Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Home Based Business Entrepreneur?

Almost everyone thinks at one time or another about running their own business! Perhaps we see ourselves as the next Richard Branson or Donald Trump! Being an entrepreneur can be very appealing but not everyone is cut out to become one. This article asks the question: do you have what it takes to run your own successful online business?

One of the great things about the internet is that you start a business with very limited funds. For under $50 you can get a business set up and running – this provides a quick and safe way to see if you have the necessary skills to become a successful online entrepreneur. The beauty of this approach is that it can be started part-time around your regular work and family commitments.

Running an online business is not really about the product or service you provide. Far more important to your eventual success or not, are the attitudes and characteristics you bring to your business. Most business owners are taught to do a SWOT analysis on their business. The initials stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Unfortunately, very few owners actually do the same analysis on themselves! This can be a very enlightening process!

The first thing I recommend to all my clients is that they honestly evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. Are they disciplined enough to get up early and work late? Do they see tasks through to completion? Are they prepared to take responsibility for their own success?

These are all important questions to ask before you spend any money! You must know how to plan, organize, and control every aspect of your new business. It is hard work and the buck always stops with you!

Organizing your time is a difficult task but if you want to run a successful home-based business, you must be able to do it. That may mean negotiating with children and partners, as well as keeping up with your regular commitments. You should also be able to work alone because now you’re the boss and all business decisions will be made by you! Kind of scary isn’t it?

You must also learn to be bigger than the problems you encounter. Even with an online business, you will have to deal with certain business problems and risks. You can’t eliminate such risks because they go hand in hand with running any business, whether online or offline. You must develop the resilience to overcome any challenges that you meet on route.

Running your own business will still mean that you will have to deal with all sorts of different kinds of people. You will encounter demanding customers, moody vendors, and some very sharp business practices that will happily drain your credit card if you allow them! To become a successful home-based business entrepreneur, you should know how to deal with all these situations.

Another ability you should possess is being able to make quick and accurate decisions. There is something called “the paralysis of analysis”, where we are so concerned about the possible consequences of our actions that we freeze the decision altogether. It is actually nearly impossible to know the full outcome of any decision we make – there are simply too many unknown variables. I have always followed my intuition and adopted the Nike philosophy – Just Do It! The more decisions you make the better you will get at them!

To be an effective online business entrepreneur, you must have lots of energy and superior work ethic. Owning an online business may mean working longs hours, usually late at night when the family has settled down, and on the weekends too. All of these sacrifices become worthwhile when the profits start rolling in!

Many of the risks we have spoken about can be reduced by choosing your home-based business carefully. There is a great deal of hype on the internet that may lead you to believe that money will come quickly and easily and without too much effort! These “instant wealth” opportunities should be avoided like the plague! Choose a reputable business with a proven track record and follow the system they teach.

Once you understand the responsibilities of an entrepreneur, then you can better assess if you have what it takes to become successful in an online business. Working at home with your own home-based online business requires dedication and hard work, but it can be done! Thousands of people just like you and I earn their living this way every day. You could be one of the success stories too!

Copyright (c) 2009 Steve Cowley

Big Questions and Answers of Small Businesses Entrepreneurs

Organizing information, ideas and techniques to understand where your business can lead you. Will it be a success or a failure? Of course nobody wants to get failed especially when you’re just about to put up a small business and would contribute all resources involving time and money in the name of success.

On this Virtual age, growing business using different social media like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, to name a few, and other free or inexpensive tools on the web to promote a different kinds of businesses or companies makes it a whole lot easier.

As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibilities” proves also to be true when it comes with businesses utilizing Social Media to the maximum. These great social media platforms and tools need great attention and proper concentration. Several questions would come to business entrepreneurs mind that needed precise and useful answers such as;

Q1. Would small businesses get acquainted with the idea of group buying?

Group buying is one of the latest fads in online shopping wherein consumers purchases as a whole or group to acquire big deals on products or services offered. The idea of selling your bulk products in a short period of time is very tempting even with small businesses entrepreneurs. Before jumping into a decision, you may want to consider these valuable queries, information and ideas.

The advantage of Group buying is generating a great sum of profits in a short matter of time. Deals were usually taken in a day. It is quoted as “A billion dollar web trend”. It gives you a great number of new consumers or clients signed up to test your products or services which is not bad if you or your company offers something of great significance to them. If you focus mainly on facilitating customer try outs or to generate fast money, then Group buying is right for you. If you give more value on sustaining a luxurious brand status or high revenue limits, then Group buying is not a very good idea for your business

Q2. How to utilize location-based services?

There are hundreds of location-based services that were built to assist users search and explore the best’s locations that surrounds them. Examples of these location-based services are Loopt, Gypsii, Plazes, Mobiluck, and a whole lot more. Stores and restaurants businesses with stable addresses take advantages of theses location-based services by contributing precise venue agreements. It has been a great challenge for businesses that are without exact addresses, like online and media services or companies. Be creative! Whenever you produce content online by means of a website or blog, if possible leave insider tips on other sites that are related to your content or business. Also, utilize these location-based services by using some mobile applications or sites that supplies advertisements and promotions to users in a particular location.

