designer, developer, and/or host separate yourself from these part-time, low quality look-alikes?1. Create a Business DirectoryMany legitimate web design companies have started this way. Create an online business directory. Splurge and purchase a catchy domain name ? maybe yourtown.com or something easy to remember and easy to pass on.On the website, provide a free business directory of local businesses. Make a section on important and emergency contact information. Have a section on other local phone numbers of interest, such as the library and schools.Feature a different business each month. If you are good, you can call the business that you?d like to feature, tell them about the site, and tell them that you?re going to feature them for free. This may lead to a conversation about a website. If they don?t have one, or its out of date, your foot is already in the door.2. Offer a Community ForumForums are quite popular nowadays. People love to express their views on unlimited subjects. Harness this by providing a free place for area residents to post thoughts on upcoming elections, construction, and even comment on local restaurants. Put a small ad at the top of the forum, mentioning humbly that the forum is sponsored by your business and is provided as a free service to the community.3. Consider purchasing software such as TownLink (yourtownlink.com).Offer reduced advertising to area businesses to get the site off the ground. Promote the site as another free service that your company provides to the community.4. Create a website that promotes local apartments and homes for sale.This is actually pretty easy if you use software such as OpenRealty (open-realty.org). Configure the software for your community, and promote listings to real estate companies and apartment managers in the area. Once again, offer this website as a free service to residents who may be looking for a new home or outside residents who are wondering about the area.Make sure that no matter which of these services that you use that you point back to your own company in a small, non-intrusive way. Make it known that you are providing these things, and that you are a local-owned company. Always purchase separate domains for each ? then put them all over town!
Partnering between home-based businesses is a natural result of corporate downsizing. Many professionals who have left large companies and started home-based businesses are successful and don’t want to return to the corporate world, but they recognize the need for and benefit of alliances.Partnering will continue to gain respect and recognition among home-based entrepreneurs seeking top talent for short and long-term business needs. Across the scope of business today, joint-venturing is in. When it comes to partnering, the home-based business has an advantage in flexibility, overhead structure and unique sources of talent. In other words, getting together to combine the best of talents, the best of direction and the best of enthusiasm is a win-win situation, period.A couple of examples would be: you partnering with real estate agents, and brokers in regards to lease purchasing; or to use a specific company for inspections or clean up of the property. Or contracting with a web designer to design pages for your clients.Tips for Effective PartneringChoose your partners carefully. Be sure they have the skills and abilities you need, and share your level of commitment. Define the scope of the partnership. Are you working on an equal basis, or will one of you function as the managing partner? What roles will each partner play? How will the compensation be calculated and distributed? Put it in writing. A detailed, well-crafted partnership agreement prevents misunderstandings, memory lapses and future conflicts. Develop and stick to an operations plan. How will the work actually happen? How and when will the partners interact? Plan for the unexpected. How do you plan to handle problems and resolve conflicts? If a partner wants to dissolve the agreement, who ends up with what? Set a minimum “no exit” time period. New ventures take time to become productive. Make a mutual commitment to stick with the partnership long enough to give it a chance to prove itself. So, who do you want to partner with?Copyright 2004 DeFiore Enterprises
Believe it or not your childhood attitude towards a fence shapes your business mindset. As you’ll learn from my experience starting a business, having the right mindset is the key to being an entrepreneur. It’s all about being a fence hopper instead of a fence sitter.Remember being a kid? Did you sit on a fence and dangle your legs or did you hop right over that fence? The answer matters. It reflects your outlook on life. If you’re like most kids you sat on the fence wiggling your legs while giggling with a friend and day dreaming, talking about all your big plans for life. The problem is most people never get past the fence sitting phase, even though they grow up and get jobs.When I was a kid, I loved hopping over fences. It was fun to climb to new heights and see what was on the other side. But like most folks the majority of my adult work time has been spent sitting on the proverbial fence at the same job, day in and day out, waiting for the pension, figuring I’d be there the rest of my life.But one day I took a good hard look at my life and realized I wasn’t meeting my financial or lifestyle goals. I wanted more than the same old paycheck and the same old hours and the same old headaches. As I began working towards starting my own business, I embodied the Nike mantra, “Just do it”. This mantra is the fence hopper, and entrepreneurial mantra. Yet, oddly enough for most people it’s, “I