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How to Make a Career Out of a Home Business Opportunity

People from all walks of life are really hurting these days and the forecast for most people does not look any better. Across the board there has been pay cuts, job loss, vacations and benefits taken away, foreclosures, which has lead to most people scared about their futures.

People are hurting from all over and looking for anything to help them keep their heads above water. Scams have always been around but they seem to come out of the wood work when times are really bad. With so many people looking for help it’s easy to see how people get taken advantage of.

No matter what you have heard or what you have experienced in the past, the truth is some home based businesses do work. There are bad ones out there and you need to be careful when looking for one.

WHY DO PEOPLE FAIL:
It would be hard to list all the reasons why people fail at a home based business but I will cover some of the main reasons. First lets look at the facts of a traditional business

- An average of 145,000 new businesses start up each year in this country
- An average of 137,000 businesses declare bankruptcy each year
- 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first three years.
- 80% of new businesses fail within their first year.
- Businesses with 20 employees or less have a 37% chance of making it to 3 years
-They have a 9% chance of surviving 10 years
-Restaurants have a 20% chance of surviving 2 years
- About half of those who survive the first year will remain in business the next five years.

Now it is said that 90% of people who try a home based business fail. That is not surprising when you look at the numbers for the start up of a traditional business. Most people who start a home based business do so for less then a $1000.
Depending on what the traditional business is that’s being started up you could be looking at a price tag of $60,000 – $300,000. Is it any surprise that the numbers of failed home based businesses is a bit higher? People do not have any money invested into them. You can say they do but when you are really looking at the numbers it is easier for people who start home based businesses to walk away when things get hard.

For most home based businesses failure is not the fault of the company but the fault is in the people who do nothing with them and give up.

A large part of this is because people get told that it is easy money and they don’t have to do anything to make it work. So they sign up and sit back doing nothing and wonder why it is NOT working!

Again this is not always the fault of the companies. In most cases it is the fault of the people bringing them the opportunity.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IF I START MY OWN HOME BASED BUSINESS?
You might have heard before that you get what you give. In most cases for any business this is true which means the more you put in, the better your chances of getting fast results.

I say a chance of getting fast results because nothing is guaranteed which is why it’s called a business adventure. One thing is for sure though, if you start a business of any kind then don’t show up for work YOU WILL FAIL….

When starting a home based business you need to realize that things will not always go as planned. You will have to put some money into any business that you want to start. You just need to figure out how much you are willing to spend and how long are you willing to give it to start making that money back.

It is an investment and if you look at it any other way then you will be very unhappy when all that money is not back in your bank next week. It is going to take Money and a PLAN with GOALS to stand a chance of getting success.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT’S THE BEST BUSINESS FOR ME?

There are some very important questions to ask yourself when looking for a business to start.

-How much is the start up cost
-Once I have my business how much do I have to pay for inventory/ qualify/ any hidden cost (There will ALWAYS be something) If you have a business that is $200 to join there will be SOME kind of package you have to buy to get started. Could be anywhere from $100- $1600
-How much will I have to pay monthly (Watch out for companies that say you don’t have to buy anything or you don’t have to worry about that because everything will sell itself.) NOTHING sells itself….. PERIOD In many cases even if you have things left over from the month before you still have to buy NEW Product the next month!
-How much do I make from sales
-How much do I make from other people joining my business
-Where does the money go that I paid for joining
-What does it take to promote
-Can I ever lose my promotion
-What happens if someone under me promotes? Do I lose that money?
-Are meetings mandatory and how much on average do they cost?
-Do I have to buy books or CD’s from the company every month? (More hidden cost)
-How much does it cost to renew my business at the end of the year?
-Can I promote without signing anyone up?
-Can I see the entire pay plan before I join?
-Can I find information on the services or products before I join?
-How do I get paid and when do I get paid?

I could list many more but these are some of the main questions you should be asking when looking for a business to join. If the person you are dealing with does not give you CLEAR answers or avoids certain questions, then run away.

HOW CAN I TURN THIS INTO MY CAREER AND DO IT FULL TIME?
Anyone who joins a home based business has the chance for this to happen but don’t jump the gun. First find the company that is right for you. Then make a business plan with set goals. Set days and times that you will be working on those goals. Figure out how long you need to work your business to get the results you are looking for. Then figure out how much money your business needs to be bringing in CONSISTENTLY before you tell your boss to shove it.