Q3. How to start a blog (if not a tech expert)?

Starting a blog does not require a computer science expert at all. There are lots of social media platforms that are user-friendly and require simple knowledge or understanding.

Building a website or a blog could be a lot of pressure or could be simple. There are hundreds of various content management systems to choose from like Concrete5, Cushycms, Modxcms, and more! Develop also your small business themes to enhance your professional looking web presence for your consumers while showing valuable information about your business and support a blog you’re using to link up with your consumers or clients.

If you are still perplexed on how to get your blog stand out and working, then consider on hiring a web designer or developer. Leaving things up to the experts also works than pushing yourself on something you are not capable of and beyond your interests and see your business flop! Remember, you can always hire a web designer or developer to help you grow your business.

Q4. Why social media strategy may not serve you well?

We all know in any aspects that too often or too little sometimes may bring us undesirable results. This implies in how often or little you should be updating your page. The best way of knowing when and how often should you send out a tweet, post on Facebook or check and revise other social sites is by observing and adjusting to the needs and wants of your customers. Also, your clients or consumers do not want a flood of marketing messages. Maintain your promotions to the lowest as possible and supply only valuable and relevant contents to your audience. Another reason would be the lack of important proposals for your audience. Commonly, consumers follow brands on social sites to for these following reasons, to avail discounts, promos, and be the first to know and buy newly endorsed products. Respond to your consumers’ needs to preserve their loyalty with your brand. Lack of advertisement is another factor why consumers or clients may not know or may never have heard your website. Make the most out of your website, location, poster ads, flyers, and social media business cards to promote and publicize your social media profile and your business’ or products’ details. Using social media as a tool for promoting your small business would clearly point out and support that you or your business and your consumers, clients or audience would deal or interact socially. The main reason of these different social media is to establish a relationship or commitment between two persons or group whether it is a business or personal related purposes. Interacting with your consumers or clients would help build trust and reliability on your products or brand.

Q5. How to optimize social media page for search engines?

Search Engine Optimization mainly concerns on your content. Significantly, your social media profiles and their URL’s should be after your business’ name. Sometimes, desired URL is unobtainable so modify another one as long as it was relatively on its original name. Avoid difficult and unidentifiable abbreviations and misspelled words. If you’re already done with your URL name, fill out all details about your business or brand. If you have other social media pages, add link to them to increase popularity of your website or social media profile by means of inbound links or backlinks. Link your business profile on each account you have on different social media platforms. In that way users may connect with you with their own preferred social media sites. Lastly, constant updating of your page providing good content that would be very useful to your audience would be great. Always add something that would interest your audience and maintain their expectations.

With all these guidelines, we hope it could help you in any way it can. Trial and error is good, but wasting your resources and much valued time would not be practical enough to let all your efforts go to waste. We still believe in this saying, “Prevention is better than cure”. Which does not only applies on our health issues, but also in our whole aspects as a person, and as a businessman. Prevention means being aware, having equipped knowledge and better understanding which is far better than finding your business caught between hard situations that would seem impossible to put up again and flop eventually.

Business Plan Development – Free Government Resources to Aid in Business Planning

In your quest to develop your business plan you will want to obtain information regarding industry analysis, legal and regulatory statutes, manufacturing, training and counseling, and maybe corporate financials and international information and data. This is just a few of the areas you can research through our government’s online resources. Though they are free and free is often synonymous with undervalued they are indeed not free. Your tax dollars pay for them and the information is rich and vast. These government resources are put there to help you succeed so there is no better place to start your research than with the resources you pay for. The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Internal Revenue Service, The State Department, FedStats, Export.gov, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission all have information that you will find helpful. I will talk a little about each one, what they do, and how you can use them.

The first place you may want to start with your investigation on industry analysis is through The Department of Commerce. The DoC is comprised of twelve separate agencies responsible for many things regarding business from weather forecasts to patent protection. Their mission statement states exactly what they do and there is no better way to sum it up, “The DoC touches the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis.” There is much to the DoC and they also are a portal to several other government agencies and partners that you may find useful.

The U.S. Census Bureau, a derivative of the DoC, is a great resource for industry analysis and they are arguably the most important branch of the DoC for demographic information ranging from population breakdown, income, education levels, and housing to name just a few which you can find in the Peoples and Households section of their website. The Census Bureau also collects massive amounts of data on economic activity. You may need to search the industry code for the particular type of business you’re in or looking for, by searching its NAICS code. You can break information down from a national level and/or by zip code for information on total number of businesses as well as types and average sales in their business and industry section. They also have information on foreign trade and so much more. The fact of the matter is that there is so much data that the U.S. Census Bureau has accumulated it may seem daunting. It is in fact a huge database with so many useful links that I have to write three paragraphs about all the different links worth noting. You should spend some time navigating around, taking notes, and leaving yourself a trail of breadcrumbs one way or another so that you can remember just how you got from place to place.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s website is vast, as I previously stated, and there are a number of portals you should know a little about and even bookmark. Censtats is a database that includes county and zip business pattern information, international trade data, demographic and economic data for states and counties, Census Tract Street Locator, and some other databases on top of those. American FactFinder has information regarding demographic information about people that can be broken down in many ways to suit your needs. QuickFacts provides information on people, business, and geography which can be targeted on a national, state, and/or county level. If you need information on industry and manufacturing you can skim through the Current Industrial Report section. There contains vast amounts of information which may satisfy your needs for market analysis, forecasting, and decision-making.

