Beyond Startup - Are You Stunting the Growth of Your Home-Based Business?

Written by Elena Fawkner


Beyond Startup - Are You Stunting repparttar Growth of Your Home-Based Business?

© 2002 Elena Fawkner

If youíve leftrepparttar 117578 corporate world to strike out on your own in your own home-based business, you'll be acutely aware that your financial success is up to you and you alone, perhaps forrepparttar 117579 first time in your life. For obvious reasons, therefore, your home-based business is probably run on a shoestring.

This means, of course, that you do everything. Although you are now CEO, you are also secretary, marketing director, receptionist and gopher. But hey, thatísrepparttar 117580 way you like it, right? Just as well too since when youíre just starting out you donít have much of a choice anyway.

But sooner or later, if you keep doing everything yourself youíll necessarily curtailrepparttar 117581 growth of your business. It will grow to a certain point but no further because youíre only one person and there are, after all, only 24 hours in a day.

Now, if youíre satisfied with making a little money onrepparttar 117582 side, thatís fine. But if your business is your only source of income, you must move beyond start-up if you are to become financially successful and avoid stuntingrepparttar 117583 growth of your business.

This article looks atrepparttar 117584 growth stages of a typical one-person home-based business and how to gradually grow your business without being run over inrepparttar 117585 process.

INITIAL GROWTH

=> One-(Wo)Man Band

As already stated, when you first start out, you do everything yourself. Youíre both chief cook and bottle-washer. And you can continue like this for quite some time because, initially, you are unlikely to be fully stretched. This is exactly what you should be doing.

This is NOTrepparttar 117586 time to go out and spend money with advertising agencies and hiring employees. For so long as you CAN do everything yourself and everything that needs to be done is getting done, this isrepparttar 117587 most efficient use of your current resources.

=> Donít Overcommit Yourself

During this stage, however, it is important to be careful not to overcommit yourself. You are a fledgling. You must learn to fly like a sparrow before you can soar like an eagle. So, when you first start out, underpromise and overdeliver.

Also, donít embark on an aggressive marketing campaign until you haverepparttar 117588 business resources to satisfyrepparttar 117589 demand you will create. Let your advertising grow in line withrepparttar 117590 growth of your business,repparttar 117591 addition of employees and increased financial capacity.

=> Pay Yourself

Be extremely careful with your pricing during this stage also. Make sure you include a wage for yourself in your overhead costs and add a realistic profit margin (say 15-20%).

Remember, price equals costs plus profit margin. Costs include direct, indirect and overhead costs. For a more detailed treatment on pricing, read ďPricing Yourself to Get, and Stay In, BusinessĒ at http://www.ahbbo.com/pricing.html .

=> Profits Belong to Your Business

Plough your profit back into your business. This is most important. This is where your funds for expansion during repparttar 117592 next growth phase of your business come from. NEVER use your businessís profits to pay personal expenses. This is what you pay yourself a wage for. Your businessís profit does not belong to you. It belongs to your business. There IS a difference!

=> Avoid Premature Expenditure

During your shoestring days, look for lower-cost substitutes before incurring substantial expenditure. For example, donít go out and buy a new fax machine, a new answering machine, a new photocopier. Get one of those three in one jobs that sits on your desktop and only costs a few hundred dollars.

Use a good accounting software program rather than hiring an accountant and hire from your family first if you need temporary help. Another good idea is to negotiate with family members to take over some household chores you would normally do yourself to free your time to work on your business. This works especially well with pocket-money age children and teenagers.

During times of temporary overload, hire temporary staff from a staffing agency if no family members or members of your social circle can dorepparttar 117593 job.

=> The Glass Ceiling

After a while, somewhere betweenrepparttar 117594 two year and five year mark, you will notice that your business is beginning to stagnate. At this point, you've stretched yourself and your resources as far as they can go. You've hitrepparttar 117595 glass ceiling, in other words.

At this point, if you want your business to grow further, you'll have to grow it. It won't happen as part of an evolutionary process beyond this point.

BEYOND THE GLASS CEILING

=> Hire Permanent Employees

The time to hire permanent employees is when you reachrepparttar 117596 point that you canít complete all tasks alone (or withrepparttar 117597 help of family members) and/or your time is worth more than it would cost to hire someone to complete your less complicated tasks.

Build and Maintain Websites For Profit

Written by J. Stephen Pope


Even with limited knowledge and experience, you can build and maintain websites for profit. Here are just some ways you can do so.

1. Develop Websites for Local Businesses

Approach local business persons and sell them onrepparttar necessity and financial benefits of having a professional website. Local advertising may get you started as well, but expect to get a large portion of your business from referrals.

Charge your clients forrepparttar 117577 initial design and setup ofrepparttar 117578 website. Work with them to develop a theme for their site based on their unique advantages overrepparttar 117579 competition. Keeprepparttar 117580 site simple to start with so thatrepparttar 117581 cost of producing it is not prohibitive torepparttar 117582 business and you can complete it profitably in a short time.

In this business, you can also make money onrepparttar 117583 maintenance and ongoing support ofrepparttar 117584 website. Charge recurring monthly fees for such services needed as web hosting, updates and improvements torepparttar 117585 site's content, search engine optimization and submission, increasing traffic, traffic analysis, mailing list production and maintenance, and much more.

You don't have to be a master Internet programmer to provide needed, additional services. There are many free and low cost sources of scripts and other resources available to you onrepparttar 117586 Internet. Offer your clients (and charge extra for) flash introductions, animated graphics, syndicated content, traffic counters, submission forms, chat rooms, pop-up windows, autoresponders, and more.

2. Sell Websites onrepparttar 117587 Internet

Build web stores, search engines, shopping portals, and other websites and sell them onrepparttar 117588 Internet.

Some develop sites from templates sold by others. Others build websites from scratch. These websites have been sold onrepparttar 117589 Internet as turnkey businesses through eBay and other websites.

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