will, I will” followed by “I won’t, I won’t.” The problem is fear, self-doubt, insecurity, lack of support, and tools erode the dream of owning their own business before it’s even given a chance. I faced these same concerns.Confidence/No FearEarly on, I realized to succeed required getting in the “right mindset” to be my own boss. This involved getting over self-defeating talk and convincing myself I could do it. There is an expression in sales if you fake it long enough you believe it. The reasoning is that by acting confident, you become confident. So for me it became a matter of selling my self. Like any good sales person will tell you, to be good in sales you need to know your customers’ hot buttons, earn their trust and value and meet their needs. I sold myself on the idea of going into business for myself, but that didn’t take away the realistic fears and insecurities.When I started the business there was no paycheck, no set date when the money would arrive, and even worse I worried that the money might not show up at all. This became my biggest fence to climb.Contending with my own self-doubt and insecurity was one thing, but hearing the negative concerns of friends and family voiced over and over made matters worse. In their eyes I was working a “good job”, and they didn’t understand why I wanted to trade a secure paycheck for uncertainty. All I heard was “you can’t do that” and “that’s too risky”. Those kinds of comments worked against me for the first six months and threatened to undermine the entrepreneurial “can do and will do” attitude.Friends and family didn’t understand the kind of business I started known as affiliate marketing, but they felt qualified to tell me, “If I could make money online it would probably be illegal or at best immoral.”What they didn’t realize is that affiliate marketing is a $14 billion industry. (Source: Marketing Sherpa) and is expected to grow to approximately $230 billion by 2008. (Source: Forrester Research)Supporting Your EndeavorsAspiring entrepreneurs need the support of their spouse or partner. Fortunately, my wife is 100% supportive. I know some people, who sadly enough, will never succeed because their spouse runs around saying things like, “That’s a waste of time”. If your spouse or significant other is angry you’re spending time working on something other than your “real job” its going to be difficult to start a business and work around the negativity their harboring.Getting The ToolsWhen you start something new it’s hard to know ahead of time what tools and knowledge you’re going to need. Combine this with a natural resistance towards spending money on an unknown venture and you’ll likely wind up lacking something that’s essential to your business.For instance, my first attempt developing an online business utilized a free domain name and web hosting which hampered my ability to have a professional looking web site. Plus, I felt overwhelmed entering a new industry and market. There was simply too much to know and I didn’t know where to obtain the right information to make the business venture a success. When things looked their bleakest, instead of abandoning my plans, I found help and that’s when the success began.Knowing When And Where To Ask For HelpReading the motivational book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki provided numerous insights. The top four principles entail:
“Work to learn” and not to earn” mindset
Form relationships with people who are successful and willing to pass on their knowledge
Being successful requires making a personal investment.
Working a job you will not get you ahead financially
By following these principles I worked out a deal with a business colleague. I agreed to work for free while he taught me the ropes. With finances tight it made more sense to donate time instead of placing myself under financial duress. Thanks to his generosity I’m now successful in affiliate marketing with numerous specialty web sites including: credit cards , area rugs, and hockey equipment.Goal Setting And BalanceFigure out a time commitment that works for you and your family. By devoting just one hour per day to building the business, while working the old job I found balance. While the time might sound small it worked and became a daily goal.Goal setting can get out of hand if you’re goals aren’t realistic. When I didn’t meet my monetary goals by a certain date I became angry, due to the “job mentality”. By being both the boss and employee the insecurity and angry set in. Instead of letting the emotions wreak havoc take time to examine what went wrong and why you didn’t achieve the goal. As you get better at running your business it gets easier to figure out ways to achieve goals in a realistic timeframe.Testing the “Own Business Mindset”The real test came when I made the decision to quit the “real job”. With the resignation letter in hand all the childhood messages: go to school, get good grades, obtain a high-quality job, stay employed until 65, and retire with a modest pension all these words of advice rattled my plans. Shaking those beliefs ingrained throughout the better part of my life proved difficult. To get past the fear I reminded myself of companies like Enron, where employees took the safe route only to lose their pension and livelihood. Plus, I looked around at all the companies downsizing and outsourcing eliminating countless jobs. I realized the idea of a secure job ‘until you’re 65 is a myth and that security is what you make it, not what some one else provides.Running my own business there’s always another fence to climb over to reach new heights of financial success; the income keeps getting higher, just the way I like it.
