Money Management: How To Successfully Begin A Home Business

Has the decision to start your home business been made? Many people see owning their own business as an opportunity to make their own decisions and engage in enjoyable work. Never forget that it’s a real business, though. Preparation can help you operate a stress-free, successful home business.

If you need to spend time driving to get things done for your business, it’s vital that you record your mileage and keep careful track of all your receipts. Travel expenses can really add up over time, so take careful notes! However, you need to be sure that you’re able to prove that the trips had to do with your business.

Having a comfortable work space with the supplies you need is the first step to starting a home business. This may not seem that important, but it is hard to stay motivated if you don’t have the proper setup.

If a product that you sell is no longer in stock, say so on your website. Customers are certain to be upset with you if the products they ordered will take weeks to arrive to them. When a product is on back-order, make it very clear so that customers have the opportunity to choose a suitable substitute.

Even when you are working from home, you should take pride in your appearance. There is a great temptation to not dress professionally when working from home. As with any other job, you should dress for success. Dressing appropriately places you in the frame of mind to work productively.

Invest in obtaining some business cards. Business card offers can be found on line at a reasonable price or even free. On your business card, remember to include your name and contact information. At the very least, include a work phone number. It is important to include your email and website as well. This helps make it easy for customers and prospects to contact you.

Start a mailing list. Make sure to keep your communications below the spam level. Mailing lists allow you to advertise new sales or promotions. Some people also use mailing lists to send coupons, relevant information and articles to their customers regularly. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your mailing list right from your website.

When you take the time to learn how to market your business to prospective customers, you’ll find that it’s not that hard. Try creating a website for a home business. You can set your own website up in a day or so. Domain registration is sometimes free, but usually you’ll need to pay a nominal fee. This fee can be worth it if the profits are pouring in.

Make sure that your website has flair and is not mundane. Don’t choose something long or hard to spell. It is always best to keep it simple.

Search online to get the supplies you need for your home business at wholesale cost. Many wholesale companies are available online and can offer you discounts on the supplies your business needs at a fraction of the cost of retail. Owning a certified business license allows you to grab these products under exclusive prices and conditions.

You should always take some risks and experiment with home business if you want to continue to grow. Launching experimental product lines and promotions is a good way to build your customer base and improve your market position. Doing the same routine repeatedly never allows you to see if you can do something better. Another thing you can do is sell other people’s products. You can become an affiliate and start making commissions when someone purchases a product from you. This way you don’t have to spend time thinking about product creation.

Many people pursue the goal of working at their own home business. The success of a home business is dependent on the right information. This article will give you an advantage over your competition, so that you can achieve your goals.

Why Buying a Franchise Is the Recipe for a Successful Business Start Up

So you want to own your own business. Good for you. The World needs entrepreneurs willing to risk their time and money on new ideas. However, the sad truth is that even with brilliant ideas and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, most start up businesses fail within the first two years. Yet take heart, all is not lost. It is possible to own your own business and dramatically increase your chances of success.

What is this miracle of modern business? The answer is franchising.

What is a franchise?

Now before we continue, let us be clear about what franchising is (and isn’t). A franchise is not just the right to use a brand, although the brand will be a crucial part of the deal. No, a franchise is much more than that. A true franchise is a complete business system, comprising every aspect of how to operate the business. This will include:

• the products or services offered for sale,

• the methods for delivering those products and services to customers,

• marketing and promotion,

• dealing with customer complaints,

• invoicing and credit control

and every other operation and process needed to run the business.

The business system will be combined with training and support provided by the franchisor to the franchisee and his employees. It is this trinity of recognised brand together with business systems and training and support that together characterise a true franchise.

In this way, a franchise is like following a recipe. The franchisor will already have the recipe for creating and running a successful business. If the franchisee follows the same recipe, the franchisee should also end up with his own, successful business. By replicating the franchisor’s tried and tested business model, the franchisee dramatically increases his chances of success when compared to operating as an independent business.

