Starting a New Home Business – Don’t Sweat it!

Starting anything new can present many challenges. We need to learn how to do what we need to do, find the best way to do it, and eventually, just do it. Then we must keep doing it consistently to create the results we need. Each step of the way we need to stay motivated. That means no matter what obstacles we encounter, we have to remain determined and undaunted!

Believing in ourselves and what we are doing may be one of the biggest challenges. Regardless of any doubts or skepticism that our well-meaning family and friends may impose on us, we have to have faith in what we are doing. It sounds simple, but it is likely you will not be seeing immediate results, and that is the reason you really have to have a strong will. One way to stay in a positive mindset is to read motivational articles and books, watch videos and attend webinars to learn the strategies that successful people have used and how they think.

Entertaining negative thoughts that may naturally come to mind is not acceptable. We really need to learn how to dispel them and keep moving forward. Some people recommend self-talk, (telling yourself that you know you can do it); envisioning (imagining yourself already possessing the things you will buy when you have achieved your goals); and some people like posting slogans or pictures of things they want to buy when they earn money. Whatever works for you is what will be best!

A winner is rarely discouraged by temporary setbacks. They are able to logically believe that it is a fact that everything takes time and they remain patient. Some warriors are able to directly turn those negative thoughts and feelings into motivation to submit an ad, write an article, or learn how to do something new. It is also acceptable to just stop working for a few hours or even a day to focus on something else.

For example you can do something that you enjoy – like going for a ride or a walk, or going to the gym. The point is to get away for a while. You should do this frequently anyway, because it is tempting to work around the clock when you have a home business. Being overly tired can definitely mimic the depression caused by dwelling on negative thoughts.

We should always remember to be realistic. Our dreams can make reality seem dull. However until we can make our dreams come true, it is reality that we have to live in. In order to stay on top of it all, we have to have a balance — hard work and relaxation – healthy food and rest, and to maintain our important relationships. Success in any business will only come through hard work and investing our time to make it happen! (…and a ‘stiff upper lip’!)

Starting a Legitimate Affiliate Marketing Business

When you begin attempting to build a legitimate Internet business from the ground up and you list the necessary elements, few people would have the skills or experience required. In lieu of those, few have the money to pay for the services they do not know how to do themselves. Whatever the business is, it is going to require you to do marketing and advertising to find customers. This requires learning about the most effective strategies, usually by trial and error. This can be time-consuming and expensive.

These are precisely why affiliate programs may be the perfect way for you to ‘get your feet wet’ just in so far as to determine if you even like Internet marketing before you try to build a business online. If you start out on your own, you will need to know several things that may include programming, web design, and connectivity, just to display a website on the Internet. You would need to create your own product or service that you could use to generate an income. Then you would need to promote it to get customers.

Actually you could spend years getting it all together and then more time would be required to promote your business before you would ever see a profit. Business universities teach that for an offline business, the average to make a profit is 5-years, during which time your expenses continue to mount. For example with a “brick and mortar” store or office outside the home, there is insurance, taxes, rent, inventory, staff, equipment, utilities and supplies. These expenses need to be paid whether or not you sell anything during that time. The great expense is one reason why it may take so long to realize a return on your investment or profit.

With an Internet home business you wouldn’t have all those ongoing expenses, however in reality it still does take time and lots of effort. Naturally if you have any money at all, it can help you make things simpler. While it still takes time, it is likely nowhere near 5-years to earn a profit if you are really focused on your business. That is of course dependent on what sort of a system/product you are creating.

However with an affiliate program, you may pay a small monthly membership fee and/or an initial larger payment. There are usually no contracts beyond month-to-month. Just with your small fee you are buying the right to use and profit from the program’s intellectual property. They have spent time and money to develop their product and to maintain their business and as such should not be begrudged for charging a reasonable fee.

