12 Most Critical Steps in Creating a Business You Love From Home
Want to create a business you love, from home? Watch the news of today and it’s nothing but doom and gloom. More Americans are fearful of losing their jobs than ever before. The unemployment rate has hit a historic high. Our economy is in the toilet, and more Americans are panicking about ‘what will be.’
That said, now has never been a better time for Americans to decide to take the stability of their future into their own hands. No longer can we depend on working a “good job” for 40 years and retiring with a pension. Those days are gone and will never return.
Statistically, more millionaires have been created in times of economic depression. That is where we find ourselves now, however, starting a business must be done correctly.
Why do so many small businesses fail in the first two years? Because people start businesses without knowing business. Here are 12 steps to follow to create a lucrative, yet leveraged business from home doing what you love:
1. Create a vision and clarify the business model
One must know what vision they have for their business. Is it to build a multi-million dollar business empire, or simply a business that will create a comfortable flow of income without stress? This vision will be critical in attaching to when times get challenged in the early stages of building a business. Attaching to the vision, rather than the challenging circumstances, will propel the new business owner forward.
The business model is critical in that this is where leverage is created. Creating hourly services or selling “chatchkies” will simply result in “chasing your tail” to always be earning money. Creating bulk services for a higher amount of income will result in a leveraged business that allows the business owner to work less for more income.
2. Identifying the niche market for your home-based business
This step will create fear in most business owners. “But my product/service can help anybody!” is a common push-back.
This analogy will help: would you rather shoot a gun into the ocean to hopefully hit a fish, or would you rather shoot a gun into a barrel-full of tuna hoping to hit one?
Targeting a smaller market within your prospective client base will allow you to secure more business quickly rather “yelling to the masses” hoping to find someone who will buy.
3. Your marketing message & USP (Unique Selling Proposition, for a Business You Love)
What makes you different than your competitors? What will YOU do that others won’t.
Your marketing message must “speak” directly to your niche market. You will have a picture of a person in your niche market that you are “talking” to in your marketing. Whether it be a pay-per-click ad, an article, a blog post, a newspaper ad, etc., you must speak to your target market and pull them in with what makes you special.
4. Your offer
Offering prospective clients an offer of free value will attract more people to YOU than your competitors.
This is where you communicate your knowledge and your USP to your clients. Offer an e-book, an audio recording, a video training series, etc. But, ask your prospects to leave an email address in return for your “freebie” and you can continue to create a relationship with that prospect through an effective email marketing campaign.
5. Your website = Your Business
Your website is a direct reflection of you. Your branding and messaging must authentically communicate who you are.
Your website must include a blog where you write about your expertise, what’s happening in your industry, and why you are passionate about what you do.
Your website should be self-hosted. Do NOT use a free blogging service as the content is not owned by you and, it just looks cheap. Free services will reflect badly on you as a business owner and ‘cheapen’ your brand.
6. Creating Your Celebrity
You must become a “celebrity” so-to-speak in your area of expertise. You want to be everywhere. You’ll want to utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to communicate your message.
Write articles that will organically show up in specific industry keywords on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
You will want your potential clients to say, “You are everywhere!”
7. Create your signature system
Systematizing your service will create the leverage most small business owners do NOT have.
Creating a system to work prospects through to becoming paid clients is extremely important. Using pull marketing, rather than push marketing will pull your prospects through an automated system. They will self-identify themselves as a client of yours and take the next step.
Once your system is created, your business is automated up until you have a paid client, then you step in. This is an extremely important step and one that usually is skipped and leads to the quick burnout of the business owner.
8. Build a list
Your email list of potential clients will be a direct result of what your business is worth.
Enticing website visitors and those you meet personally with your free offer to leave their email give you a chance to establish rapport with your list.
You will share free knowledge, free value and your expertise with this email list. The size doesn’t matter as much, however, the responsiveness of the list is critical. 80% of your communication should be offering value. 20% will be promoting your products/services, however, with a targeted niche market, your list should be responsive enough to buy when you offer something.
By creating enough value to your list, a responsive list will result in a business owner being able to name his paydays. If the authenticity of the free value is there, when a biz owner needs a payday, he sends out an offer. The list responds, the biz owner gets paid!
9. Your marketing plan
A small business is 90% marketing, 10% of what you do.
A specific and consistent weekly marketing plan is needed in order to build a business quickly. Without one, the business will surely fail.
With one, the business will reach extremely high levels of success!
Your marketing plan can include strategies like: article marketing, pay-per-click ads, social media marketing, media submissions, guest blogging, press releases, etc.
Choose the strategies that work for you, implement them consistently, and your business will grow quickly and consistently.
10. Create your referral system
The referral system is critical, especially at the creation of the business. A biz owner’s sphere of influence will most likely be the source of new clients. Once a client base is established, a system should be in place to ask for referrals.
People do business with those they know, like and trust. Your sphere of influence will know, like and trust you first. That will lead to initial clients.
Once client-work is finished and the client is happy, they will now know, like and trust you. A business based on referrals sets a solid foundation for a consistently growing business.
11. Automating your business
Once a biz owner establishes a solid “pull” marketing system, automating the system and marketing is key.
A biz owner will always have to work on their business, however, they will leverage their time and earnings by automating the business as much as possible. This will be done with your marketing, your services, etc.
Automating as much as possible will need to to be done by thinking outside of the box in some areas, but once figured out, this will be a transformational realization.
Working less, but making more income will be a realization that seems too good to be true…but it’s not when implemented properly.
12. Establishing the entrepreneurial mindset
Leaving a job to be a business owner is, mentally, a tough move. Moving from an hourly or monthly income mindset to wrapping one’s head around leveraging time for money is extremely tough.
Scheduling time for self-development, seminars to increase your industry knowledge and increasing your sphere of influence, and surrounding oneself with successful entrepreneurs is critical to a biz owner.
Moving from an “employee” mentality to an “entrepreneur’s” mentality will be the toughest step, but when done, will create a business owner that is “psychologically unemployable.” Once this happens, business success in inevitable. If one can’t go back to being an employee, then he must make his business successful “no matter what.”
Follow these 12 steps to create a foundation for a business, and one is positioned to create a transformational lifestyle. Realizing that there is more to life than the four sides of a cubicle and creating a business doing what one actually loves to do will, not only transform the individual, but also start to create a global shift of inspired people changing their own lives and the world as well!
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