So you want to start a business?

how to start your own business from zero

The pitfalls and perks of flying SOLO…

Andrea Drew

Many of us dream of working from home which isn’t surprising. Office politics, traffic jams, rigid mindsets and simply the sheer amount of time involved in gainful employment mean that there can be little time left for our “lifestyle” choices. I know I was one of these.

I dreamed of having my own business and imagined comforting scenes of a beautifully maintained home, sitting down to my desk for a few hours of creatively satisfying production and then finishing just in time for story time with my children. The reality was a rude awakening.

Clients calling at all hours of the day and night, managing my children’s screams while simultaneously talking to clients on the phone as well as how to advertise on a minuscule budget were some of the challenges I faced early on.

But of course the benefits were endless. No having to ask the boss for the day off because of a sick child, scheduling work around my children, time off for housework – working sometimes in my PJs (truly!)

Back then I started my business with $50 a whole lot of hope and a whispered prayer. Why? You might ask?

Well like many Mums, I had a young baby at home, but still needed the income that I had previously received as an employee. The problem was I didn’t want to leave my tiny baby with someone else. Back in Feb 1998 I wasn’t too sure what to do myself.

All I knew was that I was pregnant with my first child, my hubby had returned to study and money was way beyond tight. Debts were spiralling out of control. I needed to earn a truckload of cash NOW! I’d had a look around on the internet but what I found seemed to me, in all honesty to be obviously a scam.

I mean come on, how gullible did they think I was? I thought back to my background. Well I’d been a secretary for fifteen years surely I could do something with that? From here I pulled out my last spare $50 to try out my first business experiment and the rest is history.

It seemed everywhere I looked I just got one HUGE promise after another … each one better (and more ridiculous) than the next. Promising me the world as long as I handed over my money. But none came even close to what I was looking for!

I was at the end of my tether. The time was fast approaching when I had to go back to work. The thought just ate at me. I didn’t want to go back to work. I didn’t want to go back to the traffic jams, the insanity of road rage and punching the time clock either!

I could not imagine handing over my new baby boy and going back to that, I just couldn’t. I just wanted a nice little business that allowed me to make decent money and to allow me to stay home and look after my baby for crying out loud! Was that too much to ask?

Anyway, when I get desperate I pray in silence you know I think things like “please god help me here,” that kinda thing you know… And then it hit me. Call it fate, call it god calling maybe even karma, whatever it was, it didn’t matter.

All I knew was THIS WAS IT! Sitting down with a client who had answered my add in the local paper for secretarial services, I discovered all he wanted was a resume. I wrote it up for him, got a nice little fee out of it and enjoyed the work. So what did I do?

I decided to start my own Resume Writing Business! I just dove straight in and starting swimming (or floundering as it turned out to be). You see, the more I dug, the better it got and the bigger my grin was getting. I had found a BONANZA. All I had to do was fill in the gaps. (Little did I realize what was ahead…)

Anyway, I took a few wrong turns and hit a lot of dead-ends along the way. My learning curve was a long one. Just filling in the gaps took me a full year and half. A lesser woman would have given up.

And I’ve got to admit, the first twelve months I struggled getting all the bugs out and getting my systems in place. But I was making some money and I was determined to succeed. After that, it was child’s play.

I knew what to really look for and I knew where to find it and I knew how to bring in the business. That’s when it got easy. Within 3 years I had dominated my industry, I got out of the tiny apartment we were living in into a pretty big house, and I hired an admin assistant and a PA.

My days were mine. I’d slip on my writer hat, fire up my computer, and my search begins. Within minutes I was finding the money … lots of it! It was the Ultimate freedom business that suited our needs at the time.

The business gave me time to stay at home with my children and work only the hours that suited me. And I didn’t need to leave my house to make an income. I was on exactly the same income I was earning as a corporate assistant in the City within my first 12 month as a resume writer!

Then I was only working on average 25 hours a week, no office politics, no early mornings, no clocking in and out. I thought I was in heaven. Just a little bit of creative writing work was all that was required and I had made my money. And when I say work I don’t mean slugging it out on the nine-to-five bandwagon. No.

It meant hopping on my computer for my work, making some phone calls, sending the email and then banking the cash. I learned a lot along the way about what advertising worked, what didn’t, what to charge, business set ups, how to deal with difficult people, how to get clients and on it went.

I learned so much over the 14 years I was in business. But finally after all of the blood sweat and tears I got an offer I just couldn’t refuse and sold my professional resume writing business for an amazing profit in July 2012. From here I thought that was the end of it.

Little did I know there were thousands of Mums just like me out there just looking for some guidance and wanting to hear more about an opportunity that didn’t include scams, MLM or insult their intelligence?