The affiliate has the ability to use their resources, including the fact that they handle your sales transactions and serve your customers for you. So this frees your time and money up right there. When you make a sale, you earn commissions. It is a perfect exchange, as you are promoting their business and providing free advertising by your efforts to promote your business and earn money. That is why and how they are able and willing to allow you to use everything for what comparatively speaking is a very small amount of money. On top of everything else, the main thing is the time you are saving in development and experimentation.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Building trusting relationships is important in business – whether with your prospects, customers, peers, or vendors, etc. All good relationships are based on all parties being honest and open. If you say something is so, then make it happen. Sometimes something unexpected may prevent you from meeting your commitment. Stuff happens, but then just be honest about it. Let people know when you may need more time or whatever it might be in order to resolve the issue.

Take the initiative to report this to the concerned parties as close to the promised deadline as possible. When you see that you are not on time, or on point, then if possible even before the deadline let them know to expect a delay or whatever the change from the original agreement. Keep them up-to-date on your progress. This is showing respect and it can go a long way especially in a conflict or dispute. It is not so much just about the inconvenience this may have caused, but more about your word and whether you are to be trusted. It is said that sometimes you can actually deepen people’s belief in you by the way you handle errors or problems.

It can damage their trust in you if they wait, expecting you at a specific time, when they not only don’t see you then but also don’t even hear anything from you by way of explanation. As time progresses and they are still left hanging, they already know that you didn’t keep your promise – and no matter what, you have created a little breach in their trust. You may have rushed and not given yourself any wiggle room, and thought this would please them. However it has backfired because you actually needed more time. That is why if there is any doubt at all as to whether you can keep your promise, you should be honest in front. Give them an estimated time – ‘Tuesday or Wednesday’ – Note the word ‘estimate’ – that leaves you some room for contingencies because you did not absolutely commit to Tuesday.

Beyond personal business relationships there is the matter of publishing statements that include promises of income, time, support, etc. Again – don’t say it unless you know you can do it. For example if you are using the strategy where perhaps an opportunity will only be valid for 48-hours and you decide to extend the offer, then state that. ‘The offer was only for 48-hours, but due to the overwhelming response, (or whatever) we have decided to extend this offer.

The point is not to leave your counter displaying ‘5 more minutes left’ for the next 3 months. People will wonder what else you are saying that is not true if you don’t keep your word. Of course they may appreciate having extra time; however there may be people who do notice what are less than honest statements. If you are caught up in these situations too many times’ you will end up being ‘the boy who cried wolf’; he was the one that nobody believed anymore, even when there really was a wolf.

In the extreme this can actually become a legal issue for a business. One example is with ‘bait and switch’. This is where the promise may be that something costs a certain amount of money and that qualifies you to have certain benefits. However, after the sale it is revealed that the level at which you paid does not include those same benefits after all, and that you need to pay more in order to proceed. This is baiting people with a deal and then switching the deal without notice, after the fact.

This same dynamic in reverse however would work well and people will be glad you changed your mind. That is if you over-deliver. For example when the deal was 10 for $10; but what they get is actually 15 for $10. You have made a friend! This can also add good will when you have been late or some other problem arose. It’s a little gift of apology to give them something extra for their trouble.

Online Business Opportunities and Reviewing ‘Scam Buster’ Websites

It is unfortunately true that there are dishonest business practices. The fact that people believe they are anonymous on the Internet has allowed there to be a frontier for dishonest schemes. There is dishonesty everywhere however and it is not something new to the Internet. So we do need ‘watchdogs’ that may reveal something that might protect us, but they should also be scrupulously honest and actually have provable evidence.

scam or not

However, some of the sites that claim to identify ‘scams’ are also suspect in that regard. It is common for these particular sites to base their ‘reviews’ on their own opinion or bias rather than on proven facts of which they have none. They can have their own agenda and exploit what is completely circumstantial to prove their point.

In particular this refers to a few of them that blatantly point out every perceived short-coming of a company and then, as if by coincidence just happen to be promoting a competitive opportunity that is so much better in their opinion. What a perfect way to make their company look great when it’s put up beside a company that is suspected of wrong doing, whether true or not.

