Charting the Course – Business Plan Development & Research

As it is necessary to understand the direction and strength of the wind, before sailing, one must know the contrary winds in business. Charting a development strategy for a large or small business requires detail information about the competition. Too many entrepreneurs launch out with a dream, but never bring it down to the real world where men, women and children make the decisions “to buy or not to buy.” What are the qualities and flaws of the competitive products or services? Where and how are they sold? What are the prices and discounts? Who sells them? The provider’s reputation, financial strength, history and sales staff provide important clues to the nature of competition a product faces. The best ways to research include:

· Search the Internet for information, critiques, or evaluations of your competitors;
· Purchase the product or service for your personal evaluation;
· Find out what potential consumers think about it;

Getting this information requires a bit of work and research. Visit the competitor, interview their customers, sit in a place where you can observe the operation, and keep records. Who’s buying? What are they buying? At what price? Always look for any wrinkles in the competitor’s operation.

Once you have drawn a picture of the competitor, compare your own business plan to that. What advantage does your business strategy, location, products or services have over the competition? In particular, consider the pricing. Can you compete on price? If your goods are higher in price explain why. You may succeed with higher prices, but there will have to be reasons why people will pay more for your products. The aesthetics of the store, the nature of a guarantee, the skills of the sales staff and other features make be an attraction. How does your business compare to the competition? You want to compose your strategy based on the competition. All of this information will give you a clue to the potential you have of beating the competition. If you can beat the competition you have a better chance of being the business to survive.

Success Strategy of Bill Gates As Small Business Entrepreneur For Your Own Home Business

Introduction

Strategies are strategies. Dismiss for a moment from your mind what some people are saying about Bill Gates’s offensive practices he used to transform himself from a small business entrepreneur to a titan in the business world. There are yet honest-to-goodness strategies we can glean from his sleeves. We can study, learn from them and possibly apply them in our own home based business. Upon this premise that this article was written.

Strategy of Bill Gates – Have a Vision

At the outset, I will lay down the results of my research on one secret strategy of Bill Gates. He used the same strategy to jump-start his small business to today’s business behemoth. Based on my research, the strategy of Bill Gates is grounded upon the following:

“Have a VISION of what you want to achieve
and hold on to that vision come wrath or
high water.”

His vision was:

“A Personal Computer on every desk.”

By the way, I didn’t want to use the grammatically correct expression “come hell or high water” – for personal reason – so excuse my grammatical preference. Anyway, let’s go back to our subject. When you have a vision, you can make the impossible possible.

Almost everybody is familiar about how once upon a time the small business entrepreneur Bill Gates secured mighty IBM’s contract to supply the latter’s operating system. When he was negotiating with the IBM people, he had no operating system as yet. He was able to buy a Disk Operating System or DOS for $50 thousand. In the end, he got the contract. Why?

Bill Gates was guided by his vision – that every desk all over the world should have a computer on it. This vision enabled him to provide IBM with a DOS operating system and have control over it including to whom he wanted it sold to.

Beginning Entrepreneur

Before he became an entrepreneur, Bill Gates had nurtured the vision that software will one day rule the world. During high school he spent many late nights with friend Paul Allen tinkering with the school’s computer system.

He dropped out of college after completing his junior year at Harvard. Instead, he and his bosom friend Paul Allen set up a small business – a software company – in far away New Mexico. This move was in accordance with his vision.

His vision became clearer as he moved from a total newbie to one with a small business to keep. His vision was clothed in clearer terms, as he negotiated the DOS deal with IBM.

Better late than never

Bill Gates’s company ultimately became the leader in the software arena. During the first half of the 1990’s – 1993 to be exact – he was among the last of the software titans to acknowledge the future significance of the Internet.

But once he did realize that indeed Internet was the wave of the future, he had the tenacity to reshape his vision. His vision retained its old flavor – that is, software dominance in commerce, industry and in every field. It was rehashed in his own words as follows:

“In the years ahead, the Internet will have
an even more profound effect on the way
we work, live and learn … this technology
will be one of the key cultural and economic
forces of the early 21st century.”

At this moment in time, Bill Gates is guided by the vision that the Internet is the wave of the present and the foreseeable future.

Lessons Learned

You can learn from Bill Gates by having your own vision for your small business. Lay down this vision in your mind. Then put it into writing. Read your vision everyday while at work in your small corner of the house. Your vision could be as short-term as the following:

“To make my web site land within the top five of
Google when people search for the keywords
‘home based business,'” or

“$200,000 earning this year from Google
Adsense,”or

“To enrich the content of my web site using
the theme ‘scrap book making.'”

Do not limit yourself to short-term vision. Aim for the long-term. A five to ten years period would suffice. Technology may change but your vision will essentially be the same. You may refine it if deemed necessary, like incorporating the effect of technological changes – as Bill Gates did.

Your Share of the Pie

Everybody – from Bill Gates down to your netpreneur friend – has recognized the tremendous role of the Internet in business developments. Some of the more immediate pressing concerns you should consider at this stage concerning your home based business are the following:

– General preference for digital transactions by clients. For example, as a beginning Internet entrepreneur you should meet your clients’ demands who favor the use of online payment system.

At this juncture, I would like to refer you to my web site at http://www.InternetMarketingLearningCenter.com which offers free learning stuff on Internet marketing and home based business. One category being tackled in the web site is the online payment system. You may read online news and keep yourself abreast of the best software companion for your small business.

