By Cathi Nelson
Six years ago I had an idea for a business. I was excited, nervous, scared and determined to make it work. I was also inexperienced and very naïve.
Here is a quick story of one of the many costly mistakes I made and a few tips, so you don’t make the same errors.
As I told family and friends about my idea, they were excited, but they cautioned me as well. What if someone “steals” your idea, you should call an attorney. A friend recommended a large law firm; I called, asked for an intellectual property attorney and scheduled an appointment.
The day came and I had a wonderful conversation with not one, but two attorneys. They strongly suggested I consider franchising my idea along with lots of additional advice. I left with my head spinning, but excited!
A few days later, I got the invoice $2,750! I was shocked; I had no idea that I was paying an hourly fee of $550 for each attorney that day. I can tell a similar story when I hired an accountant to manage my books but instead, (more…)
By Rebecca Flansburg
I once heard another work at home professional refer to business ownership as a “series of hills and valleys.” The “hills” being the times when things are somewhat quiet and for a brief moment you feel like you might actually get caught up. The “valleys” happen when things pick up speed and momentum, we are slammed with work and all we can do hang on tightly and race towards the finish line. Basically it’s not a ton different from riding a rollercoaster with varying degrees of pitch, speed and tummy quakes.
I too have felt the hills and valleys of business ownership these last three years and, though there are some variables, I’ve gotten used to these lulls and hectic times to the point I could almost set my watch by them. I know now that the summer months of June, July and August tend to be slower (for me) while months like January – March and September – November make me a little insanium-in-the-cranium. This may not be the case with your work at home biz, but I would venture to guess that you do in fact know your peak times and slow times. I also have a feeling that sometimes those slow times give you cause for worry-filled pacing, teeth gnashing, imaginations running wild and jumping to conclusions.
It’s such a bummer we can’t burn calories for those activities. (more…)
By Angie Nelson
Regardless of your service offerings, you can benefit from specializing. Freelance writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants and even social media managers are able to niche. That may mean working with a specific type of person or on a specific type of project. The possibilities are endless. And the reasons behind getting specific are plentiful.
Why Should a Freelancer Specialize?
It’s difficult and expensive to market to everyone for everything.
And let’s not just think of the monetary investment but the time involved. And with no focus how will you ever make a meaningful connection? Chances are good that your message is coming across as vague because you aren’t willing to commit. The end result: all of those people you are trying to talk to really aren’t sure whether you are a good fit for them or not.
You can demand more money.
It’s all about perceived value when a customer makes any kind of purchase. We automatically value the opinion and product of a specialist or an expert more than a jack of all trades. Clients want someone with industry experience. If I am hiring a blog assistant for my beauty blog it makes my job much easier if the person I am hiring is already involved in this niche. They know what readers are looking for, they know the active communities and etiquette and they know where to go to get the job done without much training or hand-holding. That is value. (more…)
, Business Blunders
, Business Lessons
, Cathi Nelson
, Common Business Mistakes
, Home Based Business
, Lessons Learned
, The Work at Home Woman
, Work at Home
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By Cathi Nelson
When I started a new business after spending 17 years in direct sales, I thought I knew the keys to success, being self-motivated, having passion, and being willing to take risks as well as the importance of setting goals. Yet in retrospect, there was so much more I wish I had known.
Here are my 5 tips of what I would do differently:
1. Think Bigger:
If I am honest with myself, fear of failure kept me from thinking big. I would tell people, “I only want to start a small, part time business that brings in enough income to help pay our bills.” Yet, that was not true; it was the voice of fear. If I had started out thinking bigger, I would have become bigger a lot faster.
2. Narrow Your Focus:
You will be more successful if you become an expert in a niche. If you add too many services or follow every new idea, you will find yourself scattered and inefficient.
3. Don’t Go It Alone:
Start building a support network sooner than later. I highly recommend attending a networking group either on-line or in your community. Today thousands of people are starting new businesses and the support of others on the same journey is invaluable. (more…)
By Rebecca Flansburg
We all want to be at our best, and do our best, at all times in business. That principle does not change for those choosing to work from home. Whether you are a life coach, franchise owner, or service provider, anything you can do to stay at the top of your game will be beneficial to the long-term health of your business. But success doesn’t come wrapped up in a tidy box with a snappy little bow. It takes hard work, persistence, and a drive to do things better than everyone else. So what does it take to rise above the crowd? What can entrepreneurs and work-at-home pros do to attract (and keep) their ideal customer?
Here are six power tips that will be beneficial to top performers and anyone striving for success on the right path.
1. Be Accessible:
We all know that communication is a huge part of business growth. But if your customers or clients can’t find you when they need you, they will seek assistance elsewhere. Accessibility can take many forms but the most common is as simple as supplying your customers with your email or phone number and other effective ways for customers to connect with you is via social media and Skype. Be available whenever possible, but also know when to draw the line with clients as well.
2. Set Yourself Apart from the Pack:
Take extra steps to not look and act like every other brand on the market. The online and offline world is flooded with businesses and experts squawking promises to “help you take your business to the next level!” (more…)