It has been noted that some of the most famous ‘scam buster’ sites that have influence on people’s decisions, have in the past accepted money to remove negative reports and that has been brought to light (proven). We should never trust them after that. The result is that we are not getting the truth about a company that could pay to have their negative press eliminated. At the same time you may read that an innocent company is a scam because they did not pay to have the information removed when someone had a negative opinion about them whether fair or not.

This criticism is also extended to the fact that just any maniac can write a review and harm an innocent party online or on a social network. So someone who is disgruntled about something that didn’t go the way they would have liked, or is just a plain old malcontent that complains about everything and anything can really cast an innocent company in a bad light. Who knows that these people are not exactly honest? The harm is done to the company and the weirdo just walks on feeling proud they were able to inflict their hatred.

In many cases if you do your own due diligence you may be able to see the statements they are making are obviously not true. In many cases the person did not follow the directions or in fact even read them and then they were upset. Is that the company’s fault? In others the person did not even give something a fair chance but instead pronounced there to be something ‘wrong’ rather than to admit they don’t want to work but expected something for nothing.

So the moral of this story is check everything out for yourself thoroughly and if possible from multiple, unrelated sources. Don’t blindly believe anything either way. Find out for yourself if it is something you are interested in.

Networking and Collaborating While Working At Home

If you have always worked at a job and enjoyed fellowship with your co-workers, it might be difficult for you to work at home by yourself. However, you don’t have to feel that way because you are really not alone. That’s because there is a whole world-wide-web online just a click away. There are many ways to communicate, including email, live chat, business forums, social networks and web conferences. We have a lot in common in that they also are working from home.

networking

Networking is a valuable resource whether you are online or offline. Meeting people will always serve to benefit you and the alliances we can form may be very important to us in many ways, particularly when we are starting a business or even looking for a job. The people you meet online can become your prospects or customers, represent profitable partnerships or joint ventures, and may be a valuable source of information to us. Chattering and forming long-term friendships are also lots of fun.

In addition to the online community we have for networking and socializing, we may also need some support when it comes to the work we are doing. Collaborating can be of real value from different perspectives. We can glean extra motivation to get going in the right direction when we are accountable to others. This can make a big difference in the level and quality of our efforts to promote our business when we have extra resources – and we can be that extra resource to others in exchange.

If you prefer to work with others, then you might benefit and be of help to others if you join work groups or ‘teams’ with a common goal. An interactive web conference room may be a great setting where you can all learn something together or one of you can be the instructor. You can discuss any issues that may not be clear to everyone and it can be explained one time to multiple people simultaneously. We all have experience and skills that we can share. It is a certainty that people will appreciate your help and in turn will be happy to help you in the future.

Throughout your working career you acquired various skills and experience that can be very relevant to your online business. Computer skills obviously are key, although you don’t have to be particularly technical. You can learn as you go along if there are areas that you feel could be stronger. At this point in our history, there are many software applications and digital/online services that will take care of the more complicated aspects of having a business online. If you just have a working knowledge of using a computer, you have what you need to get started.

Marketing and advertising strategies are probably the most important skills that we all need to learn and then in turn to teach others. Never be afraid to help others because you view people as your competition. Instead think of the often heard saying, ‘if you succeed, we succeed’. It is true. We can all win and helping someone else succeed is a great way to live. ‘What goes around comes around’ is also very true. Accept the help that is available to you and be sure to help others whenever you can. If you give you will receive. At the very least you will feel like a good person and others will agree.
Get to know as many people as you can and build relationships with them over time. Don’t worry about how they will benefit you, just be a blessing and you will receive the same.

Is Easy or Fast Profit Possible Online?

There are varying degrees of ‘easy’ or ‘fast’, so it is all subjective like anything else. These words would be interpreted differently in individual ways depending on circumstances. We have to keep that in mind before we judge. What do they mean by ‘easy’ (‘autopilot’, ‘automated’, ‘push-button’)? What exactly is involved as far as time and effort, if we are looking for a legitimate home business opportunity? What will we have to do to bring our skills and experience level up to par in order to be able to succeed with the program or business?

It is likely we will want to do something that comes to us quickly and easily. Those that have previous experience with using a PC, using the Internet, and/or marketing and sales may have ‘a leg up’. They will probably be able to understand and execute instructions more readily than someone who has not had any of these experiences.

However, no matter which way we come to the table, we will all need to learn how to navigate various websites and services. Even people with advanced computer knowledge may have to start at the beginning with learning Internet functions and operations. It is just that they have the advantage of it not being ‘scary’ or like being in a foreign country when they hear or see technical terms.

If the only experience someone has using the Internet is that they are doing simple things like connecting to the Internet, sending and receiving emails, online shopping and banking, and using the search engines, it all counts as experience in that they are familiar with the processes. Often one process is not that dissimilar to another and we can pick something new up right away.

How fast is ‘fast’? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Nobody really knows what the future brings and in that there are many variables, there isn’t even an ‘average’ time. Some of the typical Internet marketing hype SEEMS to say that wealth can be ‘instant’. However what they usually mean is that you can get STARTED on your way to wealth instantly. So ‘read between the lines’ if you want to get the true picture. Use your logic instead of your emotions to make important decisions.

The reality of the struggles you may experience when starting any new business often falls on deaf ears. Many people do not want to hear this, because they want to believe they can have wealth without work. They want to know what the secret sauce is! What is the mystery catalyst that they can get too? Can you get to work? That is a major clue there.

Find out what will be required before making a long-term commitment or during the trial period. We shouldn’t look at a “free trial” as merely a good thing because it is free. It really is our opportunity to ‘kick the tires’. It is the time to see exactly what is involved and to determine whether we are willing to proceed. Otherwise we will waste time and money and not achieve our goals in the long-run. A good thing to assume in all cases is that making a profit involves investing our own resources (skills, time, effort, etc.) to achieve the results we hope for. How fast or how easy that is depends mostly on your level of determination.

Creating Valuable Content for your Home Business Blog

One of the most intelligent ways to promote your business website and/or your business opportunities, services and products, is using your blog. It’s intelligent because it is free; it’s intelligent because it is permanent advertising that will still be working for the life of your domain or blog address; intelligent because it can utilize the power of search engines if done correctly; and intelligent because it will bring you free, ‘targeted’ traffic, which is the most advantageous kind of traffic.

create value

One of the most long-standing precepts in Internet marketing is that ‘content is king’. It has a twin and that is ‘provide value’. Content as king would provide valuable information which may help others and attract people to your business. If you write or otherwise provide good, valuable content, you may begin to be regarded as an ‘expert’. Your valuable content is a good way to build relationships of trust. There is a belief that you may cause someone to feel subliminally that they owe you because your information has helped and inspired them. Ideally this could translate into their wanting to give you their business when they are ready to take action.

Pushing or selling is not really providing value unless it is done discreetly. It can actually have the opposite effect. If you just use the approach of providing valuable information, or to share your opinion initially, you should just be laying the groundwork or planting the seeds for a beneficial relationship. Let the person breathe a little and have some time to consider what you have given them.

Your home business blog will represent more value if you are mindful of these points. If your posts are nothing more than ‘spammy’ advertisements, that is just how they will be received, rather than as having any real ‘value’. They say ‘it’s not what you say but how you say it’. Of course it is fine to promote your business by pointing out the best features, or to discuss your success with it. It helps others to know what you are learning and gives them confidence to know you love your team, mentor or etc. (and why). All of these things encourage someone to follow you.

With the purpose of maximizing your potential to get traffic from the search engines, you should do some keyword research and find meaningful phrases that apply to your website content. You should use the keyword phrase in the title and a few times in the text – but do not over-do it (keyword spam).