So you’ve done some investigating into mail order and haven’t found something you’d like to sell. Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.First, you must have a specific category of goods you’d like to sell.. You must enjoy what you’re doing or it won’t be worth your trouble, so you should pick some category of goods that falls within an area of interest to you.Don’t be afraid that the market might already be saturated; if a lot of people are already selling that class of goods, it’s because the market calls for that much product.If you’re a hot dancer, you might be able to put together a dance course of dancercise program, or sell dancewear. If you’re into tennis, the number of gadgets for tennis players,, or in fact, any sport or hobby is staggering, and marketed correctly, most of them will make money. If knowledge in a certain field is your stock-in-trade, by all means, become a writer!Books are probably the safest and hottest commodities you can sell by mail. There are trade magazines for virtually every kind of business and private venture and every private interest group or hobby in existence. Check your library for the name of these magazines, get copies of them by hook or crook, and find out what’s being offered to people in the industry.Trade magazines are where new products are first introduced, and you can often get exclusive rights to a marvellous idea just because you were brave enough to ask.One of the most important considerations is availability.If you have exclusive rights to a product, you can virtually write your own ticket. Mind you, it must be an item in fairly great demand or something for which you can create a demand.It should generally be an item you cannot buy in stores or cannot be bought in stores for the price you can ask by mail. If it can be bought in stores at a comparable price, then your offering should have some special feature about it that makes it unique. Don’t try to compete with retail outlets.The next consideration is price and quantity.You must be able to produce or supply yourself with the item at the very least at one-third of your selling price, and in most cases the higher your markup the better. The actual selling price must still represent good value to the customer, but don’t be too concerned about undercutting just yet, since the difference between retail and supplier’s factory-direct price is usually substantial.In order to get the price necessary to provide a good profit margin, you should not have to buy up a factory’s entire production either. It should be possible to buy hundred or gross lots at a fair cost (if you’re not dealing in that kind of volume at some point, it won’t be worth you while in the first place).If you are selling merchandise, you must have some sort of guarantee and be able to back it up.A product that routinely breaks down before the warranty expires won’t do much for your image and will cost you must more than just a refund over both the short and long term.If you are selling books, you can get away without a guarantee and in fact one of the most successful mail order firms in existence has made it a point of pride that they offer no guarantees at any item, even on a new publication costing $1,000!Posters have traditionally been hot mail order sellers, but they have one very serious drawback: they require expensive tubes for safe shipping, and those tubes and the postage they require often cost more than the poster itself. Which brings us to the next point: how easily and cheaply… and safely can it be shipped?The product must also be understood by the buyer before it’s actually purchased. Anything requiring a demonstration or great amounts of instruction in its use is better left to salesmen on the retail floor.If you are selling direct from advertisements, keep the items under $25 unless they are well-known and exceptional products. When selling by direct mail, higher priced items can be sold since you’re able to take much more space to explain the article.Finally, it must be something that is either used up, purchased repeatedly, can be accessorized or leads to the sale of another item, either from a catalog or future sales campaign.The real money in mail order is made form repeat sales where the expenditures required to sell a given number of items is vastly reduced.Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer