How Much is EnoughWritten by Bob Osgoodby
One of most vexing questions in running a home business, is how much to spend on advertising. While 5 percent of sales might be a formula, as little as possible" seems to be standard used by many startup ventures. People sign up as an affiliate with someone, and think world will beat a path to their website.
In poker, serious gamblers know if you don't have cost of ante, you can't expect to win. The same rule governs advertising - you should not be in a business unless you have sufficient resources, to at least have a chance of success.
One of my regular surprises is a startup business, which has not planned for costs of regular, on-going contact with their prospects - advertising. One doesn't have to know a lot about market to spot a loser in this category -- if a business has no war chest for marketing, it will fail. It's just a question of how long it takes, and how much it ultimately costs.
A sure sign of impending failure, is what I refer to as "zero cost" syndrome. Even a cursory look at your email will give you enough examples. Someone, usually new to computers, joins an ISP such as AOL, and find they are getting a lot of ads in their email. Many of these ads promise great riches with little or no work, and they get hooked.
They have heard however about spamming, so they find a free email provider - who cares if they lose that. They get some free web space - why not, cost is right - and they are in business, or so they think.
Home BusinessWritten by Bob Osgoodby
So you want to start a home based business. Just think, you can work in your slippers when you want to - what could be better? No commute, not having to play office politics, no income - Whoops how did that sneak in?
Let's have a reality check about your home business. Can you work in your slippers? Sure, no problem. If you aren't going to be meeting face to face with your clients, it makes little difference how you're dressed.
Can you work when you want to? That really depends on a lot of things. If you are a freelance writer with little, if any contact, with public, yes you can. However, if you are selling a product or service, and public will be contacting you , that may not work. The normal office is open during working day, but wait a minute. Typical office hours are 9-5 and if you call their number, you expect an answer. If you don't get an answer, you will most likely try another source. But with Internet, what are typical office hours? If you live in Florida and are on eastern time, how about all your prospects on West Coast? When you're wrapping it up for day, they're just getting back from lunch.
So do you increase your office hours to cover all time zones. If you're on west coast, open earlier in morning - if you're on east coast close later at night. Right - wrong. That will be self defeating, as far as running your own home based business. Before you worked 8 hours a day and since you decided to get out of "rat race", you now have to work eleven?
The first thing you should do is to post hours when people can talk with you on your web site. But it is amazing how little attention some people pay to this. Calls will be received at all hours of day and night. Now, remember that anyone who does call, is a more serious prospect than one who simply responds to an email.
Should you have a toll free number? While many will argue that this is a more professional approach, it will increase number of calls from people who are referred to as "tire kickers". If they have to spend "their dime" for call, they will be less inclined to call unless they are serious.