Make a real attempt to be consistent in posting to your blog frequently – daily or weekly if possible. If your blog is at a different address than your website/domain, be sure to sign each post with your name and the URL of your business. Be sure to hyperlink the URL so that the person has a convenient and instant way to ‘click’ over to see what you have to offer there.

Your articles do not need to be expert or prize-winning writing, but you should make a reasonable attempt to check spelling and grammar. There are people who will judge you and your business ‘sense’ by the impression they get from your writing. At the same time with so many that have English as a second language, the rules are a little more understanding of ‘imperfect English’ these days.

Remember to always be honest. If you say that you ‘guarantee’ something then you must be willing and able to honor that promise. There are people who will hold you to it. You should never guarantee how much money someone will earn or by when. If they don’t earn that much money in that particular timeframe, you may be called upon to make good on your promise. Always be completely truthful in your claims.

The Right Tools for an Internet Home Business Start-Up

An autoresponder for eMail marketing, a key Internet marketing strategy, is one of the most important tools for any online business. Autoresponders automatically send messages to your prospects when they opt-in to receive information. An autoresponder also manages your ‘list’ (of prospects). The better autoresponders may include additional resources such as templates to create forms and some level of training.

internet marketing tools

There are some important considerations when deciding which one to use, as autoresponders are not all created equal. It is vital that your autoresponder service has a good reputation with ISPs (Internet service providers) so that your mail will be more likely to be delivered. A reputable autoresponder company will diligently enforce the legal regulations about not using the system to send unsolicited advertising (“spam”). They technically are not legally allowed to permit spammers from using their system. Because the law applies to them as well, they will go so far as to remove anyone who compromises their business as well as the other users ability to use the system effectively.

Autoresponder’s document the date, time and IP address when people opt-in to your list. If someone accuses you of sending them ‘unsolicited advertising’ (spam), you can prove that they did in fact request you to send them information. It is imperative that you can document your opt-ins as this will protect you and your reputation. This is very important as you can suddenly lose your autoresponder account (without refund), and depending on how numerous the complaints, you can lose your domain name and even your hosting account. No business wants to be associated with spammers whether done through bad judgement or ignorance of the law.

Some autoresponders have the option of having a double-opt-in system. This means that after the person inputs their name and email address on your web form, to “opt-in”, that the first message sent will be a confirmation message that includes a link the recipient needs to click to confirm that they do wish to receive messages from you. The system may be such that if potential subscribers don’t respond to the confirmation message, nothing further will be sent. In other cases the autoresponder may re-attempt sending the confirmation message usually one more time.

Another important consideration is the unsubscribe function. The ICANN anti-spam law indicates that you must include a way for people to ‘opt-out’ if they change their mind or for any reason do not want to receive mail from you. This is usually done by including a link at the bottom of each message. Others may ask you to reply and type “Remove me” in the subject. It is very important that this operation functions correctly and that the person is immediately removed from your active list.

When purchasing an autoresponder service, there are various options. The costs may vary. Usually they will have a free trial period, and/or can be free for a maximum number of subscribers or messages. There is usually one fee for each level of service, for example $xx for up to 500 subscribers and $xxx for 1000 and so-forth. Some may also sell leads which are usually an optional extra cost. This may be a good place to buy leads if you do that, as they are usually already confirmed (double-opt-in) so they go straight to your list and begin receiving your messages.

Developing a Home Business the Crucial First Year

When we are first considering how to build a home business, the reason the first year is important is because it is when we begin to learn if any of our ideas are feasible. We need to really decide if we could start our own business at home. Our mindset, or attitudes and habits will determine if we can proceed. Otherwise we might decide that we ‘can’t’ do it right now because we realize it is not a proposition that will necessarily result in anything instant or magical.

off to a good start

Since everything in reality takes time, we do need a way to survive while we build and develop our business. We must realize what all exactly we will have to contend with in order to have multiple important priorities. Money, time, and all resources available to us will determine whether we can come up with a firm plan in which we can manage our finances well at the same time as we are trying to start a business.

