The TrapWritten by Bob Osgoodby
ot a day goes by that I don't hear about someone lamenting their decision to leave corporate America and work at home. Maybe they were laid off, opted for early retirement, or just decided that commuting four hours on train, coupled with an eight hour workday was simply too much. Possibly, they will keep their job and work part-time at home to earn extra income. Who knows what reasons are, but that is not important.
With "visions of sugarplums" dancing in their head, they decided to start their own home business. They believed ads about working in their pajamas when spirit moved them, and after a month or so woke up to reality. They weren't making a dime.
Where did they go wrong? Well, when they worked for someone else, they were expected to be at work at a certain time every day. Depending on business, there was a certain dress code, and they had goals to meet. Granted, these goals were usually determined by someone else, but they were ones who had to meet them.
It is easy to work for someone else, as they are ones calling shots. They actually lived under an umbrella of discipline. Granted it was someone else's umbrella, and maybe they didn't realize this. Possibly they did, and that was reason they decided to work on their own.
One of most common problems behind failure of a home business, is lack of discipline. Some think they can work when (and if) they want to, and their mailbox will "overfloweth" with twenty dollar bills. Well, I got news for you!
Running your own business, whether it is a brick and mortar establishment, or a home business, requires work. It usually requires more effort than if you worked for someone else. You will also have to do some things you don't enjoy. But, if you are chief (or only) "honcho", you had better be able to handle all facets of your business.
So, how do you go about working at home? First and foremost, you have to have a regular schedule and adhere to it. This is especially true if you expect people to contact you by phone. If people try to call you, and don't get an answer, they quickly move on. You have to be available during normal business hours. If you are in an online business, this is usually from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Yes there are three time zones in USA. If you live on east coast like I do, when you are getting ready to pack it in for day, folks on west coast may just be returning from lunch.
Cash FlowWritten by Bob Osgoodby
It doesn't matter how great your product is or how wonderful your service, if you don't have customers, all you have is a skill, or a product. People don't go into business normally as a hobby, although a lot of hobbies do turn into a business. The trick however, is to turn it into a positive cash flow.
If you're serious about doing business, you must plan for long run. Successful businesses don't normally just happen. They are result of long hours of planning, and a great deal of work.
There must also be a "war chest" of funds available until a positive cash flow is achieved. One of major problems that many encounter when starting up, is that they overextend their financial resources. No matter what your business, or how it is run, you must be able to meet current bills when they come due.
The "dot.coms" which were started on such a wave of exuberance, had plenty of cash behind them. They dealt in promises of huge earnings, which however never materialized. Now, majority of them have joined history books as "also rans". While they did have backing, sales at level they needed just didn't happen at a rate to sustain them.
The pundits will argue that economy is what brought them down. They violated however, one of basic rules of business. They overextended themselves, to point that their cash inflow wasn't enough to cover their expenses. When their "war chest" was depleted, they were gone. How does this affect small entrepreneur? Can we learn a lesson from this?
Let's examine a program that average person can get into. Network Marketing is current "buzzword" for Multi-Level Marketing, or MLM for short. MLM got a bad rap over past six or seven years, due to scamsters that abounded. A number of companies were founded that were simply "Ponzies" in disguise. The majority of their cash inflow was result of signing up new members. When cash flow from new recruits dried up, so did investment of those who had joined.
Are there legitimate companies out there - sure and many have a great track record. They don't rely on attracting high priced recruits, but have a legitimate product or service that they offer. If you are going to get involved in one of these companies, that should be a major concern.