You MUST plan on things not always working out the way you plan and running into a lot of bumps. If you have what it takes to stick with it then you can and will succeed if you picked the right business to do.

SOME MORE ADVICE:
Find a company that has a product or service that you REALLY believe in. If you hate to ride bikes and never do it then you should not be out working a business selling bikes. If you don’t back the service or product your selling you will never get anywhere.

Most people join a home based business without even looking at what they offer because all they see is the money. Once that money does not get made in the first week they drop out.

Make sure that the product or service you are selling will be around for the life of your business. You do not want to build upon something that will be gone in 10 years.

When looking to start your business find out if you will be receiving help. You need to ask the person you are dealing with what their plans are for helping you and what they expect from you. If they give promises of easy money or that they will build it for you, then walk away. They should be able to tell you upfront what they are willing to do and what you need to do in return.

You can do this so don’t give up on your dreams. Just make sure that you find a company that you can believe in.

Income From Home – 4 Steps That Turn Your Dream Of A Home Business Into Reality

Millions of people dream about starting their own home based business. Are you one of those millions? It’s great if you are, but please don’t be like many of the dreamers who either chase after every new “opportunity” and never really succeed, or dream and dream, but never start. Or, they do start some kind of home business and then give up too soon because success doesn’t come as fast as they expected so they lose hope, or don’t know what to do next.

If you dream of having your own home business, you can finally discover a legitimate home business that has the best chance of being successful. And then, you can start your own home based business now. Why wait any longer?

Imagine being able to discover the PERFECT home based business. Imagine being able to focus only on that business so you can stop wasting your time and money trying out every new “opportunity” that sounds good. Imagine starting your own PERFECT home based business and becoming successful in it.

There are four steps to turning your dream into reality:

1. Check out each home business “opportunity” to see if it meets the 7 key requirements a home business must have in order to qualify as the PERFECT Home Based Business. It is important for you to be convinced that the business you choose is the right one. Each letter in the word P.E.R.F.E.C.T. stands for one of the 7 key requirements.

Is it Profitable?

Is it Easy?

Is it Real?

Does it Fit with your desired lifestyle?

Is it E-Friendly (uses the internet and e-mail for marketing)?

Is it Competitve?

Is it Testable at low risk?

2. When you find out which business fits the requirements better than any other business, you must have the personal strength and commitment to focus only on that business. Stop trying out something else every week that sounds good. Stick with the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home business you discovered in step one and work at it until you make it a success. Yes, it will take some work. Expect it. And it will almost certainly take longer than you think. So what? Wouldn’t it be worth it to finally make your home business dream a reality?

3. Learn everything you can about the business you choose. Learn how successful businesses (like your perfect home business) are started and how they make money. What will you need to do, what skills will you need, and what will you need to learn in order to succeed? Who has already succeeded and is willing to teach you the ropes so you don’t waste time and money learning the hard way?

4. Take directed action until you succeed and don’t give up.

Follow the seven action steps that will lead you to success in the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home based business. Here are the 7 action steps:

Passion: Find a business you can be passionate about that matches your core desires and leverages your strengths.

Economics: If there is no profitable market for the products or services you intend to form your business around, it won’t do much good for you to be passionate about them. Find a profitable market before you create any products.

Research: Learn everything you can about your intended prospects and your market, about products or services already being bought in your market, and about your competitors. But, don’t get paralyzed by analysis. Learn what you can quickly and move on to the next step.

Find your business model: For most businesses and markets, there are at least several different business models you could follow and be successful. Choose the one related to your perfect home business that sounds best to you, the one that makes best use of your strengths, and the one that sounds like the most fun.

Establish your product line: Create or find products to offer to your prospects. Think about creating a long term business and not just a short term income stream. So, don’t just create or find one product, plan for at least several related products in your product line. You should have products at various price points so prospects can buy your less expensive product first. As they develop trust in you and your products they will buy your more expensive products also.

Complete your marketing machine: Your marketing machine will almost certainly be more than just a website. Whatever is required for effective marketing in your perfect home business, make sure you have it set up and tested to make sure it is working properly. At a minimum, you need a way to reach your intended prospects, you need an offer to present your products or services to them, a way to take payment, and a way to follow up with your prospects and customers to build your relationship with them and continue offering them value and products.