Probably the worst idea would be that we speculate. We shouldn’t be overly confident or downright foolish to assume that if we spend the money we need for survival (rent, food, utilities, etc) on our business, that we will surely see a return on our investment in plenty of time. This can be disastrous. No matter what you want to believe, or what you see or hear, there is nobody who can guarantee that we will make money by a certain time. Get real. The people who are making money have likely been at it for a while and know what they are doing.

If advertisements include statements that we interpret to mean we will make money instantly, then we have to understand what they are actually saying is merely that it is possible. If they are really doing it, then they have first-hand knowledge that it can happen for anyone. They may have been making money for some time and probably by trial and error, now know what strategies work best.

If they are honest they will not make it seem like a ‘cake-walk’ and will tell you how they struggled in the beinning making considerable sacrifice, until they figured it out. Some may demonstrate exactly what they do on a day-to-day basis, and may share documented statistics to prove it. It all may be true. However we have to realize that is still no guarantee it will work the same for us. Things change all the time and what worked before may not work as well now. Read the fine print: ‘Results are not typical’.

It really depends to a large degree on how much we want it and how hard we are willing to work to get it, whether or not we have similar results. The first year we will determine whether we actually want a business bad enough to sacrifice. While it is true people are cutting it close to the bone financially, if we take stock of what we spend, we will likely see that we can find a few dollars to invest in our goal.

We can usually determine which has the greater priority if we think logically. For example, is a $5 designer coffee more important? Is going out to a $10 lunch? Both very temporary pleasures. On the other hand, you could do something with that $15 toward a business expense. More examples are trips and all sorts of entertainment. Going without one evening of fun could mean $25-$50. If we sometimes decide in favor of our business plan, we could get some gratification by putting that money aside. Probably accounting for it on paper or somewhere would make it seem more tangible.

You are getting someplace. It may seem small but those ‘pennies’ add up if we are consistent. Pretty soon you may have $100 saved and know you can cover some expense for 6-months or more where you don’t have to worry about it.

You Can Create a Job From Home Online

Working at a job from home is extremely convenient and so much more conducive to a healthier life than you may have experienced in your career. It’s not only the stress-meter that you can take into account when you realize the good things related to not going to work outside your home.

create a job at home

Related to much of that stress, consider the time and expense of commuting. This would include the hours that you spend driving, parking and/or stuck in traffic in rush hour(s). Add to this the expense for gas and oil, bridge tolls, parking fees, and wear and tear on your vehicle. If you use public transportation, there is the cost of your fare. As if to add insult to injury, unless you work with an expense account in your job, you are not paid for your time or any of the related costs for commuting.

Imagine keeping all that expense money in your pocket and using your time differently when you are fortunate enough to have a job from home online. You are already making more profit and have more time for your life from day one, and it adds up. In your job you are only paid for the actual time you are spending at your place of employment, actually working. Most companies do not account for commute time or the expense associated in your salary or hourly wage. This is coming out of your earnings.

If you have children it is likely that you have to use daycare or babysitters. The costs for this, and again the time it takes you to go to and from everyday adds up, along with the stress level as these things, like a job, are time sensitive. The worst part here is when you realize the precious time you are missing watching them grow up. The ‘first’s that you might miss because strangers spend more time with them than you can while you are away at work.

You may look at having a job at home online from different perspectives. A more and more common way is if you could ask your employer if they might consider allowing you to ‘telecommute’ at least part time. Explain to them that in addition to your expense and time it is also good for the environment to have less traffic on the freeways and fuel contaminating the air from ‘rush hour’ traffic.

If they choose not to agree, then you can still create your own job from home online in your spare time. Lots of people have started out this way with the goal of ‘firing their boss’ someday. They really took it seriously and were able to eventually quit their day jobs entirely and support themselves completely on their own.