When you make the choice to start a home business, you will need to try to figure out which type of business is right for you. The best way to do that is to be very honest about your resources, temperament and abilities. It can be a difficult choice because so much is at stake, but it’s good to give it some thought and consideration before investing a lot of time and money into a business idea that is wrong for you.
Create a Dream Board
What type of life do you want to live? Get some old magazines, or get out the crayons and pencils and draw what you see your future as. If you prefer technology, use PowerPoint to create a dream slide show instead of a dream board. The point is to get down on paper how you want your life to be when your business is successful.
Determine How Much Money That Life Takes
How much do you have to make a year to enjoy the lifestyle from your dream board? What type of income will this require? Is it realistic, possible? If it’s realistic, set a deadline for yourself on how long you’ll take to get to that goal. Use that number to help you determine what type of business you will need to start.
Make a List of the Type of People You Want to Work With
Who do you want to surround yourself with all day long? Who do you want to work with? Who do you want to work for? If you can narrow down the audience that you can create products for, or services for, then you are on the right path. Are there enough of these people to create a profit? If there are only a couple hundred, how many of them can you attract? Be realistic and understand that you need a large under-served audience for whom to create.
Make a List of the Products or Services the Audience Needs
Now that you know who you want to work with and be around, make a list of the type of services or products that this audience might need. Can any of these be the start of your dream board life? If you have a smaller audience, you need to create a higher priced item. For example, if you want to earn $100K a year, how many products do you have to sell to create that income? Mark everything up by 100 percent to take into account the cost of marketing and doing business.
Write Down Your Resources
Resources include people you have access to, connections you’ve made in the past, family, friends, your skillset, their skillset, the money in your bank account, and the equipment you already have or that you can get access too. Do you have enough and can you get enough to do what you have determined is right?
Write a Business Plan
Finally, take the time to create a business plan. This will give you time to sit with the business idea, in your mind and heart, to ensure it matches your values and ideas. It’s not a waste of time to create a business plan even if you don’t ultimately start that business.
Remember to be honest with what you’re capable of doing. If you don’t like making cold calls, don’t pick a business that requires it. If you hate to speak in public, don’t pick public speaking as your business idea. The closer you can match the business idea with what you love to do, the more likely you are to be successful.
Starting an online business is one of the smartest moves
you can make to invest in your future. Now more than ever,
people are putting their ideas into practice and becoming
first time entrepreneurs….
Beginning a new business owner in today’s world is much easier than it was even ten years. Booming online businesses make up a huge percent of products sold. It’s evident that e-commerce is here to stay.
The beauty of running an online business is that the start up costs are very low – you can even start some businesses without having to come up with any money at all. Young or old, people of all ages can create a business they love from whatever they’re passionate about. Whether it’s selling antique pieces of history, gift ideas or selling services, there’s a niche tailor made for your talents.
So who are the people who are breaking free from their ordinary routines,
or from their cubicles and taking control of their lives?
Many of the people who are first time entrepreneurs are moms. Whether they’re stay at home moms or currently work in an office, mothers make up a large majority of those running Internet businesses.
Putting their years of expertise from both life and business to work for them, many baby boomers are stepping out and taking the plunge into a new endeavor of starting their own online business.
Sometimes in a tough job economy, baby boomers are some of the first people to get laid off. Employers aim to keep the younger, less experienced people on the job because they can pay them less.
No, it’s not fair, but it does happen. If you’re in that category, losing a job can be the springboard that catapults you into an adventure that can bring so much good into your life as you start working for yourself.
In certain jobs, there are government mandates in place for when people must retire from that job, which is unfortunate in many cases because it’s those years of experience on the job that make them better employees than the newly hired.
Even retirees that don’t need supplemental income, thanks to smart financial planning or plain old-fashioned good luck, choose to start a new career or business in order to keep their minds active and to give themselves something to look forward to.
Changing from a life of active work to being home all day can be quite an adjustment and running an online business can make that adjustment a lot easier on the one retiring and his or her family. Plus, for those wanting to retire but who want to stay busy, there are plenty of opportunities available online to start and run a successful business.
When creating content for your online products, services, and marketing materials it can be easy to become stale, boring, and out of touch with your audience – to the point that they can no longer relate to you. If you keep in mind first your audience and then your goals, you will be able to overcome these common problems.
Tell Your Story
Starting from your customer’s perspective, tell your story with them in mind. You can speak to them from the voice of a customer yourself. After all, why did you create the products or services that you did? Did you do it because you needed them yourself? How did you discover the need for your product or service? Why you? Stay in the perspective of the customer during the story and they will relate to your offerings better.
Don’t Be Pretentious
Instead of using jargon and “corporate” speak, talk to your audience members as if they’re your equals and you’ll become more human to them. It will also give you a chance to show your personality to them. While you do want to be a thought leader and a teacher, you don’t want to appear as a know-it-all and boring.