Traffic and Conversion: Getting prospects to view and read your offer is Traffic. Without traffic, you can’t get any orders. But, getting prospects to take the action you desire on your offer page is Conversion. That action could be getting them to opt in to your e-mail list or getting them to place an order for one of your products for example. If you have millions of people viewing your offer, but nobody takes your desired action, you won’t get any orders either. Once you have your marketing machine set up, getting both Traffic and Conversion is critical.

Here are the 4 steps again to turn your dream of a home business into reality.

1. Determine which business best fits the 7 key requirements for a P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home based business.

2. Focus on just that business until you are successful with it, and ignore other enticing possibilities when they come along.

3. Quickly learn everything you can about the business you choose.

4. Take action, following the 7 action steps for a P.E.R.F.E.C.T. home business. Don’t give up.

Long Term Business Solutions Start With Creative Leadership

The IBM 2010 Global CEO study revealed a very interesting and notable result that can change the world for the better.

A total of 1500 CEOs took part in the survey from 60 countries in 33 industries worldwide. The survey showed that less that half of the chief executives surveyed felt that they or their enterprises can successfully handle the growing complexity caused by the changes in global economic power centers, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data and rapidly evolving customer preferences.

The CEOs seem to believe that more that rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision are needed to equip them and their enterprises for this growing complexity. The only skill that could navigate business in an ever increasing complex world and business is CREATIVITY and this was identified as the number one leadership competency now and in the future.

The survey is crucial evidence that the world is entering a new age where creativity is becoming more and more important. This finding also indicates that there is a need to discover innovative ways to manage an organisation’s structure, finances, people and strategy and that old business models cannot offer all the solutions business needs to remain competitive, profitable and sustainable.

A challenge however exists….

The challenge is the attitude, fear and perceptions people have towards creativity. People associate creativity with a particular personality or genius of a person, others see it as a specific thinking style (right brain directed thinking) and some see it that people are simply born artistic. So, defining and understanding creativity can be problematic. The idea that creativity is a predetermined personality trait appeals at a psychological level because it gives people an excuse for not innovating or initiating change themselves, reducing the problem of creativity to a recruiting challenge. This makes creativity in business a rare commodity. But this can no longer be accepted.

So what can business leaders do now?

This article aims to offer an interim solution. The article will firstly explain the link between creativity and innovation and then show how creativity and innovation can be implemented in the workplace.

The link between creativity and innovation

In literature various definitions exists to explain the terms creativity and innovation. For the purposes of this article, creativity can be defined as a mental and social process involving the discovery or new associations of ideas or concepts which is fuelled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight.

Three things are needed for creativity:

  1. Resources – knowledge, expertise and access to information.
  2. Creative thinking – a person’s capacity to think outside the box and put existing ideas together in new combinations.
  3. Internal motivation – motivation from within; a person’s personal needs and passion to be creative.

There are three very important aspects to take note of:

  • Creativity discards preconceived assumptions.
  • A Creative individual attempts a new approach or method that might seem unthinkable to others.
  • Creativity requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result). Creativity is therefore not only a right brain directed thinking approach but a whole brain approach.

In business, creativity is needed for innovation. Innovation is the process of generating and applying creative ideas in some specific context. In other words, innovation involves the introduction of something new and valuable – an artifact or a method – into a functioning production, marketing, or management system.

Three factors define an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to the innovation process, namely:

  • What a firm has (the importance of resources),
  • How a firm does its work (the importance of processes), and
  • What a firm wants to do (the firms values).

It is important to note that there are two stages in the process of innovation, namely:

  • Invention that consists of idea generation, idea evaluation and opportunity recognition (creativity), and
  • Exploitation that consists of development and commercialisation (innovation).

Innovation is tied to behaviours, actions and personalities of the individuals, or actors, engaged in the invention and exploitation steps.

Implementing the creativity and innovation in the workplace

Creativity is the basis for disruptive innovation and continuous reinvention required in the volatile, uncertain and complex business environment and starts with “creative thinking” leadership. Business leaders will need to encourage others to drop outdated approaches and take balanced risks. They need to embrace ambiguity by exemplify breakthrough thinking. Business leaders will need to lead and interact in entirely new ways, shedding long-held beliefs and business models when necessary, challenging the status quo, be distinct and radical and look for solutions that will not become tomorrow’s problems.

Business leaders will need to foster cultures of real creativity and innovation. This can be done by ensuring that organisations meet peoples core needs, namely physical needs, emotional needs, mental needs and spiritual needs according to Schwartz (2010:1). This is the key to creativity. The more people are preoccupied by unmet needs, the less energy they will bring to their work and the less creative they will be.