– Choose products that are preferred by people at this time when the Internet is dominating people’s lives. It has been determined that information products and web shopping are favored by most consumers. Information products include your very own ebooks and “how-to” manuals.

– Make it your aim that your products are cheap, very useful, and the best among the rest of competing products. This applies most especially to shopping products. For your own digital products, you have the advantage of pricing them according to your own estimation.

You as the author of your own digital product determines the price level. It is no wonder why gurus like Jay Abraham, Jim Daniels and the late Corey Rudl have become so wealthy from selling their own digital pieces.

As for these three gurus, they will be among the titans that we will tackle in future issues of this series.

(c) 2005 Rick Tanzo. Reprint rights granted so long as article, by-line and active links are reproduced intact.

What Is A Professional Work At Home Based Business Entrepreneur

In the past some of the most professional entrepreneurs were people who worked as doctors, or accountant,s or lawyers, or engineers. To get to that level in these professions these entrepreneurs had to sacrifice a tremendous amount of time and money early in their career.

This included the amount of time spent going to college as well as building a clientele. Once they opened up their own business it also meant they were possibly deeply in debt and spent much of their early careers repaying things like college loans.

The Internet has changed all that. Some of the most highly paid entrepreneurs now are people who work at home for themselves using the Internet. Whereas professionals in the past had to go to work today’s highly paid work at home based business entrepreneurs can earn hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars without ever leaving their home.

Plus, they get the opportunity to do it without ever leaving their front door and with nothing more than Internet access on their computer. These highly paid entrepreneurs are able to choose the type of websites they develop. As well as the type of blogs that they create articles in and the very products that they want to sell.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how customers need to be treated. Whether you are a doctor trying to take care somebody that sick, or you’re an Internet marketer trying to help somebody who’s looking for information, you still have to treat your customers with respect and dignity.

This is an attitude that separates highly successful entrepreneurs from people who never really ever make any money, or achieve any success working at home. Because of the number of people to get scammed every day on the Internet honesty is still the best policy. If you treat your customers honestly, they will come back and buy from you again. They will also refer you allowing you to create more customers.

Customer service has not changed either. On the Internet it’s just done in a different way. You will spend very little time answering the phone or talking to people in person. But you do spend a tremendous amount of time replying to e-mails, blog comments, and doing other forms of marketing including discussion forums and e-mail marketing.

Occasionally you’ll have a dissatisfied customer. Many times, this will involve giving a refund. This is part of what a professional work and home based business entrepreneur does. They do whatever it takes to keep their customers satisfied all the while trying to build their own business.

In conclusion you see two words over and over, entrepreneur and professional. A work at home based business entrepreneur and professional has no limit to the amount of money they can make working at home.

Business Entrepreneurs and Perseverance

Perseverance is an important skill every entrepreneur should possess in order to achieve success in their business venture. Without this important skill, it is so easy to seek the way out when business challenges come up.

According to the Collins English dictionary perseverance is defined as ‘continued steady belief or efforts’. This is an approach that should be consistent in entrepreneurs despite the obstacles, discouragement and disappointments they face daily.

Without perseverance in an entrepreneur’s mind, efforts become lukewarm and results unachievable. Perseverance can be difficult to discover and sustain as obstacles can become tiring and insurmountable – emotions we all need to watch out for and overcome.. These feelings are common especially to new entrepreneurs who are trying to find their feet in the business world.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Successful entrepreneurs usually possess an uncompromising focus which enables them to achieve their business dreams. They forgo feelings of inadequacies, negative emotions and the “I can’t do it” attitude. Their lives are centered on their business goals and persevere until the goal is achieved.

These high achievers are motivated to reach the pinnacles of business success; they are never tuned into the negative words of “it’s not going to work”. Their focus is on one thing… the goal of success.

To feel this way, you must truly enjoy what you do and be passionate about your business. When you have a passion for an idea, the other skill sets including perseverance will come naturally.

How to Develop Perseverance

Find your Passion

Collins Dictionary defines passion as a strong enthusiasm for something. Perseverance goes hand in hand with passion. Analyse yourself by asking the following questions:

  • What part of your business excites you?
  • Have you deviated from your primary business vision or are you still on track?

Sometimes being an entrepreneur can feel like a circus juggler – with business administration, marketing, customer relations and more all crying out for your time. The initial vision can become obscured and frustration can easily set in. Take control by revisiting your vision and find your passion once again.

Make Time for the Task you Love

Sometimes the mundane business tasks take so much of your time; you struggle to find time to do the things you love about your business. Do not lose sight of what made you start out in business, find time to do those things as regularly as you can. If possible incorporate it into your daily activities, as this will be the booster that helps you persevere in hard times. For example if you love graphic designs, do not get carried away with marketing and book-keeping and stop designing – create time for your passion!

Practice Perseverance

Perseverance is not developed in a day; it takes time to acquire and this comes by regular practice. When you set a task for yourself make sure you complete it before you move on to another task. Stay focused on each task you embark upon and reward yourself with little treats for a job well done and for getting closer to your overall goal.

When you find something you are passionate about, it is so much easier to find the fortitude and perseverance to wade through the challenges. This is what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the ones that consistently struggle – which one will you rather be?