The next noteworthy online resource at your disposal is the SBA or Small Business Administration. If you need information on federal and/or state legal and regulatory information the SBA has important and detailed information on these two important issues. The SBA also funds and supports business’s and you can find and apply for government grants, contracts, as well as sign up to receive training and counseling from SCORE. Score are a group of retired executives that volunteer their time to help business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with development of their business plans and give advice to current businesses management dilemmas and questions and other assistance. If you have never spoken with a SCORE representative you should. They have a plethora of experience and expertise on a variety of subjects and industries. The SBA’s website also offers you a place to register your business, find business licenses, and permits. Ultimately the SBA is another great government resource that is a must-add to your toolbox.

If you’re interested or need to get your hands on international data and statistics our government provides information through U.S. Census Bureau, The State Department, and Export.gov. The Census Bureau’s contains an international database (IDB) that provides rankings by population size as well as global trends and demographic data. The State Department’s website has background information that includes information on each country’s economy and a great deal more all in alphabetical order by country. You can find out information on that country’s history, people, government, relations, travel, and more. Export.gov’s slogan is helping U.S. companies succeed globally by combining and providing the resources from across the U.S. government to assist American businesses in planning their international sale’s strategy. They have in-depth data about markets and industries on a global scale.

If you need information on corporations The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar Database provides information regarding corporation’s financial information as well as their operations. There is a lot more to the Edgar Database. They also have a user guide that will provide you a more detailed analysis of who they are and what all they can do for you.

The last government resource that is worth mentioning is Fedstats. FedStats is a government sponsored website that has vast quantities of data collected by over 100 different agencies. You can search by topic compiled in a nice, user-friendly A-Z format or you can search the agencies in which they receive their data from, also in an alphabetical format. If you’re interested in state-by-state statistical data you might try clicking through FedStat’s MapStats section which profiles states, counties, cities, congressional districts, and even federal judicial districts. Besides the particular places I have pointed out there is also information on international comparisons, statistics from the individual agencies, press releases, and more.

I have written a similar article on my blog that has the full list of links to many of the areas that I have spoken of in this article if you would like to check it out. I hope that I have provided you valuable resources that will aid you in your pursuit to complete your business plan. Good luck and best wishes for your success!

Internet Marketing Business – Entrepreneur’s Responsibility

Entrepreneur Mindset Secret ~ YOU Inc. Take Responsibility!

Always see yourself as being Self-Employed!As an Entrepreneur you will always accept complete, 100% responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be.

Entrepreneurs refuse to make excuses or to blame other people for their problems or shortcomings. They have successes that they take kudos for and they have failures that they learn from. To an Entrepreneur a failure is just a slight obstacle ~ a small challenge to overcome ~ a tiny stepping stone leading o success.

Thomas Edison failed a thousand times before he perfected the light bulb and like all great and true Entrepreneurs, he never gave up!

So if you want to be a successful entrepreneur then it’s time to stop complaining about things in your life that you’re not happy about. Refuse to criticize other people for anything. You and only you are responsible for your success.

If there’s something in your life that you don’t like, it’s up to you to do something about it. Always remember you are in charge. Remember the old saying “If it is to be then it is up to me!”

The top three percent of Americans see themselves as self-employed, no matter who signs their pay cheque. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to ever think that you work for anyone else other than yourself.

As an Entrepreneur you are always self-employed. You are always “YOU Inc.”

You are always the president of your own personal services corporation, no matter where you might be working at the moment. It doesn’t matter who you work for….you are still….”YOU Inc.”

When you see yourself as self-employed, you develop the entrepreneur mentality. The mentality of a professional ~ highly independent ~ self-responsible ~ self-starting individual. And remember you get paid for what you are worth. So the more valuable you are the more money you make.

Now……..instead of waiting for things to happen, you make things happen. You are the boss of your own life, so you take charge. You see yourself as completely in control of your physical health, your financial well-being, your career, your relationships, your home, your car, and in fact every element of your existence. This is the mindset of the truly excellent person.

Entrepreneurs are intensely result-oriented. They take high levels of initiative. They volunteer for assignments and they’re always asking for more responsibility. In other words they always “Step Up To The Plate”

As a result, they become the most valuable and respected people in their organizations. They continually prepare themselves for positions of higher authority and positions in the future. If you are serious and truly want to be a successful Entrepreneur then you should do the same.

Ask yourself this question: If you were president for a day in your company, or were completely responsible for results where you work, what one change would you put into place immediately?

Whatever it is, write it down, make a plan, and begin on it today. This decision alone could change your life.

Click Here to see how a successful Community of Entrepreneurs are taking the world by storm!

Secret of an Entrepreneur

YOU Inc. ~ Take Responsibility.