Creativity can be taught and business leaders should put in the effort to teach creativity systematically to employees. Business leaders can use a six step approach to teach their employees to be creative and innovative. These six steps are a combination of Plsek’s Directed Creativity Cycle created in 1992 and Luecke and Katz Innovation model of 2003 (Cropley 2008:271). The first four steps involve creativity and the last two steps involve innovation.

Step 1: Preparation and activation

  • During this step, employees observe and collect data, problem awareness develops and analysis takes place.

Step 2: Imagination and generation

  • Here a range of possible solutions are generated

Step 3: Development and Illumination

  • One or more promising, novel solutions are harvested and enhanced

Step 4: Action and verification

  • Evaluate and analyse so that a single solution can be developed

Step 5: Communication

  • The product is revealed to knowledgeable others

Step 6: Validation

  • The product is launched/ implemented in the marketplace. The company has to live with it before improvements can be made

Business leaders should encourage employees to express their unique talents and nurture their passion by putting employees in roles that excite their imagination (Schwartz, 2010:1-2). It is very important that business leaders ensure that employees know that their work matter because human-beings are meaning-making animals. Creative thinking is sparked when people know that their work and contributions make a difference.

Creative thinking requires time and business leaders need to provide uninterrupted time, free of pressure for immediate answers and instant solutions to encourage creative thought. The best way to encourage innovation is to schedule “special time-out sessions” on a regular basis. Employees also need time to recover and be renewed and cannot operate continuously. They need to be able to step away from the problem to allow the unconscious mind to work and meditate and only then can creative breakthroughs occur (Schwartz, 2010:1-2).

Business leaders can either enhance creative thinking and innovation in their organisations or crush creativity (Sloane, 2003:1-2). The business leaders need to avoid:

  • Criticism,
  • Neglecting brainstorming,
  • Choosing efficiency over innovation,
  • Overworking people,
  • Not trying something because ‘it is not in the plan’ or have a mindset of ‘why fix it when it works’,
  • Laying the blame,
  • Wrong rewards,
  • Neglecting training.

To enhance creativity and innovation, business leaders need to:

  • Lay the foundations for change,
  • Make their vision real,
  • Ask searching questions,
  • Take a different view (not the status quo view),
  • Combine the unusual with the usual,
  • Break the rules,
  • Welcome experimentation and learning, and
  • Use the team and organise the team for innovation.

In implementing creativity and innovation business leaders need to:

  • Firstly, strategise and set their business strategy and mission regarding creativity and innovation for their organisations.
  • Secondly, share their vision and strategies with their employees.
  • Thirdly, explain to their employees that creativity can be taught and that each person possesses creative ability. This must be done convincingly because people tend to think that only certain people are creative and they will need to be persuaded otherwise.
  • Fourthly, explain their expectations, set the seen for success and clearly define the playing field. Business leaders need to encourage employees to find their creative potential and to experiment.Employees need to be guaranteed that risk-taking and failure is acceptable and that they will not be punished if they are not ‘as creative’ as other employees.
  • Finally, business leaders will need to guide, coach, monitor and reward creativity and innovation to ensure that it becomes part of the organisational culture. Intelligent usage of success stories and implementation feedback in the form of blogs, social media and team competitions can enhance creative behaviour.

Conclusion

Old paradigms and fearing the “mystic creature” called “Creativity” is overrated. Creativity is crucial to face the challenges of growing global competition, technological development, unknown complexities and uncertainties in the business world. These challenges need to motivate business leaders to think differently and to break away from the old mindsets, business models and the status quo.

Edward de Bono said that “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

The time for change is now! Creativity is the key to unlock business challenges and to take businesses into the future. So indeed, long term business solutions starts with creative leadership…..

Creativity is the fuel to changing the world for the better, enabling people and businesses to meet the challenges and complexities of an unknown future.

References

Cropley, D.H. (2008) Fostering and measuring creativity and innovation: individuals, organisations and products. Creativity Research Journal

Schwartz, T. (2010)Six invisible secrets to fostering your creativity (Online) Available from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-schwartz/six-invisible-secrets-to_b_678444.html [Accessed on 20 August 2010]

Sloane, P. (2003)The leader’s guide to lateral thinking skills – unlocking the creativity & innovation in you and your team (2nd Ed) London: Kogan Page Limited