The emails came thick and fast. How did I do it? What were my secrets? Would I help them to do the same? They’d always DREAMED of writing for money could I help them achieve their dreams?

It was at this point I realized these women wanted the knowledge I’d worked so hard to find. They wanted the knowledge I’d won through blood sweat and tears to save them the hard work I’d gone through.

It was at this point I decided to make up a system of manuals; DVDs, advice and individual mentoring that would enable anyone to succeed simply by rolling up their sleeves and giving it a go. Not quite the white picket fence I’d dreamed of, but pretty darn close! So in hindsight, what advice would I give to someone starting out?

  • Dream big and don’t listen to “dream killers” that tell you it can’t be done

  • Make sure you have a dedicated space to work

  • If you can’t afford child care, make sure you can work undistracted, perhaps when your children are sleeping

  • If you are a social type person, join some industry groups so you get some much needed adult conversations

  • Engage a mentor, you’ll need a sounding board in those first twelve months as someone you can turn to

  • Surround yourself with successful people.


Should Your Start A Home Business or Simply Get a Job!

Steve Coleman

A lot of people struggle with the question of whether they should start their own business, or just get a job. It’s a question that can’t be easily answered, and which is dependent entirely on the market, the world, and your own personal situation.

There are advantages and draw­ backs to each option, and you have to weight them carefully as you decide. And in the end, the answer for you might be to simply do both options.

Advantages of Starting a Home Business

The biggest single advantage that you will get from starting your own home based business is freedom. Creating your company will give you the ability to decide your own fate, to choose how you spend your days, and to direct your life in whatever way you think will be most suc­cessful.

The ability to choose your own destiny is a powerful draw that attracts many people to the idea of small business ownership. A similar advantage is that you won’t have a boss, and instead, you will be the boss.

Most people hate getting told what to do. As an adult, they feel like they should be able to decide their actions. However when you have a boss you are accountable to someone else.

When you displease them they can scold you or yell at you. They can also give you extra work, or work that seems unimpor­tant or pointless. Yet, since they are in charge, there is no recourse; you simply have to do what they say.

Another advantage of starting your own home based company is the potential. You have the ability to do anything with your business. However as the owner, if your company takes off, you will be the one reaping the rewards of money and on occasion, fame.

This means that your efforts are focused entirely on a goal which will benefit you, not make a bunch of people in fancy offices above you rich. The potential for fame and fortune is one of the biggest advantages of starting your own business.

If your company is started in your home, you also have all of the amenities of being able to work from your house. This means that you can control the space com­pletely, arranging everything the way you like, and filling your home office with pieces which inspire and drive you.

This also eliminates the daily commute, saving you time, and giving you the ability to put more efforts into the company, or even just catch a few extra moments of sleep in the morning. At home meals can come from the kitchen rather than a restaurant saving you money and you can enjoy the company of your family or pets in any breaks or off times that you may have.

One of the biggest advantages to start­ing your own business is the prestige. People who start companies are seen as being dynamic and innovative; they are risk takers, who are willing to change the world with their ideas. This is something that people look at with profound respect, and will gain you prestige in the eyes of your peers.

Disadvantages of Starting a Home Based Business

Probably the biggest disadvantage of running your own company is the possibility that it might fail. If it is your only source of income, your ability to eat and live will be based on how much money you can generate with this business.

When you have a job, there’s a steady pay cheque each week which you can count on. When it’s your own business it’s impossible to be certain of exactly how much money you will earn on any given day. This can make creating a monthly budget a difficult thing.

On the other hand, a job can be lost and employees can be fired. However, when you run your own business you are the boss, so you can’t be fired. This means that there is uncertainty in both situations, and as such nothing is promised or securely held in this ever changing and shifting world.

When you own the business you also have the burden of responsibility on your shoulders. If a problem occurs it’s up to you to fix it, if sales don’t come in then you’re the one who has to work to increase sales for the company.

There is nobody else you can look to or blame; you are the top of the chain. Often the harshest boss that you will ever have will be yourself, because so much of who you are rides with the success of the company you created.


Four Keys to Becoming a Success

business success tips

Ian Parkin

LISTENING KEY

Who do you listen to? Many make the mistake of listening to people who are just regurgitating what they may have read about, and have not actually done themselves. The classic saying “those who can do things – do the things, and those who can’t – teach the things” is a very important distinction.

Listen up to someone who has been where you are now and has achieved what you want to achieve.

LEARNING KEY

Being willing to learn and willing to accept change is key to the learning process yet this willingness is found to have been lacking in failures.

MINDFUL KEY

Whilst skills are important, what you think about the skills you perform is more important. There is a concept known as the training balance- scale.

Your physical actions: what you do, techniques, strategies, action steps, plans and activities are considered by many to be paramount.