A tried and tested model

In an established franchise network, the business model will have been tested many times, not just by the franchisor, but by dozens of other franchisees. This means that the franchisor will also have the opportunity to collect key performance data from his franchisees. In turn, this allows the franchisor to set bench marks which will serve as early warning systems, identifying potential issues in a franchisee’s business before they become significant problems.

Of course, the franchisor is not going to share his secret recipe for free. The trinity of brand, business systems and training and support comes at a price. Typically, this will include both an initial licence fee and on going management charges calculated as a percentage of turnover. These fees mean that buying and running a franchise business is more expensive than setting up an independent business. However, the increased initial costs may prove to be money well spent in the long run, particularly if the alternative is a significantly higher risk of business failure.

Let us conclude with a note of caution. As with all recipes, some are tastier than others. It is vital that before investing in any franchise, the franchisee thoroughly researches the industry as well as the specific franchise network that he is considering joining. Buying a franchise can be a fantastic business opportunity, provided the franchisee goes into it with his eyes wide open and wholly understands what he is taking on.

How to Prepare Your Business for Being Discovered By New Customers

These days, you never know how a new customer will hear about your business.

It can be in a crowded conference center with 2,000 people, or it can be in a small café during a conversation between friends. It can also happen online – whether that’s through a post on Facebook, a question on Twitter, or a photo shared on Instagram.

Oftentimes, people won’t be searching for your business name when they find you.

Think about how you actually search for products and services online. You might type something into your browser like this:

• Mexican restaurants in Berkeley. CA

• Dog walker in Chicago, IL

• Interior designer in Washington, DC

• Landscaper in Los Angeles, CA

• Photographer in Atlanta, GA

Each time a search like this is performed, the prospective client is likely to discover a new business that they would have never known about without the convenience of the Internet.

How you show up in the search engines is even more important if you have a “local” based business such as a restaurant, a boutique or any other kind of “brick and mortar” business.

One recent survey of smartphone users found that 75 percent have used a mobile device to get real-time location-based information. This presents an exciting opportunity for you to attract new customers and do more business. But, it also means you need to be prepared so that you can keep them coming back!

Here are five things you can do to make sure you’re ready:

1. Make it easy for people to find your business.

Three areas you’ll want to focus on are: your website, social media, and listings.

2. Make sure the information they find is up-to-date.

When people do find your business online, you need to make sure the information they discover is accurate and up-to-date.

Your phone number and email address need to be accurate and current. Have your contact information available on every page of your site. Be sure to list your mailing address (or your physical address if you’re a brick and mortar business). Have your current service menu, price list and testimonials.

Make sure your site is always reflecting the latest and greatest in your business!

3. Provide a WOW experience that gets people talking.

When prospective clients arrive at your website or come through your door, you need to make sure you’re providing a memorable experience.

At every interaction your prospect should feel heard, understood and appreciated. Follow-up in a timely manner. Answer their questions. Be generous in sharing your expertise. Give them options for products and services that speak to their problems and are easy to say yes to.

Providing a WOW experience will turn first time customers into repeat customers and loyal advocates for your business.

4. Make it easy for your prospects to stay connected.

This could be as simple as sharing the links to your social media profiles on your website, or providing a sign-up form on your counter for people to join your email list.

Give them an incentive to share their contact information – offer a free gift, a discount, a sample – anything that is relevant and valuable to them. Capturing their contact information and staying in touch will allow you to develop a trusted relationship, that will likely lead to a sale and ongoing business!

5. Follow up promptly!

Once people have connected with you, it’s your responsibility to keep the conversation going. Remember, it’s not their job to remember that you are in business to serve their needs.

Make sure you’re actually participating on social media, not just posting when you have something to promote. If you’re telling customers they’ll be receiving an email newsletter once a month, make sure you’re following through. Look for ways to bring them back into your store with a special offer or in-person event.

You need to build credibility and your audience needs to know you are serious and committed to your business.

Don’t wait to get started.

People are discovering your business every day. If you want to turn those potential customers into repeat visitors and loyal advocates for your business, you need to be prepared!