Seek to Be Relevant
Stay up-to-date on your industry so that you can remain relevant. Don’t stick to the old ways of doing things long after it’s not being done any longer. Pay attention to what’s coming down the pike and you’ll always stay on top of your niche and be relevant to your audience.
Use Plain Language
Speak to your audience as if you’re talking to a good friend. Write how you talk. No need to use bigger words than you would normally use. If it helps, get some voice to text software and talk your blog posts and content. You can also try doing vlogs if it helps you avoid using language that is unnatural to you.
Focus on Your Audience
No matter what you are writing, blogging, vlogging, and doing, it’s always supposed to be about your audience. They need to know what’s in it for them, and to keep the focus on them over yourself. Instead of seeking to glamorize yourself and put yourself above them, put them on a pedestal and make it all about them at all times.
Make Each Word Count
Once you finish writing a piece of content, edit it for extraneous words. Pare it down so that your writing is concise and to the point. Try writing shorter sentences instead of long-winded sentences. In addition, don’t make paragraphs too long and keep each blog post to one narrow focus.
Keep One Voice across Channels
Regardless of which channel you’re promoting your content on, it’s important that you know what your voice is. The tone, voice, and feeling of what you put out to the world should feel the same whether they read it on your blog or read it on LinkedIn.
Include Appropriate Imagery
With any content, you can get your point across easier if you use images. Sometimes a concept is just easier to express with an image and other times the image just helps set the mood and tone for the entire post.
You can incorporate more humanity, humor and personality into your content by remembering who your audience is and who you are. Seek to be yourself, while also delivering great content to your audience.
Whether you want to work from home or open a brick and mortar shop, it’s important to choose a niche that suits your passions. Working in any niche can be more challenging when you don’t like what you’re doing. But when you love what you’re doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work.
Take a few minutes and consider which niches might fit with your passions. If you’re not sure what your passions are, imagine you have a whole day to yourself. What do you spend it doing?
Would you spend it perfecting new recipes? Exploring your city? Writing movie reviews? If you’re still having trouble, look at your existing hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you spend your money on?
Taking a moment to consider what you love doing will help you decide which niche is the best fit for you. Or maybe you recently discovered niche you’re passionate about. What do you do then?
Begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. It pays off in big ways to know the current issues and events in your niche.
Spend time browsing websites – both of experts and amateurs alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business. Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.
By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into. If so, it’s time to trim that list. Par it down to your top three. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.
Don’t just go by income level (although you should consider that, too). Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers and when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too. Choose a niche that you can earn an income in and gain personal satisfaction from.
Once you know which niche is right for you, take a minute and ask yourself, “What’s not being covered? Which audiences are being ignored? Who are the rising stars on the horizon and how will they change the niche?” Since you already have an interest in these niches, you’ll be better at gaining consumers that other entrepreneurs are missing.
Of all the ways for both newbies and seasoned marketers to make money online, affiliate marketing is probably the most often used. It gives the marketer the opportunity to focus his or her energies just on the marketing aspect of the sales funnel.
After all, the hardest part of starting a business online is to develop a great product with sizzling sales copy – elements already taken care of when you’re promoting affiliate products. With these two milestones taken care of, your energy can be focused on driving traffic to the affiliate sales site.
Think of it this way: someone writes a great product that teaches specialty dog training – but then doesn’t know how to reach his or her audience. On the other hand, you know that there is a huge market for specialty dog training, and you know how to generate traffic to a site, but you have no personal knowledge of the dog training niche.
Enter affiliate marketing. You do what you do best – market and drive traffic. In this way, you become a traffic driving expert rather than an infopreneur that sells a dog training course.
At the same time, it helps the owner of the dog training product because they would rather write and teach dog training tips than have to find ways to research hot keywords or write articles.
Affiliate marketing is a perfect opportunity to help immerse you into the world of Internet marketing. While there are many dozens of ways to make money online, affiliate marketing definitely offers the most flexibility and variety for the serious online entrepreneur.
Here are 3 ways to slash your affiliate marketing research efforts to the bare minimum so that you can get on to the fun of promoting and marketing:
Head over to the ClickBank Marketplace and choose any category you might be interested in promoting. This will bring back the top ten most popular products in that category. You might check the second page, too, if you don’t find something that interests you on page one.
Don’t be put off by the fact that a product seems too popular where you fear saturation. Affiliate marketing is all about sleuthing out the potential customer – and maybe you have an “eye” for that market that others don’t.
Another place to “read” your market is to go to the niche forum, say in the Forex market. Listen to the members there. What are the recurrent questions and problems that a certain product can serve? You make sure you become a helpful contributor and then note which affiliate products can best serve those people.
Head to your favorite bookstore and notice the most popular magazines. If advertisers are spending money on ads, enough to support at least one magazine, then you know there’s a market for an affiliate product in that same niche.
These are just some of the simpler ways to get in the head of your market. If you enjoy digging into the minds of potential customers to find what wants, needs or desires they have…then affiliate marketing may be just what you want to make money from home!