However this key of success reveals that your thoughts, thinking, desires, dreams, goals, attitude, mental processes, objectives, vibration, intention, energy, motivation and emotions are 99% more important than the action part so focus your attention on the “why” not the “how”.

“(Whatever the mind of man can conceive, and bring itself to believe, it can achieve – Napoleon Hill)”

PROCESSING KEY

The four steps to processing new information are:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence (you don’t know what you don’t know)

  2. Conscious. Incompetence (you know that you don’t know)

  3. Conscious Competence (you know that you know)

  4. Unconscious Competence (you know and it happens automatically)

There are 2 ways to get to unconscious competence:

  1. Consciously do something over and over and over again with spaced repetition.

  2. Observe somebody else do the thing over and over and over again.

Now put these Four Keys to Becoming a Success together. Choose well who you listen to, be willing to learn and change, become mind-full of why you want success and then consciously do the doing until it happens automatically.


Important Books You Should Read

business success books

1: HOW TO SUCCEED by Brian Adams.

One of the most information-filled books on success available. Covers how the mind works, how it can be used to attain wealth, high achievement, health and a rich lifestyle. Now an international best-seller.

2 : GROW RICH WITH YOUR MILLION DOLLAR MIND By Brian Adams.

Must reading for those who want to improve personal skills, expand creativity and become a wealth achiever. Has 15 chapters on entrepreneurship in the 21st century. Reveals the wealth accumulation secrets of millionaires and the famous. A great sequel read to How To Succeed. A scholarly motivational book of very workable success formulas.

3: THINK LIKE A WINNER by Dr.Walter Doyle Staples.

Helps the reader to discover his/her richest possibilities and attain goals. It’s a manual for personal and professional development, an encyclopedia of success ideas. A great motivational book that will stir you to take action, win and succeed.

4: YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS POWER by Charles M. Simmons.

Shows how to tap your subconscious mind to gain success. How to recognize and raise your own self-importance and impress others to raise your status and influence. Your subconscious is the key to becoming an outstanding achiever and money accumulator.

5: A GUIDE TO PERSONAL HAPPINESS by Dr. Albert Ellis & Dr. Irving Becker.

This book has sold more than a million copies. It deals with human behavioral problems and how to solve them. If you aren’t happy in life you aren’t going to get very far. Overcoming personal and career problems is a must if success in life is to be attained. Depression and low self-esteem need to be corrected. This book reveals how.


Party Plan Recruiting Tips

party plan success

Deb Bixler

HOME PARTY BUSINESS SUCCESS

There are many different ways women can make a living working for themselves, one of the best being in the home party plan business. With a variety of products and services available, there are many options to consider when deciding which area will lead you to home party plan success.

PARTY PLAN SUCCESS

Once you’ve decided in which industry you want to pursue home parties, you’ll have to consider the different ways in which you can recruit others to enter your industry and best set them up for success.

One of the most effective ways to grow your income and amp up your party plan motivation is to recruit other people. Often, some of the other home party representatives’ earnings will come directly to you as a recruiter.

PARTY PLAN SEMINARS

The best way to get others interested in your field is to host a party plan seminar in your home or in someone else’s.

By offering recruits a view into the life of a home party planner, they’ll be more likely to show interest. You’ll want to provide all the home party plan info you have available as there are a variety of different factors that could influence recruits to make the jump.

Some of the data they may want are earning potential, risks and rewards, and specifics about the products to be sold. Entering into the home party business is a rewarding but challenging career, and should be weighed carefully.

HOME PARTY RECRUITING IDEAS

After you’ve hand-selected which recruits you believe to be the strongest at sales, you will want to provide them with home party motivation to help them succeed.

Using manuals or tactical instruction, give your recruits hands-on home party plan training to help them feel more confident about their ability to host their own party. Having your recruits host a mock party for you and your friends is a great way to help them by more comfortable in front of a crowd.

Depending on the item you’re selling, you may want to ask your recruits to take a test of some sort to prove they’ve learned the necessary information about their wares. Party plan is an exciting adventure for most who embark, but for some, sales can be overwhelming at first.

These recruits will learn best in a safe, nurtured, low-pressure environment. Once you’ve given out your best home party plan info, you’ll want to teach your new recruits one of the most crucial parts of party plan training.

Home party bookings are one of the most important and hard to master skills in the industry, and many face trouble when actually sent out to book. Walk through a typical sales tactic you use with your recruits, then put them into action.

Eventually, send them out into the real world to see if they can secure a event of their own, which you will help them host. It could even be fun to make a game out of how many bookings your recruits can set up – whoever has the most wins!

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So you want to start a business?
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So you want to start a business?

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